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Forum > Quilters' Corner > what am I doing wrong? ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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what am I doing wrong?
Learn To Sew
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Date: 3/19/12 7:38 PM

I am remaking my 9 patch blocks. I measured the strips I had precut very well. They were a wonderful 2.5 inches wide. Then I measured the 2nd color and they are 2.5 inches wide. So i sewed color A to color B and pressed well. Then I sewed color A agaisnt color B to make a strip. (A-B-A strip) I pressed and checked. they are 1 QUARTER INCH SHORT. How in the world did this happen???

Now I must check and see if B-A-B is also too short. Yes, it is too. What is wrong??

I sewed a few practice seams with the Bernina and it makes a lovely quarter inch stitch. The Pfaff might be a thread wider is all. No, I did not move the needle on the Pfaff this time.

What do I do? I am pulling my hair out right now.
-- Edited on 3/19/12 7:39 PM --

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I really enjoy quilting. I love to play with fabrics, colors and pictures. I recently discovered how much fun applique can be. As I love making pictures, landscape quilting can be challenging, but seeing the picture come to life is so rewarding.
Bernina 630, my main machine
Pfaff 2036, my class machine
Babylock Molly
Bernina 1200DA serger
Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 3/19/12 7:44 PM

How wide are all three strips sewn together? 6" or 6.5"? What does the middle piece, B, measure from seam to seam? It should be 2".

I think the 1/4" on your machine is off--just a tad. And sometimes when we cut, we don't always cut at exactly the width we need; sometimes we will have dips in our cutting, which will make our blocks off when we sew them.

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Vireya
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Date: 3/19/12 7:49 PM

It sounds as if your seam allowance is a little wider than you want it to be. Measure it and see. Measure the distance from the needle to whatever you are lining up your sewing against. If that distance isn't what you want it to be, you will have to either move the needle, or change what you are lining up with as you sew.

KathySews
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Date: 3/19/12 7:58 PM

deep breath - walk away for a while

2 1/2 inch strips when sewn A-B-A should result in 6 1/2 inch wide because you still have 1/4 in seam allowance on each side
A = 2 1/4
B = 2 (since it has 2 seams)
C = 2 1/4

when sewn the block would be 6 in - right?

Another thought - I have sometimes ironed my seams a little off so there was fabric folded in that was a wee distance from the actual seam -- does that make sense?
-- Edited on 3/19/12 8:00 PM --

Sharon1952
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Date: 3/19/12 7:59 PM

Many beginning quilters think that the presser foot is 1/4" wide and it's not. It is actually about 1/16" wider on many models. When you add up all those 1/16s you lose width. Do you have a true quarter inch foot? Also sewing with a finer needle and thread will make it more accurate.

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Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

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In reply to Learn To Sew <<


Date: 3/19/12 8:11 PM

I agree with Miss Fairchild... Even though you are using a 1/4 inch foot does not mean that you will automatically get a 1/4 inch seam if you have not tested the distance from the needle drop to the guide or edge of the foot. In my Janome I have to adjust my needle drop by .1mm to the right. Otherwise I would get a SA slightly larger than 1/4 inch.

I do not know the needle positions of the Pfaff so it may be that if the 1/4 inch foot is to work with the needle in center position then maybe your machine needs adjusting. I am not a Pfaff expert so I can not knowledgeably talk about your machine. A simple test can be done with 1/4 graft paper of sometimes index cards because the lines are 1/4 inch apart. If the paper test reveals you 1/4 inch is off then call your Pfaff dealer to ask if an adjustment can be done. Sometimes a needle striking the needle plate can throw the alignment out of wack. It's work the check.

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In reply to KathySews <<


Date: 3/19/12 8:13 PM

"Another thought - I have sometimes ironed my seams a little off so there was fabric folded in that was a wee distance from the actual seam -- does that make sense?"

If it is any help, I have done this also.

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In reply to KathySews <<


Date: 3/19/12 9:28 PM

I will answer you, Kathy, because I measured as you suggested. They are all too narrow. Which means the seam is not a true quarter seam. I had to change from my BL to the Pfaff, as the seams were not accurate. I will not take my new Bernina into classes, but will use it here. I checked the quarter inch seam on the Pfaff many times. It is me......

I moved the needle on some of the blocks 1 notch to the right. Not on all of them, as I forgot to do it until it was too late. I have a quarter inch foot on the machine, and the hole is small, so that is all I can move it over.

I rechecked the fabric strips and I found that they were a little shorter than I thought. So, I will square up and cut more of them. Then resew the seams with the Bernina (57 foot) and measure.

What I am really concerned about is I HAVE to have this all done by Sat morning, and it looks like I have to redo ALL the 9 patch blocks. I have redo a couple of the 4 patch too. I learned them on the same day and was barely understanding my ruler. Only 12 of them to redo.

I bet I must redo ALL the rail fence too. (9 of those to redo) Those we learned first and I am sure they are also too short. It takes me a while to learn something new. At the speed I am expected to learn all this, mistakes will happen...

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I really enjoy quilting. I love to play with fabrics, colors and pictures. I recently discovered how much fun applique can be. As I love making pictures, landscape quilting can be challenging, but seeing the picture come to life is so rewarding.
Bernina 630, my main machine
Pfaff 2036, my class machine
Babylock Molly
Bernina 1200DA serger
Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L

Learn To Sew
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In reply to Sharon1952 <<


Date: 3/19/12 9:30 PM

She has us using a topstitch 14, which every one here says is really a large needle. Suggestions? At this point will changing the needle to something smaller help at all?

DH thinks I should cut the fabric 1/8th larger for each color and then measure and sew and see what happens. It could not be worse, I guess.

------
I really enjoy quilting. I love to play with fabrics, colors and pictures. I recently discovered how much fun applique can be. As I love making pictures, landscape quilting can be challenging, but seeing the picture come to life is so rewarding.
Bernina 630, my main machine
Pfaff 2036, my class machine
Babylock Molly
Bernina 1200DA serger
Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L

Learn To Sew
star
Learn To Sew  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Member since 4/12/05
Posts: 11530
Send Message

      



Date: 3/19/12 9:49 PM

I did a test on index cards. I had the needle in the normal position with the Pfaff quarter inch foot on. Then I sewed along the line, with the foot guide against the edge of the paper. It went right down the line.

Then I moved it to the right 1 notch. I can only do a one notch change with this foot, as the hole in the foot is small. This time when I sewed it, it was barely inside the quarter inch area. Maybe a threads difference. Not more than that.

I did find my fabric is a little narrow, so I am cutting more strips.

I'll keep trying. I was just enjoying sewing so much and now I might have to redo a lot of it. The teacher told me she would help me, but she is not here to tell me what I should do. She did not know what to tell me about fabric going down the hole when I asked her. She had no clue, as it never happened to her.

If time was not an issue, I would not be stressed out so much.

------
I really enjoy quilting. I love to play with fabrics, colors and pictures. I recently discovered how much fun applique can be. As I love making pictures, landscape quilting can be challenging, but seeing the picture come to life is so rewarding.
Bernina 630, my main machine
Pfaff 2036, my class machine
Babylock Molly
Bernina 1200DA serger
Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L

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