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TOPIC: Marking "wrong size" blocks

06 Apr 2009 19:58 #34107

  • Mailmanldy
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Patti,

It takes practice to get to be perfect, and even then, it doesn't always happen. As long as you learn something with everything you do, and can apply that to your next project, then it is not a loss.

As you said, you are producing a cleaner result because of your efforts. So just keep doing it, and eventually, your results will be as good as you want them. If something didn't turn out right, look at it and figure out what you did wrong. Then with the next one, you can figure out what NOT to do, so it will turn out right.

I just started on the feathered star last night, and on one of my sections, I noticed that one of my points wasn't pointy. It isn't that noticable, I'm probably the only one that would even notice it, but I took a look at it, and realized that when I pressed that seam, I didn't quite get my fabric as flat against the seam as I could have, and that is what caused my point to be off. From that point on, I made a point of making sure my pressing was more accurate, and the rest of my sections have almost perfect points. The fact that I can look at a mistake, and figure out where I was off, and then correct it, is a major accomplishment in my quilting, but it has taken me awhile to get to the point where I can pinpoint my mistakes.

With this BOM, there are many opportunities to do the same thing over and over. If you pay attention to what you are doing, and how to improve it with each section or block, then by the time you have made the last one, it should show improvement over your first ones.

Remember, YOU get to decide how accurate you want to be. If you want to strive for perfection, there is nothing wrong with that, but just realzie that as long as you learn something, anything, new, and can take that on to your next project, you accomplished something important. You can enjoy the process and strive for perfection at the same time, but just don't let the fact that your blocks aren't perfect take away the joy from your quilting.

Something I have started doing with some of my quilt projects that involve doing something new. I will take some scrap fabric, and make a block or two, so I can get an idea of the process that I'm trying to learn. Then when I'm comfortable with what I'm doing, I will use my "good" fabric that is going to go into the quilt. This way, I can use up my scraps, and learn something before I work on the "real" quilt. If my "practice" blocks look really bad, I can throw them away, and not be concerned if I have enough fabric to finish my quilt. If they look good, I can either use them in a sampler/scrappy quilt or for totebags, placemats, tablerunners, what ever.

No matter how accurate you strive to be... remember to have FUN!!!!

Diane in Colorado Springs
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Marking "wrong size" blocks 06 Apr 2009 16:00 #34096

  • PosyP
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Patti, when I first started sewing clothes, I was always making seam allowances too small, so things didn't go together too well and my mum always said ' just keep moving and no one will notice!' :lol: I always think that when things are not matching up. So keep it moving!

yours in the cause
Rosemary


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06 Apr 2009 06:41 #34067

  • Margo
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Ease up on yourself, Patti!! Remember that "only God does perfect"!

We are dealing with FABRIC here! This stuff stretches in three different directions. Do the best you can to make it accurate (measure, cut, stitch and press precisely) because it will make the next step easier. But more important, is to enjoy the process and be pleased with the product.

Just think of all the new stuff that we are learning that we will be able to apply to our quilt projects from now on! We are all getting better!


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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05 Apr 2009 20:33 #34050

Oh my, this is almost painful for me. I cannot get perfect with all the effort I can put into my quilts. This is my 2009 resolution and why I'm doing this BOM aside from the sheer beauty of it. I am so trying hard to reform my inaccurate ways. But I have to let myself off the hook. What's that saying? Shoot for the stars and hit the moon. My efforts are definitely producing a cleaner result. But I can't get perfect no matter how hard I try.
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05 Apr 2009 11:00 #34034

  • Margo
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Diana, you are so smart to figure out WHY your blocks weren't measuring correctly!! It's lots easier to do that with the first blocks so you don't have to go back and correct or compensate for little errors that grow exponentially bigger!

MEASURE, CUT, STITCH AND PRESS ACCURATELY!!

With that said, I also believe that everyone has their own level of perfection that they are willing to live with.

But those calipers scare me!!!! :shock:


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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05 Apr 2009 10:10 #34032

Dear Anne,
My DH bought me my own caliper. It was very inexpensive (about 20 USD). I think he was tired of my borrowing his. It will measure to .0005". I don't use it when cutting or piecing but I do use it when troubleshooting accuracy problems. My first Sawtooth star wasn't lining up on the edges and I wanted to know why. Turns out I had mis-cut some of the background corner squares by 1/16" (O.625") and that rolled up to an 1/8" off for the block, which would have been 2.25" short on each side. Of course I can compensate for that but I can fix the rest of them instead. The caliper is very handy for sorting pins when someone (*#@*) gets them mixed up too. I also pull it out for verifying templates and accuracy of 1/4" seam allowances.

Here is the link to the one DH bought for me if you are interested.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=47257

Diana

PS I don't think everyone should approach it this way. I have a close friend that has seams 1/4" or more off but with incredible design work. We just joke that she needs another class in remedial pinning. :lol:
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05 Apr 2009 04:56 #34025

  • EditorAnne
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Rorimer wrote:
This reminded me of when I asked DH to cut some templates for a friend's church project. DH asked what size and I told him, 2" by 5". He asked if it was okay if they were 100th of an inch or so off because he couldn't cut them exactly 2 by 5! 100th of an inch off, give me a break!

JoAnne

What I want to know is what he measured them with. I've never seen a ruler that has 1/100 inch lines on it!

Anne in Vancouver, Canada

in Vancouver, Canada
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03 Apr 2009 14:08 #33992

  • Margo
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Good answer, Hanne-Grete!! Good answer!!

(btw...that phrase comes from an old game show called Family Feud)


It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
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03 Apr 2009 13:21 #33990

I am an engineer :shock: I like both perfect and done, but because I am only human I need to forgive myself for the blunt pionts that occures on my stars. BUT, when it comes down to bridges it needs to be perfect 8) :D :wink:
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Marking "wrong size" blocks 03 Apr 2009 04:42 #33987

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Ladies I also have an engineer for a husband and when he is working in metal he works to a THOU(sandth) of an inch!!! He has also boasted about filing metal to half a thou 8) Could be a bit tricky to try that with fabric though :lol:

I don't let him anywhere near my sewing projects :wink: , because we are just sooo not on the same wavelength when talking about fabric, and we need to try and preserve some sanity :lol: :lol:

Rosemary


Embroideress Extrordinaire & Mad Hatter
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18 Mar 2009 02:17 #33452

Karen, how on earth did guess about him being an engineer?! Seems like they're all the same! He's retired now and making "perfect" shaker nesting boxes and furniture. I am not kidding, they are perfect to within a hundredth of an inch!

Those templates I asked him to make were to be used for cutting the ribbing for babies' nightgowns. You know just how accurately those have to be cut!

To quote the teacher whose class I attend weekly, "There's perfect and there's done!" DH likes perfect and I like done. It's worked for us for almost 36 years. "Loosey goosey" that's what I am! I love it!

If you don't know what Shaker boxes are, you can look here:

http://www.shakerworkshops.com/catalog/browse/shaker-oval-boxes?gclid=CNKEwbD3q5kCFSEgDQodWyxRKA

I'm trying to get him to make me the wooden part of a Shaker pin cushion, I told him I'd make the pin cushion part.

JoAnne
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18 Mar 2009 01:50 #33450

  • KakeM
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Rorimer wrote:
This reminded me of when I asked DH to cut some templates for a friend's church project. DH asked what size and I told him, 2" by 5". He asked if it was okay if they were 100th of an inch or so off because he couldn't cut them exactly 2 by 5! 100th of an inch off, give me a break!

I thought you might enjoy this chuckle!

JoAnne

Oh my JoAnne - is your DH an engineer? My engineer hubby is just like that and we have had that conversation a time or two. He doesn't understand fabric templates at all let alone how one can "ease" in or out a tiny fraction of difference in a pattern once it is cut. Oh but I love the guy just like he is....he compliments my loosey goosey ways sometimes...I want things done well, but perfect is most times too difficult to achieve...isn't it? :)


Living in the beautiful Carson Valley of Western Nevada
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18 Mar 2009 01:26 #33447

This reminded me of when I asked DH to cut some templates for a friend's church project. DH asked what size and I told him, 2" by 5". He asked if it was okay if they were 100th of an inch or so off because he couldn't cut them exactly 2 by 5! 100th of an inch off, give me a break!

I thought you might enjoy this chuckle!

JoAnne
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17 Mar 2009 23:14 #33442

  • kathyst2
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Margo wrote:
Kathy, your 1/16"-1/8" difference makes it darn near perfect in my book! We are dealing with fabric here! It stretches and it can be eased if necessary. GOOD JOB!!

Thanks, Margo. That 1/8" too small for each block makes the border 1-1/4 inches too short, especially if I had continued using the too-large seam allowance that got them small in the first place. This quilt is such an opportunity for me to slow down and work accurately.

The label thing is just a suggestion for anyone who is frustrated trying to keep track of all those blocks.

No quilt police allowed in my house!

Kathy :D
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