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Thread: How do you.....

  1. #1
    Missouri Star

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    Default How do you.....

    When you are putting a quilt together...how do you keep everything straight? Making sure that your blocks don't get flipped and sewn wrong sides on a row and whatnot? I have ripped apart 2 rows today and pieced them back together again to fix stupid mistakes.....I just need to find a better way to keep everything in line when I'm piecing....
    Michele

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How do you.....

    I don't have a space for a permanent design wall, so I lay the blocks out on the floor of the living room. I pin the edges that need to be sewn together so I don't accidentally stitch the wrong edges.
    I have also heard of people using an old roll up window shade and covering it with flannel so they can pull it up out of the way. I think they can leave the blocks on it when it rolls up. I think you might be able to get away with making a narrow design wall on the back of an unused door. You can make it on frame or canvas if you don't want to mess up the door itself.
    When it comes to block assembly, I chain piece all of the same at one time. Then I tend to not mess up so much stuff. My mess ups come when I have to remember to cut reverse pieces for the blocks. I think I have enough extra pieces to make a few quilts if I went back & cut the reverses for my mess ups.
    For the more complicated blocks I actually label the pieces in the seam allowances so I don't get them all mixed up.
    I think that you will just have to find what works the best for you.
    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How do you.....

    Thanks. I have everything up on the design wall (I took an old flannel backed tablecloth and hung it from the rafters in my sewing area) but it's on the opposite wall from my sewing machine and right now I'm finding myself having to get up after every couple of blocks so that everything stays straight. The up down up down of it is annoying. So I tried taking an entire row and doing the blocks by pairs. I ended up having to rip 2 pairs back out.

    I think that I may just need to come up with a better workflow in my area to get from my iron to my table to my wall. Right now there are too many steps between each and the up down back and forth is hard on my back.

    Thanks for the idea of pinning the edges...that might help so that I can keep an entire row straight and be able to chain piece easier.
    Michele

  4. #4
    Honey Bun

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    Default Re: How do you.....

    I use zip lock bags and post it notes with the rows and such written on them. I put borders and extras in the bags, then keep everything in the pattern book, or put it in a larger bag or folder. This way, if something ends up in a UFO pile the fabric I need is all together, making it easier to go back to.

    For the larger quilt I am working on for my bed, I keep everything in a laundry basket, as it is getting to large for the bags (I have rows together, and am working on the sashing).

  5. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How do you.....

    thanks for the suggestion!! I'm trying to stay away from storing it in bags and such...for me that will only encourage me to not get it completed in a timely manner!! I'm already enough of a procrastinator...
    Michele

  6. #6
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: How do you.....

    The girls at my quilting class all just pin labels on the top. Pile the blocks up in the order they go accross the row and then put a big safety pin through them. Then pin a number on top so you know which row it is.

    Then you just need to pick up row one and work your way down it. I don't know how they stop them from getting turned around though, maybe you could put a little sticky spot on the top edge of each one.
    Quilting through the dull times
    northstarquilting.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    9 Patch Princess

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    Default Re: How do you.....

    I like JR's tip about the sticky spot. Although I always try to assembly line sew my pieces together, I always stop after one and open it up and make sure I am correct. It's amazing how things can get turned around in your head just from sitting down in front of the sewing machine. Enjoy and remember, this is for FUN

  8. #8
    UN-Biased

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    Default Re: How do you.....

    I label each block with row and column- I mark the designator on a small sticky note or piece of paper then pin it to the upper left of the block. By pinning the indicator in the same corner of each one, I always know which end is up on each block, so no confusion there. In addition, by having a designator on each one, there is no problem with picking up the wrong stack, or getting them out of order. My designators are simple...Rows are numbered and columns are lettered (or the reverse, as long as you're consistent in each quilt) and notes read simply "1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, etc". You can throw them helter skelter into a box and still figure out which goes where.

    I don't remove any pins/designator notes until I've finished a full row (or column) and then I leave only the first one in the sequence....this way I know that the row is complete.

    This system has saved me a couple of times when someone came along and took all my blocks down...and if you're really into saving trees, you can keep the notes until your next project and use them again....

  9. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How do you.....

    Quote Originally Posted by ktbb View Post
    I label each block with row and column- I mark the designator on a small sticky note or piece of paper then pin it to the upper left of the block. By pinning the indicator in the same corner of each one, I always know which end is up on each block, so no confusion there. In addition, by having a designator on each one, there is no problem with picking up the wrong stack, or getting them out of order. My designators are simple...Rows are numbered and columns are lettered (or the reverse, as long as you're consistent in each quilt) and notes read simply "1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, etc". You can throw them helter skelter into a box and still figure out which goes where.

    I don't remove any pins/designator notes until I've finished a full row (or column) and then I leave only the first one in the sequence....this way I know that the row is complete.

    This system has saved me a couple of times when someone came along and took all my blocks down...and if you're really into saving trees, you can keep the notes until your next project and use them again....
    wow!! now that is something that I could probably get on board with. sounds like the small 2x2 posties would be a good size for it...hmmm...I'll have to give this a try the next time I have a new project started...
    Michele

  10. #10
    Honey Bun

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    Red face Re: How do you.....

    Quote Originally Posted by shell.scraps View Post
    thanks for the suggestion!! I'm trying to stay away from storing it in bags and such...for me that will only encourage me to not get it completed in a timely manner!! I'm already enough of a procrastinator...
    Because I have a cat in the house (and on any fabrics she can) and some of the people I give quilts to are allergic, I find the bags a good idea. But I can understand about the procrastinating, I am really bad.

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