Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Question from the beginning quilter here :)


I know sometimes when you sew a quilt block no matter how hard you try it comes out wonky. What are some of the ways they can be saved?
Do you do some of the following???

Do you cut them into smaller blocks?

Do you make an uneven border around them?

Do you just scrap them?

Do you use them like they are?

If you use them like they are do you make an uneven border?

What are some suggestions on how to fix uneven blocks!! I know I can certainly sew uneven blocks as a beginner :( Which I'm sure that might be the case in my blocks. I look at others and see every point is perfect and lined up evenly ... some of mine are off a tad. I think its because when I rotary cut .... I don't get the ruler set at the same place on the cutting line. Which puts me off just a tad. That really comes into play when your trying to sew everything together ... Its funny my first few blocks of each set are off a tad.. then as I sew along they become more and more even. Yes I do use the pin the seams and sew method.. but for some reason I always get off a tad..... So I figure its just a matter of time before all my blocks are even all the time ;) If I keep sewing blocks that is ;) One never realizes how much that little smidgen of extra fabric will throw off your even blocks.

15 comments:

Sherry said...

i am very much a beginner, and i have that very same problem, i have thought maybe i should get all of my fabric pre-cut and see how i do.

i love your work and your blog!

Carlotta said...

I am a beginner as well, but I don't ever worry about the seams not matching or having wonky blocks. As long as the quilt is functional, I don't really care.
~Tootles!

Sherry said...

I hate when my seams don't match up!! I get so irritated......but I'm learning to live with a tad. I don't make fancy quilts or I'd probably drive myself mad! When I look back at my Granny's quilts she was off several tads on some of her squares, but I still love them and wouldn't part with them for the world, wonky or not!!

Have a great "wonky" kind of day!
Sherry

Sue said...

I think everyone, beginner or seasoned, has this problem every once in a while!
By the way, welcome to the blog swap! I will be swapping with you for the Jo Morton signature pattern quilt! I'm excited!

NadineC said...

Well, if your cutting is off to begin with, then the sewing will most likely be off no matter what you do. I guess just being very consistent in how you set the ruler, and then hold it while you are cutting, is the key. Some folks use those sandpaper dots on the underside of the ruler to keep the ruler from slipping (but I don't like them). Holding the ruler with your fingers spread, and applying the right amount of pressure should work. But as to the sewing, I don't use pins. I prefer the "snug your seam" approach that Eleanor Burns uses (along with tossing the scraps over your shoulder - that's my favorite!). To "snug your seams" simply put your two pieces together, WST, and where the seams line up (making sure one SA is pressed in one direction and the other SA is pressed in the other direction), smoosh the two pieces together with your fingertips, almost rubbing back and forth to "snug" the seamlines. Hard to explain, but you can actually feel the seams "melding" at just the right spot - no pins needed. APP - am I going to have to come to Ta Town and show you??? Heehee.....

NadineC said...

Oops! I meant RST (RIGHT sides together) in my above post! "Read twice, post once" should be my motto!!! LOL!

AwtemNymf said...

*lol* Nadine! I havne't done any fancy schmancy quilts myself and again I haven't worked with blocks. So I will check this from time to time to see what everyone says? I's suggest also ask Sue of Blackberry Creek and Carla and Sharon. They've made many quilts and those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head that could give you some tips and tricks! Good Luck Hun! Hugs!!

Mistea said...

I do dodgy cutting and sewing and then turn the blocks which don't quite make the cut into something completely different than there initial destination. You can always just trim all the blocks to the same size when you are done, who ever knows what you were aiming for in the first place. Enjoy the process and the product.

Anonymous said...

So, how about saving your "wonky" (is that in the dictionary?) blocks to make a blanket for your Annies? Sew two wonkies together. You could either sew then RST and then turn inside out, or sew them backs together, and put a binding on them. If you use the stain on the blocks like you do on your Annies to grunge them, then the blanket will fit along with her. R

Becky said...

Thank you for posting the questions Aunt P! and thanks for all the answers!

I have never sewn blocks before so this disappearing 9 patch has been a fun challenge.

I plan to do more some day soon!

JRZ Jenn said...

When I was first learning to quilt (and for that matter I still live by this rule) my aunt told me "If you won't notice it when you're driving by at 25 miles an hour, chances are no one else will notice it but you."
I don't mind slightly off seams (no matter how hard I concentrate on my cutting and sewing sometimes it still happens). You might want to make a "wonky" quilt with all your "messed" up blocks. And if you don't want to re-do all the work of making the block, just add it in the quilt anyway - it just adds to the charm of something being handmade.

Tulsi said...

I took a beginning quilting class this summer. She said that the cutting is more important than the sewing. I smush my seams together but I also pin.

Rannyjean said...

Aunt P:
I use a 1/4" sewing foot, I use a rotary cutter but make sure I start and stop at the same line. When all else fails, I use the blocks to make a lap quilt for our family room where all anyone cares about is a warm quilt!

Carla said...

I'm a beginner too. I measure a half dozen times and sometimes it still comes out wrong. My biggest problem is getting a good scant 1/4 inche seam allowance.

Aunt Pitty Pat's Fun said...

Well ladies on the good scant 1/4 inch seam allowance.. I hear that if you measure from the needle with your ruler then lay down a piece of masking tape as your line to follow, you will have perfect seams every-time. I have done this when I don't have a good line to follow on my sewing machine plate. I am sure it will work wonderfully on 1/4 inch seams ;) Fonds and Porter can't be wrong when they suggested it on one of their shows ;)
M