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Thread: Why when you get a block to go together so easy is it

  1. #1
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Always 1/4 inch shy all around. Checked my measurements twice when cutting, checked my 1/4 inch seam with each seam, still came out a perfect 12 instead of 12 1/2. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroowwwwwwwwwwllllllllllllllllll

  2. #2
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer, but will be watching for it. :roll: :roll:
    this has also happened to me. Went back and did a s cant 1/4, and it came out right then.

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    something is fishy in Denmark!

  4. #4
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    at least it is a perfect something! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  5. #5
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I always do a scant 1/4 inch. Just one thread difference on each seam can make a huge difference in the size of the block.

  6. #6

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    Oh, this is sure frustrating.
    Hope you get it worked out.

  7. #7
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimisharon
    Always 1/4 inch shy all around. Checked my measurements twice when cutting, checked my 1/4 inch seam with each seam, still came out a perfect 12 instead of 12 1/2. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroowwwwwwwwwwllllllllllllllllll
    My first thought is to ask where you are putting your ruler line when making a cut. If your ruler has thick lines, it could cause your cut piece to be off a thread or two, which quickly adds up when making a block. My second thought is to wonder how thick the thread you are using is. The thicker the thread, the more you will want to sew using a scant quarter inch in order to leave room for the thread thickness. My third thought is ironing. Make sure to press your pieces completely open. I would have never thought of this but I had an instructor point out to me that I was being too gentle (who would've thought!?!) when pressing and I wasn't getting my pieces opened all the way. It wasn't anything obvious since it looked fine but once I became more aggressive with my pressing my pieces started coming out the right size. Fourth, if it isn't you or your machine, check the pattern. There are patterns out there that are simply wrong and will always come out a bit small or large.

    The best way to check is to cut three pieces of fabric at 2 1/2 inches. Sew each one together, press open, then measure both the seam and the entire piece. It should come out exactly 6 inches square. If not, why? Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    MimiSharon, I appreciate you asking this question. I can make 4 blocks all come out the same but that darn 5th block comes out different!! Either 1/4 inch bigger or a 1/4 inch smaller. I've always blamed it on quilting gremlins. Now I know some things to try. Thanks everyone.

  9. #9
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    What block was it?

    there are a couple things that come to mind..
    the more seams you have in the block..the smaller it may get..Think about the smidge you loose with every seam..

    sometimes it is the thinkness of the thread..so the scant 1/4" is the best way to go..

    i see that was answered above..tiffany has it..

  10. #10
    Dix
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    Senior Member Dix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimisharon
    Always 1/4 inch shy all around. Checked my measurements twice when cutting, checked my 1/4 inch seam with each seam, still came out a perfect 12 instead of 12 1/2. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroowwwwwwwwwwllllllllllllllllll
    I nearly always use a scant 1/4 inch. Also, I tend to cut into the ruler just a slant, not so you would even notice. I have to really watch to keep the rotary cuttter straight in my hand. A teacher, when I was taking a class one time, told me some right handed people tend to push in and slant toward the ruler.
    Hope all the suggestions help!

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I sew die cuts more than anything and I know the cuts are perfect so it has to be my stitching. I use very thin bobbin thread, Bottom Line or Coats&Clark Bobbin thread. I find it saves me time and frustration by marking a scant 1/4" seam line and sewing on the line. If I cut my own, I add 1/8" to each cut.

  12. #12
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I noticed that the other day when I tested a block. The first one was a bear. Perfect but ugly. The second one went together lickety spit - beautiful but off. Go figure.

    Can you break it down into the components and measure where you are off?

  13. #13
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    I noticed that the other day when I tested a block. The first one was a bear. Perfect but ugly. The second one went together lickety spit - beautiful but off. Go figure.

    Can you break it down into the components and measure where you are off?
    This is what Sally Collins does, she measures each unit at each stage of the piecing process. She is known for her masterwork precision piecing & this is what she mainly teaches. I'm very excited because she is coming to our local guild and I am getting to take a couple classes from her. I can't wait to learn, learn, learn!

  14. #14
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    (((HUGS))) It IS the quilting Gremlins :twisted: :twisted:
    The little buggers get you when you least expect them...
    I have even tried leaving them out chocolate, to appease them... :wink:

  15. #15
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I've always assumed it was because I have somehow ticked off the Goddess of Quilting and she is punishing me. I SWEAR to you I have had blocks come out too small when EVERY seam was perfect and ever piece precision cut.

  16. #16
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    I've always assumed it was because I have somehow ticked off the Goddess of Quilting and she is punishing me. I SWEAR to you I have had blocks come out too small when EVERY seam was perfect and ever piece precision cut.
    Maybe it's just your eyes. :lol:

    Gremlins...I've got a few of those. I think they mess up my quilt room when I'm asleep and mix up my fabrics. Not to mention the mess they make as they unthread all my thread spools! :P

  17. #17
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany
    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    I've always assumed it was because I have somehow ticked off the Goddess of Quilting and she is punishing me. I SWEAR to you I have had blocks come out too small when EVERY seam was perfect and ever piece precision cut.
    Maybe it's just your eyes. :lol:

    Gremlins...I've got a few of those. I think they mess up my quilt room when I'm asleep and mix up my fabrics. Not to mention the mess they make as they unthread all my thread spools! :P
    Are they the same ones who take your little mini quilt blocks and hide them for days until after you are finished with the whole mini quilt? :roll:

  18. #18
    Senior Member ctmhjenn's Avatar
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    Your not alone...been there, and did it over and over. The scant works, but I have also found that it can come out too big then. I do the moving the needle over one stitch, same thing. I'm with the madquilter, press it super good, and use steam...let it know WHOSE BOSS!

  19. #19
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Well, the story of the 'scant' is that I get the eyebrow from some of our quild when they aren't full quarter inch seams. The thread was lightweight because the fabric was heavier batik. I think tomorrow I'll do a lot of pic'n and restitch with the scant and let the eyebrows wiggle as they will.

    It's called 'Chain and Hourglass' from quilterscache. I love the block, it looks good with the gold I chose (IMHO) and yet........I'll get a picture of it in the morning and then you can waggle your eyebrows at me. :oops: :hunf:

    I chose another block to use the starter fabric and was going to give the winner the two blocks, but y'all have some good thoughts and suggestions so I'll try pic'n tomorrow.

    I did finish the 'nursing cover' for my granddaughter. I was going to do nine patch blocks BUT I went to my LQS yesterday and that cooked it. I found a panel there that had 'Boys are like that' or some such nonsense so I bought three panels and put two of them together. God the buttons on it and made the strap to go around her neck.

    Also made her three protective changing pads. Hey, no wonder I'm tired....I had a busy day. Think I'll hit the hay.

    Thanks so much for all the good suggestions. BTW I do use steam on these straight forward blocks. I try not to use it on the bias cuts though. I don't like them waving back at me.
    :cry: :roll:

  20. #20
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaverg
    I always do a scant 1/4 inch. Just one thread difference on each seam can make a huge difference in the size of the block.
    I would try the scant 1/4 inch.

  21. #21
    Super Member Elisabrat's Avatar
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    I was reading the other day about the scant 1/4 which is actually a 3/16th of a seam so you need to check out your ruler and look at how little that amount is and if you pull back your seam line just that smidgen more every single time.. you will get your block the right size (assumingyou cut things the right size). I did it and whola, my block was now the right size. The other thing you can do is simply go as you are and if your blocks are 12" unfinished then thats the size they are. And not let it get you.

  22. #22
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    That is comforting to me! I started using the scant a while back..it makes a big difference..i think

  23. #23
    jeammezera's Avatar
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    If you can get an Accuquilt Go this will cut perfect strips. I love it. Perhaps a few people could go together to get one or maybe your quilt shop has one to rent.

  24. #24
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    MimiSharon, this is has happened to me more times than I like to admit.

    A regular 3" x 5" file card has lines 1/4 inch apart. Run it through your sewing machine to check the accuracy of your 1/4" foot.

    I have found that my 1/4" foot is just a scant bit big (but big enough to throw everything off) so I always shoot for a "scant" 1/4 inch.

  25. #25
    Super Member Nancy in Louisiana's Avatar
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    I wish someone would come out with a "scant quarter-inch" foot, then this wouldn't be an issue.

    And leaving out chocolate didn't work????

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