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Thread: This is why I only do applique quilts

  1. #26
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    I totally agree with this comment. I found that this was my problem with HSTs also. Unless you make a perfectly straight 1/4 inch seam, the results will be off. I can't get it exactly right either, so I have actually started reducing my 1/4 inch seam just a hair, so that the resulting HST are just a bit over what they are supposed to be on purpose. Then using a ruler that has good angle markings, line up the angle lines and trim down to the exact size needed; I get more consistent results doing this.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter View Post
    Dull rotary cutters are no good, that's for sure. I'd suggest you change the blade.

    It looks like you didn't square up some of your HSTs and as a result some of them are oversized. In that case, nothing will line up and it is no wonder that you are frustrated. I always sew my HSTs and QSTs oversided and square them up. It may be more prep work but MUCH LESS headache in the long run.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonomine View Post
    What are thangles? No, I didn't use a rotary cutter. It's been so long since I've used them their as dull as a butter knife!
    you do have to replace them when they get dull! than they are wonderful. I think you are being way to hard on yourself. your block looks fine to me

  3. #28
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    I have had a lot of similiar issues and my personal solution is to make half square triangles and quarter square triangles bigger and trim them down carefully to the proper size. Yes, it takes more time but time is what I have.

    Better a little more time than the frustration of lots of rework and missing points.

  4. #29
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I think you did a pretty decent job myself. I always use a template and mark and cut it with scissors. I'm horrible with a rotary cutter. If you sew a consistant 1/4 seam, eveerything should be A-OK
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  5. #30
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    What I see is that your squares are not square or the same size. It can be caused by cutting or stitching. Buy new blades for your rotary cutter and use it. You should be more accurate. That will take care of the cutting part. Measure from your needle to the outside of your foot to see if you are stitching a scant 1/4". If not, mark it (I use painters tape to mark that line across my machine. It helps in keeping even seams. The other problem that I see (having been there, done that) is the blocks don't line up across the lattice. When you start attaching the second block to the lattice, you need to draw a line on the lattice, so that you know where the points of the second block should line up with the first block. That's also true of the the narrow pieces of lattice. I sew mine so that the pieced blocks are up and I can see where I am sewing, that way I can sew thru the points the same way across the block. I would take the blocks off the lattice and resew it. It might not be perfect, but if the points lined up on the lattice, it wouldn't be so noticeable. Good luck. As I said, "Been there, done that".

  6. #31
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    I agree with the others that your wall-hanging looks good. But I have the same problem with my view of the quilts I've attempted. One thing I think I'll try with my next one is doing a disappearing 9-patch and then select an arrangement that doesn't even attempt to match seams. Until I get much better at cutting accurately, I think that is my only hope of creating something that looks OK.

  7. #32
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    I think you're being too hard on yourself. I have ben quilting for a lot of years, and it took me about 5 minutes of loking at your (finished) picture before I saw your issue. I would say follow the others' suggestions, and finish the quilt. Small imperfections will not be noticeable once you get it quilted. And iif they do... it was planned that way. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it, lol)

  8. #33
    Member sewrkristy's Avatar
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    Practice, practice, practice. Like anything you have to work at it. I think it looks good for your first try. Keep going.

  9. #34
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    I'm doing extra hand quilting on it so it takes away from the flaws Almost done!

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts View Post
    I am a piecer and if you cut sepperate triangles and then tried to sew them together I would have gotten the same results. I use rulers that help get the triangles correct.
    For years I used Elanor Burns, Quilt in a Day, special rulers but I switched this summer to June Taylor perfect Half Square and Quarter Square Triangles. I like that even better. If you use that it will give you those perfect Ohio Stars you want.

    Here is a video showing you how to use it-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvBURxlgwFo


    I really like your table runner. It is very pretty.

    By the way I think your applique is awesome and I wished I could aplique like that.
    Two things:
    You appliqued the double wedding ring? How did you do that?

    I watched the tute on the June Taylor ruler....good ruler, but the demostrator made me smile.......we all sew in our kitchen.....I wish my counters were so "clear"....and I always dress to the T while I am quilting.....just my silly observations......

  11. #36
    Junior Member Janie67's Avatar
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    That is one of my favorite blocks. I find hst to be so versatile . They can be assembled in so many great patterns. I find cutting them oversize and then trimming them to the correct size to be the best way to get accurate hst. Keep trying "it's only fabric"!

  12. #37
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    Ladies You have said it all .. don't be so hard on yourself .. My first quilt was so crooked and thank goodness the person helping me had the patience to be polite, then help me fix it. Practice, Practice then you will look back and ask yourself why you didn't start quilting sooner.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diannia View Post
    This really isn't bad for your first attempt! Don't be so hard on yourself. Do you have a 1/4" foot...that helps a lot. Lots of us feel the same way you do...only about applique! Practice, practice, practice...

    Diannia
    The 1/4 inch foot made all the difference in the world in my quilts!! Before mine were wonky...which yours is NOT!

  14. #39
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Is it just me or what? I don't see anything wrong with it.
    Grandma of 5 beautiful grand kids, 4 crazy cats & 1 dog!

  15. #40
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    Rotary blade has been suggested as a possible problem. I thought a dull blade just took more effort to cut; only one fabric layer, but I didn't know it would affect the accuracy of a quilt block. Could someone explain more what is happening with a used rotary blade?
    Carol

  16. #41
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    There is just one point in there that I would try to fix. Get some help from an experienced quilter if you can't figure it out. Pressing and trimming correctly are so important.

    I would be proud to have your Ohio Stars hanging on my wall. I love them.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  17. #42
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    could you be ironing ibstead of pressing?????

  18. #43
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    I just noticed that some fabric just cuts strangely on the bias. I cut large (12") square, had the fabric on the 45 degree line, the ruler on the 45 degree line, the fabric taped on both sides, new rotary blade, and STILL got a wave in the middle of the triangle. Before even pressing it. (I checked on a straight line on the cutting mat) New mat, old mat, no difference. Even straight cuts go weird.

    If you don't use steam, or press hard, how do you remove wrinkles? I find seams and whatever simply don't lay flat unless I do iron the heck out of them. All fabrics, too. What everyone calls good fabric to cheap fabric. Washed or not.
    Seems to be stretched as soon as I cut it.

    I've used all kinds of rulers. I have one from OZ that has a piece you line up with the dimension, a Truecut with the lip,
    and the fabric still seems stretched or uneven on straight cuts.

    Some piecing will look like the OP's, but I do have a 1/4" foot, and I've sewn clothing, and other articles without this problem. I've pinned, not pinned, you name it.

    I can cut mat board for photos using a corked back ruler and exacto - that is straight. I've checked ruler edges and table - all flat and straight. All rulers have grips - either dots or a sheet.

    The cutting table is high - but it's either high or my back. We also live in a very dry climate, and in the winter, static electricity is the pits.

  19. #44
    Super Member sewNso's Avatar
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    you need to think "a quilt is to keep me warm". and move on from there. perfection isn't a must , unless you are going to put it in a show. most of us, don't make perfect quilts, we make a quilt a non quilter would love because they got it from us. start off with something with not so many points to match. maybe irish chains, 9 patches, or D9P's, show flies, churn dashes, etc.

  20. #45
    Senior Member AllAboutScraps's Avatar
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    Okay...granted I am a newbie, but I don't see what is so horrible about your wall hanging. I like the colors and nothing shouts "This is awful" to me. You are too hard on yourself.

    Keep practicing.

  21. #46
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geri B View Post

    I watched the tute on the June Taylor ruler....good ruler, but the demostrator made me smile.......we all sew in our kitchen.....I wish my counters were so "clear"....and I always dress to the T while I am quilting.....just my silly observations......

    I noticed that too about the kitchen and it made me smile too. I did not actually watch the whole video as I just learned how to do it from the little paper insert with the ruler but I thought it was nice there was a video showing how to use the ruler.
    Last edited by Annaquilts; 01-18-2013 at 08:02 AM.
    Anna Quilts

  22. #47
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    Starching & pressing the fabric before cutting really helps me PLUS I would never do a half square triangle that had to be cut on the bias.
    TwandasMom

  23. #48
    Super Member tlambing's Avatar
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    A very very accomplished quilter friend of mine, did me a great favor when I showed her my first quilt, with all it's flaws. As I pointed out the wonkiness and lack of points....she grabbed the binding and gave the whole quilt a little shake, and said..."do you see it now?"

    That has stuck with me, and I have passed it on many times. I am still learning every day and feel so accomplished when I feel I've achieved "perfection". Don't give up, quilt for yourself. Practice practice practice.

  24. #49
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    It looks very good to me! I am sure you will improve by doing more. A 1/4" foot definitely helps and I'd suggest just starting with squares. You chose a challenging pattern for a beginner. I would just do 4 patch or 9 patch blocks until you get the hang of piecing and matching seams. If it's something that I am totally neurotic about matching seams, I also just put a drop of glue and hit it with the iron to hold it in place. Keep up the good work!

  25. #50
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    My triangles are awful. I avoid them at all costs but sometimes have to do them. They give me more problems that anything else. I have noticed though that the more I do, the better I am getting. Keep at it. I think your wall hanging is great.

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