Saturday, September 20, 2008

Getting friendly with the seam ripper

A long time ago... 3 years? I was in a 9-patch swap. Kona black, with batiks and hand dyes. I have all the blocks I need to make a quilt top... but with one problem.

One of the swappers (I have no idea who, as this was a central swap) didn't really grasp "seam allowance" and "pressing" when it came to her blocks.

On the left is her block, on the right is one of mine. There's obvious size difference, and no matter how much I could stretch and "make it fit", I'd still end up with boob-like humps in my quilt.


The back side is even worse.

Almost looks like I edited the photo with some twist distortion. :P

So I'm gonna spend some time seam ripping 6 blocks apart. I just really hope that the swapper could at least cut 2.5" squares correctly! :D

Is it really that hard to get a good seam allowance? Is taking an extra 2 minutes to properly press too painful? I consider myself to be somewhat of a "careless" quilter. I don't focus on making sure the points match perfectly. Any long time reader of my blog knows that I have a HUGE dislike for pinning. I'm not going to try to sell myself as perfect, but three things really make quilting easier - proper cutting, proper seam allowance and pressing.

At least this means I'm joining in Judy's quiltathon! ;)

Leah

9 comments:

Perry said...

You probably have already ripped them out, but you could have put a thin black border around them to match the size of the other ones, and then used them in specific places in your quilt top. That would give you something different. And for the reason that you describe about other people's blocks, that is why I do not do block exchanges any more. I know my blocks will fit my blocks, regardless of whether they are exactly the size they are supposed to be. Glad to see you here.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Pretty fabrics but too bad about the problems. Very basic quilting skills do make a world of difference - at least pressing the seams in the same direction. I agree - how hard is that? Hope it turns out ok for you.
Cheers!
Evelyn

Anonymous said...

When I started quilting about 9 years ago, I saw swaps as a way to get a diverse amount of fabrics in one quilt, without having to buy it all. I'm sure many other new quilters do the same. However, being a wannabe perfectionist myself, I was always unhappy with some of the blocks I received. I can remember thinking that I should have just invested in the different fabrics rather than all the extra time & good fabric it took to make blocks for others, only to get shoddy workmanship and (really,really) cheap fabric in return. Likewise with round robins. (OMG!) So, I agree with Perry, I slowly learned that "my blocks will fit my blocks" and quit doing internet swaps or such after a few years.

Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

Well, you've been quilting longer than I have, but I quit doing swaps for a similar reason as mentioned before me. I miss them though because it's so fun to see some of the things that other people come up with, but the majority of what I get in return doesn't seem to equal what I send out! :)

The Quilting Pirate said...

le sigh...I hear your frustration! Some folks don't understand the "finished" vs "unfinished" size as well and to me this person did it smaller to fit the finished size...ripping out is no fun!

Mary said...

I'm not a swapper either - I prefer to work with my own imperfections!

Gill - That British Woman said...

I have just been catching up on your blog, as its been a while since I last visited. Love your work.........

Gill

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Hang in there, on the machine quilting...I have spent many an hour at the machine.... hunched over shoving through...but it has helped me with my new longarm. So when I finally start quilting for the public, after mastering it all, it will have paid me dividends. Love your stuff. Your blocks look perfect...what a pleasure to quilt over.

Anonymous said...

WOW how does it feel to be so perfect? Maybe the lady did her best and now is even better then you. HMM imainge that. I hope to God you don't have kids yet, because let me tell you your perfect little ones won't be able to meet your standards.