Thursday, April 3, 2014

Border issues

I am so excited that I have this border finished! It was certainly a challenge for me to get it to fit and I am still puzzled as to what went wrong.

Since I know there are others out there working on the Di Ford Mystery in Quiltmania magazine, I am going to explain my issue in the hopes of figuring it out. First, the pattern for the templates was not included in the magazine but quickly Quiltmania realized their mistake and made the pattern available for download on their website. I printed a copy and double checked to make sure they were accurate.

Using the magazine measurements I cut all the triangles with no problem. The problem for me seemed to come from the measurement of the squares. The pattern suggested drawing a grid of 2" squares and then appliquéing the circles before cutting the individual squares. After reading that there were a few people having size issues on the FB group I decided to piece the border before doing the appliqué. In the template diagram the square measurement is 1 3/8 meaning a cut size of 1 7/8, not the 2 " mentioned for drawing the grid. I was confused but Di Ford herself clarified on the FB group that the cut size was to be 1 7/8 so that is what I cut.

But I sewed my border and ended up almost 1" short of the 24 1/2 measurement that is should have been. I was frustrated but decided to spray it with Best Press and stretch it slightly while ironing to see if I could fix it some. While that is not a great fix it did work and I decided to sew the next border. This time I moved the needle over one position and change to Aurifil thread to see if things would improve. They did not so I finished my borders using my "fix" with Best Press to make them fit. But I was so frustrated as I was sewing so carefully and had double and triple checked my cutting and seam allowance measurements.

I then decided to measure the square template realizing that the diagonal need to be 2". Yes, that was perfect.

So finally I measured the square and what did I find but that it was just over 1 3/8" by almost 1/16". Unfortunately due to the angle of the photo this is not quite clear.

Ok that does not seem like much but for me it did seem to make a difference or probably it really is fine and it is just my stitching or perhaps my pressing. Those piecing by hand using the templates seem to have no fit issues and Di and others seem to have no issues piecing by machine with the 1 7/8 measurement, so I am stumped as to why it would not work for me. I would love to hear from anyone else who can explain it or to hear how it worked for you if you are making this quilt. This has been a year that I am trying to improve my piecing so any suggestions would be appreciated!

 

24 comments:

Oops-Lah said...

It looks great Heather. I wonder if the problem arises because of the conversion of cm to inches.
For instance the 3.6 cm is slightly more than 1 3/8 inches. Maybe only very little, but it adds up with multiple repeats. In any case, you've solved the problem beautifully!

Jantine said...

I was going to suggest the same as the commenter before me but as you sewed inches it depends on Di Ford starting with centimeters or inches....

Joan G said...

Heather may I use your comments section to receive clarification on a question? I will be working on some patterns in the near future that are in cm rather than inches. What are my options? Is there a ruler that is in cm? Thanks Heather for letting my hijack your comments. Oh,by the way, your work is beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us.

audrey said...

So frustrating for you. Glad you figured it out enough to get it to fit, but hopefully you can find the problem so you don't have future issues.

Karen said...

It's a good thing it's turning out FABULOUS, because it will make these little things seem insignificant . Keep going, it's beautiful.

Emma said...

Thank you for your post. I am about to peice mine together tomorrow so I will keep your comments in mind and if you like I will let you know how I get on. Good luck with the restofcthe quilt. It is going to be beautiful!

Barb said...

Sorry about your issues but that is one amazing quilt...I too need help with my piecing

Cheri said...

I really line this border, it turned out great, your fabric colors are perfect. Sorry the piecing was a pain.

Sheila said...

I love your block , your fabric choices are fabulous. The one thing we quilters needs above all is patience.. I didn't measure templates from the pattern provided i just ruled squares of what i thought to be 1 7/8 inches, They turned out slightly large as i found when i stitched my first border, which was 1/2 inch too big. I then trimmed each square back to exactly 1 7/8, it was only a matter of 2 or 3 threads, making sure i centred my circle best i could. The last 3 borders fitted perfectly. Looking forward to the next installment

sunny said...

Sorry it was such a pain, but it sure is beautiful. I was going to suggest that the problem might be the cm to inches conversion, as well.

Kyle said...

Well, I just basted my circles onto a grid 17/8". Hope it works. Yours looks great, but it is frustrating when the piecing should work!

susan said...

I had the same issue and you did. I cut the 2 inch and appliqued the circles, then went back and trimmed them down to 1 7/8 but since people had complained their strips to too big, I cut them right down to 1 7/8 not fat like I usually do. What I mean by that is I usually place my ruler so that the line is on the fabric which cuts a hair larger than the "perfect size" that way I don't use the scant 1/4 inch to sew. the fat cut usually makes up for the turn when pressing. Anyway my border was too short! and I gave it the best press stretch just as you did and made it fit. Surprisingly it looks pretty fine, but some of my circles for some reason are no longer centered. Of course my eye before trimming close (losing the seam allowance) it wasn't so noticeable but now that they are sewn there are a few crooked ones that may need to be removed and restitched. Maybe if I'm bored waiting for the next installment! Your quilt is great and it's funny that we used the same floral. :)

Barb said...

glad you were able to make it fit. I have had challenges adding pieced borers on non-pieced borders. There are so many seams on the pieced one that it is easy to get off a tiny bit. I suspect the red mitered borders added to your challenge.
In the end it looks great and is lovely!!
Hope you get feedback from others making this quilt.

Cathy said...

I am in awe of any one who is making this quilt. Yours is fantastic. Hugs

Anne Marieke said...

Heather, did you print the template sheet after dowloading or straight from the website. I noticed that if I did the first, the templates would be too small. I know you wrote that you checked the measurements, but thought I would let you know anyway.

I used the templated to prepare the pieces for my first border (still choosing fabrics, didn't get the kit) so I will see how I go.

Anne Marieke said...

One more thing I forgot to mention: Di's orginal patterns are in inches. I have Phebe and Sarah Morell. Both are hand-written patterns, all in inches. Hope this helps.

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

Heather, I am getting ready to start on this project, and in reading the information and looking at the visual, IF I do the grid (and I have done one of these before), I would have done a 2" grid, drawn the circle in the center of each 2 inch grid and appliqued. Then I was going to cut them at 2", and square them - one has to be careful in doing this step. But it concerns me greatly that there could be problems with this border. The American Designers are famous for giving cutting instructions only to find out that 1/8" to 1/4" was needed in the cut to be able to square or trim the resultant block.

I am going to study this border very hard to see if I might want to change it in a way that I will NOT end up with this situation. Having to spray starch something to stretch it does not bode well with me as I do mostly Show Quilts and have never had to do something like that to make my quilts square. I only have issues if the original cut is wrong!

I will certainly double check all measurements now. I wonder if Di is using a "scant"? I need to watch her videos.

Sorry about the issues. Fabric is so expensive now and it takes our time to make the quilts.

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

Hi Heather, Here I am again. I watched Di Ford's video and saw that she was working with squares, then cutting them into triangles. She did not use templates. So I went to the directions, cut a couple of 2" squares, a 3 1/4" square (subcut into 4 triangles) and a
1 7/8" square (cut diagonally into 2 triangles. The 1 7/8" squares are for the end of each border strip. The 2" squares and the triangles cut from the 3 1/4" squares make up the border.

By rotary cutting the pieces, I yielded a test border piece that is 2 1/2" wide, and I stitched a full 1/4" on my Husqvarna.

Because applique has a tendency to draw the background fabric up, I am thinking that I will applique my circles on after I have added the border.

Bottom line - I would not use the templates. I would cut squares as stated in the cutting directions and sew a 1/4" with Aurifil thread and it should come out to 24", then the end pieces with the 1/2" hexies will make it 26".

Hope this helps someone, especially me! LOL

Sally Bramald said...

I have not cut out my applique circles from the background yet. I decided I want my grain on the background fabric to go the same way as triangles so I shall cut them out on point. I couldn't be bothered when I started appliquéing to work out how far apart to place the circles so I have left plenty of space to spare.

Tazzie said...

Hi there Heather hon, your BOM is looking just wonderful, I love your fabric choices. I wish I had some wise words to add about why the borders are being tricky. It seems like you've put way more science into making yours perfect than I did. I know my border success was just dumb luck and I'm glad you finally got yours to work for you.
Be sure to have a great week
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

I did forget to compliment you on your quilt. I love the colors and placement. Good work.

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

Hi Heather, I am new to the Blog world, so I did add an email address and wordpress sends me commnents. Not sure on the "no reply" maybe you can give me a heads up on where I need to go to correct this.

I will go back and read the posts I have not read, but wow your little 1/2" corners are beautiful!

Thank you for the kind words on my Blog.

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

Hi Heather, you might be in the middle of moving - so good luck.

I did the practice strip and also contacted Homestead Hearth here in the US. They confirmed that the grid should be done at 2", then applique the circles, AND THEN trim the 2" squares down to 1 7/8". That works! I tried it 2 different ways and neither worked out until I realized that they forgot to state to "trim down the 2" square to 1 7/8"....
Hope this helps.

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