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TOPIC: Sewing 60 Degree triangles so hexagon lays flat

23 May 2007 09:25 #4617

Florence, if you get a chance, be sure to check out the book. There are some amazing quilts in there!

Chelley
Last Edit: by aggiebabe.
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23 May 2007 09:18 #4616

When all else fails, you could create templates and mark your seam lines. Check out Sally Collins' "Mastering Machine Piecing" for some really good tips. I've started marking seams and corners for some Lone Star variations I've been playing with, an it has really made a difference. For me, it is faster to mark than to rip and re-sew.
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23 May 2007 07:07 #4613

Thanks so much for putting up the link! I just hadn't had the time to google the term to find out what exactly this was-- WAY COOL! Add another quilt to the ever-too-long list of things I want to do! Florence
Last Edit: by florence.
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23 May 2007 01:19 #4612

Thanks, those are good ideas! I already have another piece of fabric picked out and I'll try to work in some variation when I cut it. I can't wait to see your pictures!

Edited to add this link: http://thequiltasylum.blogspot.com/

I just found this blog. There are some good examples there of OBW's made of different types of fabrics. I LOVE the Amy Butler one!

Chelley
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22 May 2007 19:02 #4610

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Chelly,

Thanks for letting me know that you haven't had any trouble with the Creative Grid ruler. I may wait to cut any more fabric until I get that. A friend of mine suggested using the Mercury Template Ruler. That looks like it would work for many different shapes, not just the 60 degree. One could spend a fortune on notions, and still not have them all. :D

I have noticed a few of my blocks being "similar", but I think they are off just enough that when I lay them out, they will either blend nicely, or I may not use some of them at all in my quilt. The first fabric I bought for this technique, it was an all over design, and the design wasn't large enough and the colors were so similar, that all the blocks looked the same from a distance, and unless you got close and inspected the blocks, you wouldn't know they were all different. Those blocks will probably end up being potholders rather than a quilt. (I picked some inexpensive fabric from JoAnns, with a 6 inch repeat, and only got enough for 6 repeats, so only got 19 stacks out of it).

I did notice when I was cutting my fabric, I had a little "play" room, so I could move the ruler up to 1 inch to get my cuts in a little different spot, and still get the most stacks out of the strip. I also turned some of my strips around and cut from the other end, so that they would start in a different place on the design. You could also start cutting with the angle on the ruler going the opposite way, instead of the fat end being close to you on the first cut, rotate it so it's on the top on some of the strips. If you didn't need all the stacks from a strip, you could always trim off a bit of the fabric to move the point of your hex to someplace else in the fabric. That should help get some varaition in your hexes.

Diane
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22 May 2007 17:35 #4605

Hi, Diane. I agree, it might be the cutting. I have the creative grids 60 degree triangle ruler and my blocks have all gone together just fine.

Have you noticed any duplicates in your kaleidoscopes? I am not really happy with the fabric that I chose. It has a subtle stripe in the background and it messes with the design. It's just a technique learning quilt for me, though, so this one doesn't really matter. I have noticed that I'm getting quite a few duplicates even with a large repeat. I am going to have to try taking them apart and rotating the angles to see if that helps.

Or, heck ... I might just mix 'em all in and not worry about it!

Good luck!
Chelley
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22 May 2007 12:52 #4600

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Teri,

That is correct, the hexes will be lined up so they are staggered across the quilt. On two of the edges, I can either use half hexes to fill in the space, or take half away, to get the straight edge. On the other sides, I can either trim the hexes to get the straight edge, or fill in with extra fabric, or even border fabric. That is what is so cool about this design, the possibilities are endless.

Making kaleidoscopes from the layers fabric, each set of triangles is different from the others, and you never know what you are going to get until you sew them together. Also with this, the straight of grain is on the outside of all the blocks, so the bias edges are the ones sewn together.

I have been very careful in sewing, not to push my fabric under the needle, and I have a Pfaff using the IDT, so that it feeds the fabric evenly. This is why I think it may be in my cutting and not my sewing.
I will be trying some of the suggestions here to keep my ruler from slipping, and I have put a new blade in my rotary cutter, so that I'm not shifting my fabric. (Plus I have it pinned well, so that my layers don't shift while cutting so my kaleidoscopes turn out well).

Thanks for the help.
Diane
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22 May 2007 12:37 #4598

Diane,
Because of the angle being used here you're going to need to off-set the rows so that the hexagons line up and your center points match. This should work. Line up your hexagons and everything else should fall into place.

I'm guessing from the cover of the book that later on you're going to go back and square off the quilt once you have all of the rows stitched together. Unless of course you're adding fabric triangles to each end as a border or outline as you're going along.

Try that and get back to me.

Teri
Teri

Quilting is a Beautiful & Complicated Art!
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22 May 2007 12:18 #4597

p.s. on your pressing board, you might try using a piece of well starched muslin with the exact size of your blocks drawn on w/perm ink. so you can gently coax them into the proper shape.
Last Edit: by lwiniger.
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22 May 2007 12:10 #4596

dianne..... your concern about the ruler slipping may be your problem...try putting a strip of blue painter's tape on the measure line(s). this will allow you to nudge the ruler against the edge of your fabric correctly everytime. ..and might help prevent slipping.
also try a new sharp rotary blade. so you don't have to exert too much pressure, which can cause slipping. and consider how many layers you are trying to cut at one time.

it sounds like you are pressing carefully, teri mentioned sewing slowly, also make sure you guide the pieces under the needle with a light touch so you're not causing any stretching there.

good luck :)
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22 May 2007 12:06 #4595

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Teri,

I am pressing the seams open.

I am only sewing 3 of the triangles together, and not completing the block. According the to book, when you get your hexagons laid out, you sew half hexs in a row, and then sew the rows together, which create the finished hexs. ( you don't know where each hex will be in the finished quilt until you have them all laid out on your design wall and move things around to please). That way, you don't have any Y seams to sew. I can tell when I press though that IF I were to complete my hexs, they wouldn't be flat as they don't line up on the grid on my pressing board.

I am using a pressing board to line up my edges, just to make sure I don't pull on my bias, but they still seem to come out uneven. Which is why I'm thinking my cutting may be off just enough to keep them from being TRUE equalateral triangles.

Diane
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Hexagons 22 May 2007 12:00 #4594

The biggest issue with hexagons is that four of the six sides are bias, so you must be very careful when pressing (NOT ironing) the seams. They stretch slightly out of shape so easily. Ask me how I know. :(

Pat in Rockport, TX
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22 May 2007 11:49 #4592

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Hi Chelley,

I actually have fabric to make at least 6 more of these quilts, which is why I wanted to figure out how to get all my hexagons to be flat before I start on the next one for cutting. (If that is the problem, I don't want to make the same mistake cutting as I did on my first one.)

I don't know if I lined up my ruler just a bit off, so that one side isn't as long as the others, or if it slipped a bit when cutting. I am using a long ruler and the 60 degree line, rather than a 60 degree triangle ruler. I have been looking at different rulers and contemplating buying one for these quilts, if that would help. I was leaning towards the Creative Grids, with the grips, or just putting grips on my ruler. Perhaps that will help in keeping my ruler from moving when I do make my cuts.

Good luck with your quilt, I love to see all the different blocks as I sew them together. It just amazes me how different they all are.

Diane
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22 May 2007 11:43 #4591

Couple of things I can think of with all of those seams coming together:
1) when stitching to the point stitch only to where the seams meet, not all the way through
2) press the seams open
3) stitch three pieces together to form half of the unit, stitch the next three pieces together to form the second half of the unit then stitch those units together, pushing the other seams out of the way (it's a bit of a pain but it can be done) and only stitch to that center point (take a back stitch each time just to lock the seam)
4) when pressing make sure to press, not iron, ironing will pull the bias out of whack
5) use pins, particularly where the centers are all going to meet.
6) stitch slowly, when approaching where the points meet, this always helps me.

Let me know if you need more help.

Teri
Teri

Quilting is a Beautiful & Complicated Art!
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