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Thread: how do you keep your block layout straight

  1. #1
    Junior Member showmehow's Avatar
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    how do you keep your block layout straight

    I have a small sewing room, no place to layout my blocks. I placed them on my bed to see how I wanted the pattern to go, as I picked them up i realized how easily I could mess the pattern up. Is there some method I could use to keep that from happening? Im a super new quilter.
    Live well, Love often, Pray daily

  2. #2
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    There are safety pins that have letter beads (a-z). You could pin each of the blocks in the order you want to sew them. Then do a rapid diagram with the coordinating letters.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Stickers! Every block gets a sticker with row number and position number and a sticker on the edge that is supposed to be sewn. I also try to pick them up in a logical way.....but often my logic escapes me later!

  4. #4
    Cyn
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    I snap a picture with my phone and print it out to put under the clear extention table of my machine. I also use pins to keep each row in order.

  5. #5
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    I simply use business type file folder labels. I write on them and stick them on the blocks. Don't need to spend extra money on fancy pins.
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  6. #6
    QM
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    what I do after I do a layout is stack each row (being careful to be consistent that I move from left to right), then put a safety pin in the lower left corner of the stack. Then I go from top to bottom 'collecting' stacks. If I am not going to sew them immediately, I pin my stacks together. sometimes I also use post it notes on each stack. Of course, you still have to remember what the pin in the corner stood for, or write it down and attach it.

  7. #7
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    I have a basic design wall to put my blocks up on. I also have laminated row/ block markers. You can pin up a plastic flannel tablecloth on a wall or rod for a basic design wall or even pin your blocks to your curtains. Row markers can be made with sticky notes and a safety pin. You number the notes Row 1/ Block 1...Row 1/ Block 2 and so on.

  8. #8
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    I need a visual. ALWAYS take a photo of arrangement. 2 reasons...the cameras eye..helps me decide some things too! Have fun!!
    I used digital, when downloaded on computer, the have a great start record. :0)
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  9. #9
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniePenny View Post
    I simply use business type file folder labels. I write on them and stick them on the blocks. Don't need to spend extra money on fancy pins.
    I like this idea. It always bugs me to get my blocks out of order. Seems like they get scrambled in my brain going from the design board to my sewing machine.

    Linda

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    use your phone as CYN suggested

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyn View Post
    I snap a picture with my phone and print it out to put under the clear extention table of my machine. I also use pins to keep each row in order.
    This is what I do. I also do this when I'm chosing fabric combinations for a quilt. You know what they say "a picture is worth a thousand words" of course when you are quilting and then have to use the seam ripper because you put it together wrong the picture would save you a thousand words that can't be said in public or at least shouldn't be said in public.
    Judy

  12. #12
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    Using my cell phone camera and lots of labels works for me, too. It is so frustrating to get them out of order.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Newby0709's Avatar
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    I have a small sewing area and small house without a wall for even a wall to hang a design wall. I lay out a flannel sheet on a table then lay out the blocks. Since I rarely have time to finish the assembly I have taken pictures which I really like. Then I fold up the sheet over the blocks carefully. I can unfold as I am ready to work on the top.

  14. #14
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    I do both suggestions, pinning to keep in order and marking with sticky notes.

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    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I like your flannel sheet idea, Newby. If you fold carefully or roll it up you could unfold a row at a time as you sew.

  16. #16
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newby0709 View Post
    I have a small sewing area and small house without a wall for even a wall to hang a design wall. I lay out a flannel sheet on a table then lay out the blocks. Since I rarely have time to finish the assembly I have taken pictures which I really like. Then I fold up the sheet over the blocks carefully. I can unfold as I am ready to work on the top.
    This also works with a flannel backed tablecloth. I also take a picture just in case blocks/pieces get mixed up.
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  17. #17
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I use a design wall.

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    I have wooden clothes pins. I mark each one by row and number,apply to the blocks in order,then it's easier to keep them where they should go. I'm famous for sewing stuff upside down and backwards...repeatedly!
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  19. #19
    Senior Member kyquiltlover1942's Avatar
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    I use the small yard sale type stickers with the A, b, c, going down and numbers going a cross. A-1, A-2 etc. I also take pictures a a rearrange them and finally after I settle on the final layout.

  20. #20
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    No need for fancy pins - if you have flower head pins you can write on the "flower" part with a sharpie

  21. #21
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    I use flannel-backed tablecloth, the flannel side. I lay it on my bed while thinking and juggling. Then I roll it up for the night and unroll the next morning. I learned this while taking a class, just roll and go!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
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  22. #22
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    I use little sticky tags. Cheap a the dollar store and I don't have to worry if I drop one and loose a needle in the floor.(diabetic) When I am cutting pieces for blocks, I often use a piece of scrap paper and a pin.
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  23. #23
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Jane View Post
    I use flannel-backed tablecloth, the flannel side. I lay it on my bed while thinking and juggling. Then I roll it up for the night and unroll the next morning. I learned this while taking a class, just roll and go!!
    I like this idea. That way you can just roll and unroll later for another look before making a final decision! Thanks for sharing!
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  24. #24
    Senior Member collady's Avatar
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    Here is a method that I have used with success in the past. After laying the blocks out in the order I like, I take a manila folder for each row and place the blocks in the folder with the first block on the left on the top. I place each block in order under the first. Each folder is labeled is as to the row, first, second, third, etc. It works well for me.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    I covered a large piece of cardboad (about 24X24) with a flannel backed table cloth, and wraped it to the back and taped it with masking tape. My fabric sticks to it just fine. I also have a full size table cloth pinned to my wall for the project as I put it together. I have a small one I use at the swing machine so I don't get the pieces out of order.
    Last edited by misspriss; 03-05-2013 at 03:59 PM.

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