Monday, March 10, 2014

Diamond Start Playtime Sew-Along -- Step 1 troubleshooting tips!

I hope you have had time!  I promised some troubleshooting tips and these are based on teaching the Set-in Piecing Simplified technique for almost two years. 
If you missed Step 1, click here to read it over.

#1 -- the center of a 3 diamond (tumbling block) unit has a pucker.

To diagnose the problem, look at the wrong side!  It's easy to fix and pressing isn't the fix.

The most common reason is that the stitching goes past the dot and that's one of the benefits of this technique, you can be up to a stitch short of the dot and still get excellent results because the end of the seam is so secure.

Another common cause of the pucker is when the end of one of the three seams is not lined up with the other two correctly.  After helping dozens of students trouble shoot this, it boils down to not matching the corners of the diamonds.  The first two diamonds are easy to match.  The problem usually pops up when adding the third diamond.  It's hard to see the inside corner.
You need to pull the upper diamond back so you can see the corner of the lower diamond.
Now when you lay the third diamond right side down, it must match the corner of the lower diamond to get good results. 
The photo below show poor alignment and the end result will be seams that don't meet and a pucker on the right side at the intersection of the three seams.   In this photo, the black diamond needs to be shifted up to the left until it aligns with the corner of the gray diamond.
 
#2 -- the center of the star is askew.  The most common cause of this is haphazard pressing which then makes it challenging to control the bulk where the six seams come together at the center.
 
EVERY subunit of the star must be pressed identically so when the three units are joined, the seams will always nest together flat.
 
 If you have encountered other problems, e-mail me at maryhueyquilts@hotmail.com
  
I'm ready to make another star!!  How about you?
 
Mary Huey
 
All material Copyrighted by Mary Huey Quilts!

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