Tuesday, May 29, 2012

block piecing frustration!

I really miss my art quilting! I pledged this week that I would finish putting together a quilt that I'm doing as a gift, so I could get it ready to send out for professional long arm quilting. It's a bit of a problem for my blogging because I don't want the recipient to see it and I'm spending all my time on it!
Well, I'm having such trouble putting it together, I've decided to show one block and vent! While I'm no expert quilter, I have made many quilts, but this one is defeating me. You can see that it's a shoo fly block in which I've changed the colors.  I don't really know what it is called-- may have heard it called Lifesaver.

 I have ironed the seams as opposing seams, but I'm having a terrible time to get the points of the half square triangles to match nicely. I've trimmed it,  ironed it, pinned it, carefully and still end up ripping out several times. I have one more horizontal row to put together and then I must put the rows together which could be even worse. I'm going nuts!Any suggestions?
I'm linking to the Needle and Thread Network.

8 comments:

elle said...

Gee, Holly. Would pressing some of the seams open help?

Susan Being Snippy said...

I understand your frustration but practice and finding your best way of making those 1/2 square triangle work for you consistently is the trick. Do you cut the triangles first then sew or sew then cut? I find that I am very accurate when I cut squares, draw the diagonal sewing lines sew then cut the square inhalf and finally trim each one to its exact size. Now that is where tradition quilt block making becomes difficult for a free form artist! There are some good videos on You tube when it comes to piecing 1/2 square triangles...

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Susan has the right idea Holly....good luck.

Exuberant Color said...

I think this is the reason so many quilts have sashing between the blocks. It is always hard to get them perfect when blocks join. I usually roll the upper layer back, align the points perfectly even if the seam edges aren't matching and sew across. You can also baste the points first and get them perfect and then sew the seam. It takes longer of course.

Leslie McNeil of MarveLes Art Studios said...

Oh Holly - I so understand your dilemma, and sympathize! That is why I AM NOT a piecer, by general description! Hang in there --- someone who knows will have the advice you need. Unfortunately, I have none to offer, but I DO LIKE what you've done!

Grandma Coco said...

I think you're talking about the points when you try to piece 2 blocks together? When the extra layers of the seam allowances are all stacked up on top of one another when you're trying to stitch in the traditional manner. I have 2 suggestions... one is to press one seam allowance under and appliqué one block onto the other either by hand or by machine. Really accurate but it takes time. The second way is to match each point with a line of stitching that isn't continuous. Start at a point and stitch away from it in both directions. I find it's the movement of the stitching that causes the tiny shifts that keep the points from matching. There. Really long-winded. Good luck!

Regina said...

Your block is very nice.
Two things I do when sewing fiddly blocks together is sticking a pin vertically through points that must match up and then pinning on both side of that vertical pin.
Then, if needed, I sew just those points together, take the piece off the machine and check. It is easier to take out a couple of points than a whole row of stitching.
Another thing I learned is to start sewing blocks together from the start, as I have a chance to see where I have to take more care.
And the most important thing I have learned is the "30 feet from a galloping horse" rule! We are our own worst critics......good luck.

greelyrita said...

Does the picture show the problem you're having? The only thing I see that's a tiny bit off is the HST in the lower rt hand side. Is that the problem? That isn't terrible. I think Susan's suggestion of making them a tiny bit big and then trimming them down would fix that. Really, the 30'/galloping horse does apply here.