Continuing issue with uneven Wild Goose Chase strips


I have finished the second quilt top for this shirt-quilt project. Once
again, it is lovely, and once again, the strips have come out different
lengths. But upon further examination, the situation is mysteriouser and
mysteriouser.
Again, the design is six Wild Goose strips alternating with seven strips of
sashing and side-borders. The top of the quilt top is perfectly straight.
If I use a T-square across the uneven bottom, squaring up it with the
side-borders, it looks like the right bottom corner is four inches longer
than the left bottom corner.
Thank heavens I didn't go ahead and cut on this chalk-line. Instead, I
measured the lengths of the rightmost and leftmost Wild Goose strips. They
are exactly the same length!!! And the Wild Goose strips in between are
differing lengths.
So I suspect it's an issue of how the quilt will block when its assembled --
the whole quilt-top is kittywompus right now because of the shirt fabrics,
patchwork, and assembly seams pulling every which way.
(1) It seems to me that the _safest_ approach is to measure each Wild Goose
strip and cut them all the same length (truncating the bottoms of some of
the Goose blocks in the process). Thoughts?
(2) But if I do (1), it looks like I'll be cutting the bottom of the
sashing strips at angles between each Wild Goose strip. Thoughts?
TIA,
ep
(Incidentally, I never trimmed this problem out of the first quilt top I
finished, so I still have my options open on how to treat the first as well
as this second one.)
Reply to
Edna Pearl
Is it possible the strips are shifting as you sew them together? I think I would start by measuring each of the six Wild Goose strips (before attaching the sashing and side borders). What's the variance in lengths? Ideally they would all be the same, but the shirt fabric probably isn't as cooperative as 100% cotton! Hopefully they're somewhat close though.
If they're fairly close in length, I'd determine the average length and cut my sashing and side borders that length. Pin each Wild Goose strip to a sashing or side border, easing as necessary. You should then end up with six sets that are the same length. Then sew two sets together, again easing as necessary, etc. until you have the whole top pieced.
And if this is how you've already proceeded with assembly, you can just say, "Well, THAT wasn't much help," and we'll try to figure something else out.
Is it possible to post a picture on Facebook so we can look at what you're dealing with? Maybe we can figure something out from that.
Reply to
Louise in Iowa
Sounds like your shirt fabrics are stretchy! What happens if you hang the top on a design wall, so it's all spread out, with pins at the top of every vertical seam, and just let it relax for a couple of days? See if that changes the measurements. And measure before and after while it's on the wall. Roberta in D
Reply to
Roberta
I'm even more mystified today than yesterday. My measurements from yesterday seem impossible, intuitively. My SO is better at math and geometry than I am, and he's mystified too. We have a floor with square tiles, so we're going to lay it out on that, see if the grid of the floor gives us any hints about what's going on, and measure the quilt-top every which way. Hanging it on the wall to let it block out might well be a good idea -- thanks.
There's nothing to photograph. The photo would show that the right corner hangs lower than the left corner over the edge of the table, but that's only part of the story; it's misleading. A photo can't show that the far-right strip is 84 inches long, and the far-left strip is. too.
These problems with the shirt fabrics are so time-consuming. I just zip right through making these quilt-tops until I get them fully assembled (except for top and bottom borders) and start trying to figure out the best way to address the irregularities. Then I just stall in frustration and head-scratching.
ep
Reply to
Edna Pearl
I'm thinking you need to go back to the basics and review yourself step by step. When you said you 'zip thru' it gave me a clue.
Set aside what you've done and start fresh with a single block- use scrap fabric if you like. As you add each piece of fabric press it very carefully to not get any tiny pleats and so the fabric doesn't get stretched out of shape by the iron and/or steam. Then measure and be certain everything is what it's supposed to be. Then stitch the next step, press carefully and measure again. It would be impossible to make a wrong sized block if you do it this way. Then make a second block and repeat. If everything is working out then proceed- continuing to measure. If something is off stop right there and determine what happened to make it the wrong size.
As you make each and every unit- and after each step- and stop and measure to be certain your piecing is accurate you will discover what went wrong on your earlier piecing attempts. Normally this would be overkill but right now you need to analyze what's happening- even the tiniest error can multiply and become a BIG error. Constant measuring would have to be less frustrating than what you are experiencing right now. If everything is accurate at every stage then the borders will have to go on with no hitches- it couldn't be any other way but perfect.
I'm stumped, but then I can't picture what's happening with your project. But measuring each and every step so that the errors can't compound themselves is a good start.
I hope you can find what's going on before it spoils quilting for you.
Leslie & The Furbabies in MO.
PS: Another thought- when you are ironing the fabric with starch are you stretching the fabric- with the starch holding it in the stretched out shape? It might be snapping back to it's original size and shape after you start handling it and cutting and sewing?
Reply to
Leslie& The Furbabies in MO.
That should be "measure," not "easure." Sheesh.
ep
plaquettes, collar points, pockets. None of my blocks are the "wrong size"
Reply to
Edna Pearl
Boy, did I just learn a huge, gi-normous lesson. I blocked the two quilt-tops I've completed out on the floor with my SO's help, tugging to line up the edges with the square floor tiles and weighting the edges down with soup cans. Lo, the measurements of the lengths of the Goose Chase strips are dramatically different from how they measured out on the table, which is smaller than the quilt top. And I'm talking about measuring *several* times on the table and twice on the floor.
Why? I don't know! Something about the weight of the fabric hanging over the edges of the table? The tugging to square it up on the floor? Who cares? The news is good!!! Specifically --
The results on the floor are much more consistent with what I would have expected before I started this whole project. The variations in length among the Goose strips is more like 3/4" than the 2-3" I was seeing on the table. Such consistency makes sense: One would intuitively expect such similarity if one assumes that each strip of 27 Geese will share, on average, more or less the same distortions as the other strips -- the same number of button plaquettes, the same distribution of fabric weights, etc.
When the tops are spread out on the floor, you can see the shifts in the sizes of the Goose blocks as you look up and down the strips -- as much as an inch difference in how they appear to line up from strip to strip -- as the weights of the shirt fabrics change. There is indeed a lot of variation in the sizes of the blocks during assembly, but it apparently tends to average out over the lengths of the six 27-block strips.
Now I have to figure out how to insure my quilt tops stay blocked square during the layering and basting process, or whether that will just happen on its own. Hmmmmm. . . . Thoughts?
All that time and worry wasted. Another lesson learned: Have more faith in the process. I seem to develop more of such confidence that it will all work out (or quilt out :-) with each quilt.
I'm posting this follow-up in case somebody else might learn from my fumbling around with this: When in doubt, measure flat on the floor. I'll bet a lot of you already have tales to tell on this issue.
ep
Reply to
Edna Pearl
No harm done, Sandy, and I always appreciate your creative input. Sorry for taking it the wrong way :-)
ep
Reply to
Edna Pearl
Sorry you are having such a time with the geese. I hate flying geese and avoid them when I can. Any chance these would help:
formatting link
've never used these but have used some of their products and they do give a really accurate finished product.Taria
Reply to
Taria
oh Taria, you 'hate' flying geese? :( i'm crushed. they are my favourite block unit. oh well. j.
"Taria" wrote ... Sorry you are having such a time with the geese. I hate flying geese and avoid them when I can. Any chance these would help:
formatting link
've never used these but have used some of their products and they do givea really accurate finished product.Taria
Reply to
J*
I USED to hate flying geese because they either involved cutting triangles or huge amounts of waste, especially on the larger geese. Eleanor Burns' method was interesting, but again, lots of waste. I still use her rulers, however.
My best success has been with the no-waste method:
formatting link
For 1 1/2" by 3" blocks I cut the big square (the "geese") at 4 1/4" inches, and the four smaller squares (the "sky") at 2 1/2". For 2" by 4" finished blocks, the big geese square is 5 1/4" and the smaller sky ones are 3". (I cut the "sky" squares a bit - 1/8" - bigger than called for, because I hate dealing with eighths of an inch.) After I finish the geese, they are usually a bit oversize. This is good because I can use Eleanor Burns' rulers to trim them down just about perfect.
I enjoy this method so much that I have two plastic baggies, one for the larger and one for the smaller geese. When I'm cutting fabric for other projects, I often cut a few appropriately sized geese pieces and toss them in the bags. When I don't feel like tackling anything big, I pull out my baggies and make geese! I have a pretty big bin of them now and I'm thinking about an appropriate project.
Once I get off my house kick, that is. I'm on my second quilt with various house patterns.
Iris
Reply to
IEZ
Sorry jeanne, hate is probably too strong a word. I just don't so much enjoy making them. I do like the look though. I do make them on occasion but tend to avoid a lot of them at any one time. Taria
Reply to
Taria
Thanks Iris. I have used this method and it works fine. I took a class years ago from Lyn Mann and she had a template she used that I have that worked. I'll have to make an effort to do more geese. Sounds like you are building cities with all those houses! Taria
Reply to
Taria
My first/last quilt with flying geese was for a king-sized waterbed for my DB about 10 years ago. I might be able to look at them again one day. Not just yet though. Polly
Reply to
Polly Esther
Well actually, the first one was a large wall hanging for my kitchen dining area to go with my sassy lilac (yes, that's the paint color!) walls. Scrappy, mostly blue houses. That's done and looks good. That house pattern had a set-in piece in the sky area. I'm not afraid of set-in seams, but enough was enough. After 25 houses of that type, I moved on to a couple of different patterns that are simpler. Those houses and cottages are alternating in a quillow top that is now on the floor in the sewing room with various border options laid out. This afternoon I will probably decide on the border (already have a favorite!)
Oh yes, the new houses are also scrappy, but they have a lot of deep pinks and a melon pink lattice. Sometimes I just need my pink fix! (And purple, hence the pale purple walls in the kitchen.)
Iris
Reply to
IEZ
If I understand how these work, I think it wouldn't help because it doesn't address the problem of how the different weight fabrics pull against each other. Anyway, if you look up in the thread I have posted that the problem I presented with my first post has basically solved itself after all my useless fretting -- and now I have a whole new problem! (Which I will doubtless present to this group after I've thought it through some more.
Have you used these rolls for borders? I ask because the owner of my RCTQ said they didn't work -- the sticky paper shifted too much during quilting or something like that. She said they were useful for some kind of shirt decoration, but not borders. I thought they looked like they'd be pretty useful if they did work.
Thanks!
ep
Reply to
Edna Pearl
That really does look foolproof and *fast*. Other folks have mentioned they like it, too. I wish I could use that method with with these shirts!
I've apparently streamlined my cutting enough to get consistent results using a template and scissors for the geese and rotary cutting the "sky" triangles, but I sure do get tired of those scissors.
ep
Reply to
Edna Pearl
LOL - I wish I had heard or read that somewhere before I measured my quilt tops ten times on the table!
I didn't measure the overhang, actually, I measured the length of the table, then pulled the overhang up on the table and measured it flat. But it seems to me that's not much different from measuring the overhang.
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense that moving the quilt-top about on the table could very well lead to a different measurement than when you get it properly laid out flat and squared up. My SO is not surprised -- a big portion of his masters thesis was devoted to issues of measurement, so he knows how tricky it can be. Now I'm saying "Duh!"
I'm thinking that the way to approach any trapezoidal quilt tops like this second one is to truly block the quilt top just before I layer and baste it -- lay it down, wet it down, and gently tug it square, just like I would if I was blocking a piece of needlework or a finished quilt. Then lay a sheet over it and turn fans on it overnight to dry.
But I worry that such blocking may be defeated by the process of smoothing while layering. I'm still thinking! All I can do is the best I can :-)
ep
Reply to
Edna Pearl
If anybody is getting the impression I think it was a mistake to take on this project or I regret it or am not enjoying it, please allow me to say "no!" It has been really rewarding, and I'm learning a lot from it, and I'm very pleased with how well these necessarily quirky quilt-tops are coming out, overall. I expected technical problems from the start, I warned the client about the unpredictability of such problems from the start, and she doesn't care.
Far from regretting this project, I am *delighted* to think of the families of six grandchildren with six quilts that *I* made, which commemorate their grandfather and will be passed on to *their* grandchildren. I can't think of any comparable legacy I could leave, being childless myself. It is unlikely that I will ever get such an opportunity to create such a special group of heirlooms. It means a lot to me, no matter how crazy you think I am for doing it :-) Just because *you* wouldn't want to do this doesn't mean it's some kind of mistake for *me* to be doing it.
And please know that my asking for input like any other member of this group doesn't mean I'm complaining, any more than you are complaining when you ask for ideas.
Now, if I can just do a good job on the layering and machine-quilting . . . . . :-)
ep
Reply to
Edna Pearl

Site Timeline Threads

InspirePoint website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.