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I'm hoping to get some insight as to how to square up the "body" of a quilt before I add the borders. It is essentially a 9 patch with sashing strips in between blocks. The pattern doesn't call for a border - just sashing strips to finish it off. I'm going to make those strips wider to make the quilt the size I need.
I started the quilt on my stay at home machine, worked on it at a sew in day on my take to retreats sewing machine, and again at another quilt shop. I completed the body of the quilt at home, and have a large cutting table here, so I want to square it up and add the borders.
Well, somehow, with all that sewing in different locations, the center portion turned out pretty wonky. Before I add the border strips, I want to get it squared up. Most directions I Googled are about the completed/quilted quilt. They basically say to measure the width at top, middle and bottom and use the narrowist measurement and trim to that size. This does not cover the length and how to square that up.
I'm just drawing a blank on how to go forward. I've measured the width at the top and the bottom and they are off by at least a 1/4" on one side and at least 1/2" or more on the other side.
I'd appreciate any input on what to do, as I think I need to fix all four sides.
Mary in Michign
I don't know if this is what you need, because you say you are squaring up your top before you add the border, and this quilter is showing how to square up a quilt after it has been quilted but before she adds the binding. But I really like watching her videos. She's a very good teacher, but also is very funny sometimes. I started watching her YouTube series about how to make quilts out of men's shirts, which is her specialty. Her videos about what she comes home with from the thrift store are very funny. And she's a Southern gal, so she has an adorable accent. She kind of reminds me of Dee too, in a way. If her method doesn't work for you on this quilt top, you might like to watch some of her other videos. Cathy Martin at The Catbird Quilts.
Thank you for the link. It is similar to others I've watched. I'm wondering if the "measure top, bottom & center & trim to the shortest width" instructions are not needed if you use this method with the rulers.
Mary in Michigan
I just cannot resist poking a stick in a hornet's nest again. I don't think Mary is asking for help with a quilt that is already quilted.
Mary, is this a baby quilt that is off by 1/4" on one side and 1/2" on the other side or is it a humdinger queen size beauty?
I would like to suggest that one person's "pretty wonky" is another person's "I can live with that" because in this house I would not lose any sleep over those measurements on a huge bed size quilt. If it is a quilt for competition just ignore this babbling old fool.
A lovely print (floral or dotted) used as a border can hide any little bit of "wonky-ness" if absolutely necessary.
My sister-in-law was always chasing perfection in every quilt. I brought tears to her eyes one day when I pointed out that she was sucking the joy out of her hobby that was supposed to be enjoyable. Don't know if I changed her ways any and helped her stop gritting her teeth over fabric but I tried.
I just watched the video - she has such a calm way about her. It gives me confidence! Love the T square idea too. I saved this video & added her to my list of designers I'm following on You Tube.
Thank you for helping out. I'll post once I take the plunge, LOL.
Hi Judy - it will finish as a 68 - 88 twin. I think what happened is I trimmed some of the blocks to 12 1/2" and maybe some to 12" - it's hard to know because of all the toting this project around and working on it in 3 different places with 2 different machines - something I normally do not do!! I also don't normally trim up the "body" before putting on the borders unless there is something really obvious. And it was pretty obvious.
I've always described my quilting as "I'm great with color, but not with perfect points/matching seams". I really do try, but in the end, I want to make as many as I can (mostly for charity) before I can't sew anymore. Believe me when I say, I've stretched a few seams and pressed and re-pressed some blocks to make them all fit!!
I'm going to take the plunge tomorrow (maybe, LOL). I'll keep you posted!
Mary in Michigan
Mary, your charity quilts are appreciated for their colors, their patterns and their warmth. I think it is very rare that a charity quilt is evaluated for precision.
When I used to take Project Linus quilts to the Emergency Department at our local hospital the nurses and social workers "ooohed" and "aaahed" over the designs and made comments about "how pretty" or "how cute" or "Isn't that one just darling". So maybe ask yourself if your "Great with Color" could be your best motto for charity quilt work.
After reading all the posts I will add my 2 cents worth. I am a quilter and quilt for others as well so I have seen all good, bad, and worse. I would advise you to do the best you can but know that with thick batting you can take up lots of fulness in places. Whether on a frame or basting before quilting on a sit down machine distribute any fullness you can. Also know that straight lines will be harder to work in curvy lines.
Lastly what is the quilt for? I have one customer who is a new quilter and he makes huge tops with tucks, fullness and seams that sometimes do not catch. They are far from square. I just work out the fullness best I can with curved quilting.
Unless you are entering this in a judged show it will be fine if it is a little off.
Judy, Ami & all,
Well, I got in my sewing room this afternoon and finally got the top finished!
After trying the square up the four corners method without success, I then folded it in half short end to short end and treated it like a piece of fabric that needed to be aligned before cutting. It's a good thing I did because that did the trick. The blocks on the sides are a little narrower and some things in the body don't line up but I'm happy with it. It is an excellent pattern and I will probably make it again, taking care to square up ALL the blocks and using just one machine to sew it!
A big thank you to you all for the suggestions, links and encouragement. It is so nice to come to a welcoming forum and get the help you need without judgement! Here is a picture (on the left) of the quilt top. On the right is one of the blocks. I started with this adorable print (hopefully you can zoom in to see the characters on it) and added the colors in that fabric. I didn't mention that I am making twin sized quilts for an organization called "Sleep in Heavenly Peace", which is a national charity that makes twin beds for children who sleep on the floor because they have no bed. My LQS, Material Mart in Midland, MI, has adopted the charity thru the end of the year and I've set myself a goal of making 2 per month.
Mary in Michigan