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Newbie question on cutting blocks
tigger
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tigger  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/5/05 9:46 AM

Hello all!

So I decided to cross over from garment making to quilting (to start doing both to be more precise) since I have always loved quilts and wanted to try it out.

I picked up a quick quilting magazine and decided to try to make a fairly simple block quilt where the blocks are made of a central block surrounded by 4 small triangles and then finished off by 4 larger triangles. (makes sense I hope - not into quilters language yet! )

Anyway this is my problem.

I cut my central square which is 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
I then cut a larger square which is 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches and then cut it in half twice to make my 4 small triangles.
Finally I cut a square 3 7/8 x 3 7/8 which I cut in half twice - two blocks which make up my 4 large triangles.

Now maybe it's because of some concept in garment sewing that I have and can't get past or maybe because I'm not very bright but I cannot get these triangles to turn out to be the right size to match my central square.

When I cut the larger square that eventually gets cut into quarters - the base of that triangle is just over 4 inches and so does not meet up to the size of my triangles - it overhangs! I've tried remeasuring and I've tried sewing them together right sides together and with the pieces side by side but I just think I have the wrong measurements or something.

Okay before this turns out to be a novel I'll stop and let you give me some words of advice - anything would help at this point.

thanks

a quilter wanna be!

Leora
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Leora
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In reply to tigger


Date: 10/5/05 10:13 AM

I think triangles are the bane of my existance. They are so hard for me.

Here are some tricks I have found useful. The Fool's Square Block uses a technique where you sew two squares together to create pieced triangles. For two half-square triangles, place two squares right sides together. Draw a diagonal line across top square and stitch a 1/4" seam on both sides of the line. Cut apart on the drawn line. This is particularly useful when working on scrap quilts.

I have found the base of the triangle does need to be larger because your seam is 1/4 inch and you will cut off excess.

Here are a few more helpful links to lessons:
Setting Triangle measurements

Cutting triangles

HTH

------
Leah

My blog:
http://www.journeytocouture.com

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

kmouse
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kmouse
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Missouri USA
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In reply to tigger


Date: 10/5/05 10:54 AM

Hmmm. Having taught beginning quilting for years, I wish I could see a pic of your block that you want to make. It sounds as though you are making a 9 inch block made up of 3 units across and 3 units down. Let me know if this is correct.

Your cutting measurements all include 1/4 inch seam allowances. I am assuming that you are indeed using an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance and not just the regular foot on your sewing machine.

Once you sew your triangle pieces together, you will have a finished square unit size of 3 inches OR A CUT SIZE OF 3 1/2 INCHES. In order to get that finished size mentioned you must cut the following:

For squares and rectangles, add 1/2 inch to the finished measurment - (3 inch) or 3 1/2 inch cut size

For half square triangles (that means each triangle takes up half the square), you add 7/8 inch to the finished measurement (3 7/8 inch). It takes 2 half-square triangles to make a square.

For quarter square triangles (it takes 4 of these to make up 1 square), you must add 1 1/4 inch to the finished measurement (3 inch) for a cut size of 4 1/4 inches.

You cannot simple sew a quarter square triangle to a half square triangle and come up with a complete square. You will need to sew 2 quarter square tris together and THEN sew them to a half square triangle. Are you sure that are not missing a step with the quarter square tris?

Though long-winded, this is the background stuff that goes into making your pieced segments for your entire block. Keep us posted.

tigger
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Date: 10/5/05 2:43 PM

Cheryl, Leora

Thanks so much for the tips and advice - I know that when I eventually get the hang of this I'll wonder what in the earth was wrong with me but - at the moment - I feel like I'm sewing my first pair of pants - very confused!

Cheryl

Here is exactly what I am trying to do -

Quilt Square Project

My problem is that when I try - in Diagram 1 - to sew the top triangles to the outside of the square - the borders don't match - the triangle border is longer than the square border. This causes me to have an uneven square in the finished product. Should the borders match up before sewing - and so then I must be cutting them wrong - or am I missing a basic construction point to get the first diagram construction finished correctly?

Leora - I am going to try your trick tonight - I actually read it online at one of your links and am going to go for it. I also went out and bought a Quick Quilting Better Home and Garden Kits that includes a simple Ohio Star Block project - I'm off to do that in a moment.

I'm hoping that the Ohio Star turns out well - if not I'll be back and maybe even show a picture of the sorry deed!


thanks so much for your help - I think its harder to learn quilting that it was to learn garment sewing - since you can have so many people make the same garment you can all compare notes - where as quilts are unique.

I'm just hoping I can learn the technique!

thanks guys
-- Edited on 10/5/05 3:48 PM --

twistedangel
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Date: 10/5/05 2:51 PM

I think you could be confusing the large and small triangles.

the math seems to work out...

long edge 3 7/8 triangle lines up with edge of center square 3 1/2... long edge of large triangle is 2 times the finished short edge of the triangles cut from 3 7/8 blocks.
2x(3/(square root 2)) = approx 4 1/4" (not accounting for seam allowances)

the short edge of the 3 7/8" square should be ...
(3 7/8") /(square root 2) = approx. 2 3/4"

check to see if that is correct.

I'm sorry if this is confusing. I'm an engineer.

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My website: http://www.twistedangel.us.com

twistedangel
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twistedangel
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In reply to tigger


Date: 10/5/05 3:01 PM

The triangle corners will slightly overhang, but the edges of the square and triangle should line up at the [wrong (1/4" seam)] ... should be at 1/2 from aligned edges in this case.

(edited)
|.\
|...\
----------
| :
| :
| :
| :
----------
|.../
|./
-- Edited on 10/5/05 4:02 PM --
-- Edited on 10/5/05 7:36 PM --

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My website: http://www.twistedangel.us.com

tigger
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Date: 10/5/05 4:10 PM

twistedangel

Maybe you're right and the instructions have got the triangles the wrong way around - I hadn't thought of that.

I'll try recutting a square and see if that works...although thinking about it...I'm still confused.....

I'll let you know how if that works out any better - it would mean the instructions are wrong and not my cutting - I guess that would be better

twistedangel
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twistedangel
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Date: 10/5/05 6:31 PM

Tigger , STOP! I see it! I see it!! I read the directions carefully, and...

It says "4 1/2 quarter squares" and "3 7/8 half squares".

You are only supposed to cut the 3 7/8 squares once!!

(I DOES look like you will have quite a bit of excess fabric on the ends of the triangles, just try to center the square on the triangle edge to the best of your ability)...

the way the pattern is set up... you will have an excess 1/4" for sewing the large triangles on. Your post with the photo must have came at the same time as my first post!

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My website: http://www.twistedangel.us.com

Leora
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Leora
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Date: 10/5/05 9:39 PM

I see what Cheryl and twistedangel are both saying and your illustration brings it all together.

After rereading your original post, you were right on track the whole time just unsure of the triangle corners not matching exactly.

I did a lot of seam ripping last Christmas when I did match up one of the corners and chopped off the other end to even it up. Of course, no points would match as the blocks were all wonky. It was a big lesson in triangles for me. Oh, and the second big lesson was to have extra fabric available to recut problem areas instead of ripping and salvaging. What a headache!

Hopefully you will post a pic.

------
Leah

My blog:
http://www.journeytocouture.com

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

tigger
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Date: 10/5/05 11:57 PM

Hey Leora, twistedangel

So it seems I was right - just confused by the excess fabric that I have at the triangle ends. Is that a badly drafted pattern or just the way things normally go?

I will have one more go tonight in completing the finished square and post a pic to let you see my result - I do have a couple finished already which - well look okay but not great at all - so I'll have one more go and see what you guys think.

The Ohio star project seems to be coming together much more easily - I'll post that as well.

So with the excess fabric I should just center the square edges over the triangle edges when I sew them together - to have some triangle edges hanging over on each end - right? If that is the case do you think the finished square will turn out....square?

thanks again guys - hate to say I won't be asking questions for a while because - just starting - I have much knowledge to gain!

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