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Problems with joining Storm at Sea blocks into rows

<br /><br />Click on each thumbnail below for a larger image<br /><br />

Click on each thumbnail below for a larger image

I am making a Storm at Sea quilt. I have made the lower left block two times, and have had the same issue twice.

I have mylar patterns which include 1/4 inch seams to trace. I have done the bottom row and the middle row of the block. They look fine, and the pieces I cut fit correctly together.

When I go to stitch the bottom and center row of three together, ( one three inch block, one with a horozontail diamond, one three inch block), the left and center block are off by more than 1/4 inch. The seams and points don't line up. It is as if I should shift the bottom row to the right, but can't, as it would throw the right side off. I can't understand why the right hand square matches both point and seam, and the other two do not. can you help?

I have pressed the seams in both directions, but it isn't enough to line things up.


It would really, really help to have some pictures...both of the mylar templates and of the currently pieced blocks to help me visualize the situation.

Make sure the pattern is correct

However, what I recommend if you can't send photos (use my email hdfbyjulie at, replacing at with @ - protecting myself against bot-spam...) is to cut all the patches needed to make the block from PAPER. Then with your rotary cutter, remove the 1/4" seam allowance.

Yes, this definitely IS extra work. BUT...'ll then be able to put the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle (butt the edges together and use tape to keep them in place) to confirm that they are indeed correct.

If they fit together properly, then you know that the issue is either your seam allowance is off or the edges are getting stretched before they are sewn. Those diamond in a rectangle and square in a square shapes have lots of bias edges.

Sta-Flo to the rescue!

To control bias edges, I use a lot of starch when I can read about it here. You'll have to be able to wash the quilt once it's finished to remove the starch. Starch is food, and you don't want to attract any 'critters' if the finished quilt is stored away for any length of time.

I do have paper piecing patterns for a Storm at Sea quilt with 3" and 6" components. They are free to download towards the bottom of that page if you're interested. (There's a bunch of pretty nifty layouts for the pattern, too, if I do say so myself. Just follow the link at the bottom of that page.)

I hope this helps at least in some small way. It totally sucks to have the time to work on a new quilt project and then run into obstacles...there are never enough hours in the day!

Again, if you can, please feel free to email me some pictures and maybe I can provide a more helpful answer.


Julie Baird

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