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TOPIC: Sewing strips -- and keeping them straight

07 Apr 2008 07:28 #16911

I use a pile of post it notes on my machine to help guide my strips straight, even if I am using my quarter in foot. It helps by giving a longer guide before the strip even gets under the presser foot.
Last Edit: by mandysilk.
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06 Apr 2008 18:28 #16885

  • Lorchen
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Buy a truck load of spray starch..... Once tried you'll keep using it if you want very accurate piecing. Your blocks will be stiff, and you will have to wash your finished piece, but it's well worth the extra effort.

And here comes my confession: I'm a very tactile person and I play with fabrics because of the way they feel. It relaxes me. If I starch the fabrics before piecing I loose that feeling. So, if I make a quilt for myself I give myself the sensuous treat of working with soft fabric, but if I give away the finished quilt, I'll starch, and starch, and starch........ :)

Lorchen
From the edge of Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood
Last Edit: by Lorchen.
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06 Apr 2008 17:40 #16880

One more thing...press, don't iron...and definitely reverse sewing direction with each strip. Another thing that helps is to cut the strips on the lengthwise grain of the fabric. Dorene
Last Edit: by dorene3.
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04 Apr 2008 11:06 #16743

  • Margo
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Spitfire wrote:
I just wanted to add that in Sally Collins book "Mastering Precision Piecing" she mentions that if you're sewing long strips together (or borders) you should place your pins running parallel to the edge - and remove them as you get to them - instead of perpendicular. She says it causes less distortion in the sewing and therefore maybe less distortion in the pressing? As someone who's always had trouble sewing a straight line :lol: , I have tried it to add long borders to my quilts and find it works pretty well. I never thought proper pinning could make that much difference, but there it is. Hope this helps a little.
-Tina

She's a good one to learn from! Take a look at the gallery on her web site:
http://www.sallycollins.org/index.html

And I LOVE this quote that she has on her web site!

The single largest influence on our ability to succeed is attitude. The basic truth is: if we think we can, we will; if we think we can’t, we won’t. Attitude is the first choice we make, and it is one we have exclusive control over. Choosing a positive attitude ensures eventual success of any goal. The goal of quality workmanship is attainable for everybody and anybody who chooses it and is willing to work for it.


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
Last Edit: by Margo.
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04 Apr 2008 10:48 #16737

I just wanted to add that in Sally Collins book "Mastering Precision Piecing" she mentions that if you're sewing long strips together (or borders) you should place your pins running parallel to the edge - and remove them as you get to them - instead of perpendicular. She says it causes less distortion in the sewing and therefore maybe less distortion in the pressing? As someone who's always had trouble sewing a straight line :lol: , I have tried it to add long borders to my quilts and find it works pretty well. I never thought proper pinning could make that much difference, but there it is. Hope this helps a little.
-Tina

Arlington, WA
Last Edit: by Spitfire.
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04 Apr 2008 07:06 #16713

  • Margo
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STARCH, Definately starch! I use a lot of it, and find it's lots cheaper to buy the liquid starch (I use Sta-Flo in the blue bottle usually available at Wal-Mart) and mix it half/half with water in a spray bottle for a strong starch. I spray the fabric on an old towel to keep from soaking my ironing surface and let the liquid soak completely into the fabric before putting the heat to it. Of course, ya gotta be careful, 'cause you can iron that sucker out of whack the first time, and it's gonna stay there!! Ask me how I know THAT!!! :shock:
Starting with the straight line on the ironing surface is a huge help!


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
Last Edit: by Margo.
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04 Apr 2008 06:58 #16711

Someone on another thread suggested using a walking foot when sewing long stips. I'm gonna try that.
Sherry
Last Edit: by ipquilter.
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04 Apr 2008 01:49 #16697

I was also taught in a class years ago to alternate the direction of stitching strips. Also, make sure your fabric strips have been cut correctly with the grain so they aren't wonky before you start sewing them together. (But you probably already know that!--just thought I'd throw that in!) Judy :)
Last Edit: by Judymc.
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Basic piecing advice 03 Apr 2008 21:40 #16687

Lady Rags,
You are SO funny!! I love to read your funny words of advice especially when I've had a lousy day. Keep up your sense of humor..it's great!
Last Edit: by PCummings.
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03 Apr 2008 18:57 #16671

A few days ago I watched Episode 204 – Crazy about Curves with Louisa Smith. Someone asked Louisa the same question. She answered to piece them in sections. for example piece sets of 2, then sets of 4, next 8, etc.
Last Edit: by Lulabelle.
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03 Apr 2008 17:44 #16666

Thank you everyone for the great advice! I only wished I'd asked BEFORE I started to have so much trouble. I will try all these techniques -- but first I plan to make something simple to recover my confidence. Honestly, it was such a mess you can't imagine.

These all sound great and very do-able.

Kellie
Last Edit: by kmclaugh.
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03 Apr 2008 10:06 #16639

I agree with sewing in alternate directions. Also, when you press the strips, press them perpenticular to the ironing board instead of parallel. They come out less wonky and wavy.
Last Edit: by retiredgrandma5.
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03 Apr 2008 09:34 #16638

I, also, was told that if you are sewing long strips together, start at the top and sew down and then turn it around and sew the next strip then turn it around and sew the next strip and so on as it has a tendency to curve on you if you sew from the top each time.

Judy in AZ
Last Edit: by jbtaz36.
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03 Apr 2008 08:04 #16635

cjbeg wrote:
lwiniger,
we must be posting at the same time... HEE HEE! Funny, same advise.
Cheryl

great minds.... :)
Last Edit: by lwiniger.
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