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  1. #31
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    Quote Originally Posted by shirleyknot View Post
    Use a chopstick or something similar to hold the seam open as you press. You can get MUCH closer to the iron with no burnt fingers.
    That's a great idea! I don't have a chopstick, but I have one of those little wooden irons and that should do the trick.

    Quote Originally Posted by shirleyknot View Post
    And when the last dog comes home, it's YOUR quilt and you get to make the rules for it. Do it the way it works best for YOU. No one elses opinion matters. (and there ARE quilt police, we just don't care what they have to say since it isn't THEIR quilt)
    I agree! Experiment with different methods, but decide which is best for you because ultimately it's your quilt. You should have seen the verbal fights between my maternal grandmother and my aunt (my Dad's sister-in-law) have about quilting. They both made beautiful quilts. But my granny only put a sheet in the middle or nothing at all and my aunt would put an army wool blanket in the middle. My aunt said a quilt was to keep you warm and granny made light quilts because we lived in S. California! Why they could not just agree that one made winter quilts and the other summer quilts. Oh well.
    Last edited by Vonnie; July 7th, 2015 at 03:40 PM.
    Vonnie

  2. #32
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    You guys lost me on these technical explanations back at about comment #2. My advice: do whatever you want! If I stopped to wonder why all the time I would never get anything done. But I admire your attempt to rationalize it all out. I am not analytical. At all.

  3. #33
    9 Patch Princess

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    What I don't understand is when a pattern says sew a 1/2" (or higher) seam and then trim to 1/4". Why can't you just sew a 1/4" to begin with?
    Live, Learn, Sew!

  4. #34
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    Jeez. I asked a tricky one here. The whole thing started because I am kicking around a few ideas for backing. It got me thinking about when I do woodworking. Some woods are much more expensive than others so the location of the cut is critical. Also, the blade thickness must be considered. I can see lots of good points here. In the end is the thread stronger or the fabric? Depends. The thread is in shear and not tension while the fabric is in tension and not shear. Which is better? Depends!

    For some people, several 1/2" seams may make then difference of whether or not they have enough fabric. My quilt is 54x80. To do backing with extra material of 3in on each side, the fabric must be 43 1/2 wide. Not always achievable. I will instead use 4 big strips with several thin strips in between to make up the difference.: such as ||||.

    Glad I got everyone thinking!

  5. #35
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    I thought it was a great question! Check out this free Crafsty class for backs.

    Learn How To Back a Quilt In: Creative Quilt Backs



    Lorie

  6. #36
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrewer View Post
    Jeez. I asked a tricky one here. The whole thing started because I am kicking around a few ideas for backing. It got me thinking about when I do woodworking. Some woods are much more expensive than others so the location of the cut is critical. Also, the blade thickness must be considered. I can see lots of good points here. In the end is the thread stronger or the fabric? Depends. The thread is in shear and not tension while the fabric is in tension and not shear. Which is better? Depends!


    For some people, several 1/2" seams may make then difference of whether or not they have enough fabric. My quilt is 54x80. To do backing with extra material of 3in on each side, the fabric must be 43 1/2 wide. Not always achievable. I will instead use 4 big strips with several thin strips in between to make up the difference.: such as ||||.

    Glad I got everyone thinking!

    I just use extra wide fabrics for the back. Usually buy 103 inch stuff. I hand quilt and hate those extra seams in the backing, and most of my quilts are full- or queen-size. .........

  7. #37
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    My DH is a woodworker and has become interested in quilting. His biggest challenge is understanding that fabric does not behave like wood. You want to be accurate but won't be precise. If he tells me something is off by 1/64th again he may be banned from the sewing room. He is great at running EQ and designing quilts.
    I do buy wide back material so I don't have to piece the back.
    Ann

  8. #38
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    Makes sense to me as well snippet. Love the discussion!
    Quote Originally Posted by jbrewer View Post
    It kinda makes sense. Considering the yield strength of fabric is much much lower than that of the thread.

    [[/I]



    I LOVE math.

  9. #39
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    With woodworking, a fine piece of bird's eye or quilted maple may be perfect but at $20 bf there may be a sight imperfection you have to work around for some projects but desirable for others. I understand the 1/64 offset. This can make the difference between a crappy frame and a great gift. As a mechanic, tolerances are sometimes (not always) vital for operation.

    I have finished my first top and will finish the backing this week and have it quilted soon after. I have a few more ideas for my next quilt. This is a surprise for my wife so I can't be quilting out in the open just yet! I will post pictures when I'm done. I went to the quilt shop to check it out and they didn't have extra wide black backing so I bought a really cool print I liked. I went back today and bought more. A bit pricey but live and learn. It is good cloth after all.

    I'm glad I got everyone thinking. It reminds me of when I went to the local hobby shop looking for components for class projects such as solar powered cars. "I need a 61 tooth gear with 21 pitch," and they guy behind the counter was puzzled because he didn't know what model it fit so he couldn't look it up. He couldn't build a car from scratch if he had to. Think about yourselves. Could you make your own design or pattern from scratch? I think you could and probably do. I did. I'm a mechanic for Pete's sake!

    I love this forum!

  10. #40
    Block Queen

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    Default Re: Understanding seam allowance-from a mechanical engineering perspective (new guy)

    My DH is an engineer also. My hands are damaged by RA and often he cuts fabric for me. I had to smile all through this thread. His issue is the movement of fabric as opposed to wood and metal.

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