Have any of you used the patterns from Quilt Blocks Galore? If so, do
you find that the blocks come out at 12" unfinished? I've made a few
and they all seem to come out at that measurement - maybe I'm doing
something wrong, but I thought I was being very careful. It does say
on the site '12" Blocks' but I thought that would mean a finished 12"
block. Just wondering.
If you're talking about Quilter's Cache the size given does mean finished
size. While mistakes aren't impossible, all the patterns are tested before
being uploaded to the website.
The only things I can suggest are make sure you're using a scant 1/4" seam,
be careful pressing your seams and, if you're printing pages for paper
piecing, make sure you double check the 1" square gauge. I know some people
(especially people with Macs) have had problems printing the correct sizes.
I love all of the blocks as well but have had terrible troubles getting the
blocks to come out the correct "unfinished" size. I had a post about this
earlier in the year about the northern lights pattern. Made it three times
before I got it close enough to work. Never did figure out what I was doing
I do love the site though.
Buckeye Beauty is the one I made ... twice, and it comes out (for me)
to a 12" unfinished block - so frustrating. I'm cutting and sewing
carefully - ironing the same, but no luck, and I love the block. Oh
well, back to applique.
just had a look at that block.
tis or should be an easy one to make correctly.
the numbers to cut and sew looked right to me.
for whatever that means tho.
i'm sure no expert.
only way to check what is going wrong is to measure at each step along the
as soon as it is not right, consider what caused it.
fix that and carry on to next step.
there just arent that many seams on this to lose 1/2" tho.
hmmmm. very peculiar indeed.
do let us all know when you figure this out.
Okay -- for your 4 patch blocks -- those are each cut at 3 1/2 inch square
so when added together you get a 6 1/2 inch 4 patch.
When you do that -- are you getting a FULL 6 1/2 inch four patch block?
Measure in EVERY direction. From the seam to the outside of each block
should measure 3 1/4 inch.
If yes there -- continue -- if not -- you need to redo until that part of
the block is right.
I usually do a full inch instead of the 7/8 for the HST blocks (so I'd cut
at 7" instead of 6 7/8) -- but when you do those -- are you getting a full
6 1/2" block (you draw the line and so on either side -- creating 2 HST
blocks) -- are they each a full 6 1/2? Measure in BOTH directions -- to be
sure you get 6 1/2"
If those components are right -- and your 4 patch units are right -- then
join and you should have 12 1/2 inches square. If not -- measure from the
seam to the edge of the block on all 4 sides -- each should measure 6 1/4 --
see where you are having a problem.
If your components are right -- then it sounds like you are not doing a good
1/4 inch seam -- that's where I'd start.
Hope this is helpful.
Sharon, when you are doing your test piece, following Kate's
suggestions, may I suggest that you press every single seam just for
Last 'wonder': have you measured your seam? and how have you measured
If your seam measures a quarter of an inch of 'free/loose' fabric (from
edge up to stitching), then it is too wide. The fold which occurs when
you press a seam - whichever way- Includes the stitches themselves. A
safer way to measure is to *include the stitches in your checking.
When you get the block to come out correct, notice whatever it was that
you did, and stick to it! Maybe make a note >g< (I have to do that all
Which block is it? If it's pieced from smaller components, do the math
and make sure that these pieces are the right size. And measure after
you sew each sub-unit.
Roberta in D
On Sun, 2 Aug 2009 15:06:56 -0700 (PDT), Sha
One thing that may be happening is indicated in your note. Please do
not iron, especially on the diagonal. You need to *press*.
Pressing is an up and down, motion. Doesn't have to be far up but the
weight needs to come off the fabric when you move the iron. Ironing,
moving the iron across the fabric can distort the fabric.
Others have suggested one of the most common problems..... an
inaccurate seam allowance.
To test your stitching/seam allowance/fabric/thread/etc., I often
suggest to students to cut 3 rectangles of fabric, about 5-6" long and
exactly 1 1/2" wide. Seam along the long edges so you have a "3-rail"
set.Press carefully. The center strip should be exactly 1" wide. IF it
isn't, you need to adjust your seam allowance. you may need to cut
a bit differently....... line up the "outside" of the line on the
ruler with the edge of the fabric to get an extra thread or 2. You may
just need to change the relative positions of the needle and edge of
fabric. Whatever works for you.
Please note: changing fabric or thread can affect the size of your
seam. Finer thread takes up less in the turn of the fabric. Heavier
fabric also takes up more. (Example: Kona cotton from R. Kaufmann is
a fairly "thick" fabric, Kona Bay is a finer, "thinner" (but dense)
fabric. Batiks are different from muslin and so on......)
If you continue to have problems, you might want to cut larger, and
trim each step along the way. Much easier to trim smaller than
Or just make all your blocks the same size. (Unless they are for a
swap) Your finished product may vary a bit in size, but how much
difference does it really make?? Depending on how big your project
needs to be you can add another border to make up the difference in
size, or make sashing a bit wider, or make more blocks. With practice
you will be able to make accurate sized blocks. Each person finds her/
his own way to accomplish that.
Piecing and appliqu=E9 use different skill sets, both can be fun and
useful. The key is to enjoy the process.
Pati, in Phx
Okay Kate, I used your suggestion of cutting a 7" square rather than a
6 7/8" - and it helped greatly - much better than I was doing for sure
so it works. :-) I'll remember that in the future with HST's, but
I'm not so sure I'll be doing that particular block again. Thanks for
all your help - everyone.