Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: How to enlarge a block

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    144

    Smile How to enlarge a block

    Hi all, I am wondering how to increase the size of a block just enough to be slightly larger than the required size. It seems sometimes when I make my blocks they come out just a hair under even when I take a lot of time carefully cutting, my rotary cuts. This makes it hard for me to square up porperly. I thought I heard Eleanor Burns slightly enlarges her blocks so she could square up more accurately. Should I just make the outside pieces an eight of an inch bigger? I believe I tried that and got my pieces all messed up. It seems that it would be easy to oversize slightly but I can't figure it out. Anyone Have any input on this on how to do this.

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sturbridge, Ma
    Posts
    4,017
    I would find it difficult to only enlarge some of the outside pieces. However, guess it could be done with careful calculation and sewing.
    Check your seam allowance and make sure you are making the scant 1/4" seams. I find this is usually the case when the blocks don't measure out. Also, measure each section you sew to make sure they are coming out the correct size.

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New York City/Manhattan
    Posts
    1,274
    to enlarge a block, on each of the pieces you must first eliminate the seam allowance, then enlarge a consistent percentage on each piece. So, if you want a 4" finished block enlarged to 4-1/2", that is an increase of 1/8 or .125. (Multiply 4 x 1.125). Then add back the seam allowances to each piece.

    Not sure if this is exactly what you're asking though...If you're looking to make the block slightly larger, you could decrease your seam allowance a tad. Or when you cut the pieces, use the outside of the line on your ruler instead of centering the line exactly on the edge of the fabric. This should work if you cut all the pieces using the same side of the ruler line and might add enough to make your block slightly larger.

    Laurie

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    9,140
    first- check to see how accurate your 1/4" seams are---cut 3 strips of fabric 6" x 1 1/2"---sew them together---measure the center strip- it should measure 1" wide- if it does not you should *adjust* your seam allowance until you have it correct.
    you can add a smidge (consistant amount) to each piece of a block===but some blocks will simply not go together quite right- some are ok to do that to---then you need to measure & trim with each step of making the block. it is easier to figure out why they are coming out wrong & fix that- you may need to sew a bit narrower seams...or line your ruler up a little differently- like have the lines on the edge of the fabric---not beside the edge.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Horseheads, NY 14845
    Posts
    3,551
    I have a default setting on my Janome of 3.5 for center and use the 1/4 foot attachment. However, I also find that sometimes my blocks are that smidge too small. To compensate for this, I move my needle to 4.2 (move it to the right), still use the 1/4 foot, and my blocks are always right on!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Maureen NJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Morris Plains, NJ
    Posts
    371
    Love Deb Tucker's rulers and patterns as she enlarges blocks and then cuts them down after sewn. Check her site.

  7. #7
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,101
    Blog Entries
    2
    I agree with the comments to check your seam allowances. Here's a good way to check:
    Achieving an Accurate 1/4" Seam Allowance
    Also, what thread are you using to piece? I have found that a 60 weight really helped my accuracy.
    And finally, use the same ruler, or at least the same brand of ruler for your whole project.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  8. #8
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    2,631
    Besides checking your seam allowances you might want to check your cutting technique. Where on the ruler are you lining up your fabric. You may be cutting the thickness too narrow and adjusting for that will help you. Try it on a few stash blocks and see.

    Or just cut larger and trim down if possible. Though not all pieces of a block will accomodate this.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Alturas, CA
    Posts
    7,830
    Are you wanting to enlarge for example: a 6 inch block to say an 9 inch block? If so, here's a formula: BLOCK SIZE WANTED (divided by) CURRENT BLOCK SIZE = PERCENT TO ENLARGE OR REDUCE
    Example:
    To enlarge: Size you want = 12" and Current size = 4"
    12/4=3 (answer times 100 = 300%)
    To reduce: Size you want = 7" and Current size = 12"
    7/12=.58 (answer times 100 = 58%)

  10. #10
    Senior Member ligia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    640
    Blog Entries
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by jude by the sea View Post
    It seems sometimes when I make my blocks they come out just a hair under even when I take a lot of time carefully cutting, my rotary cuts.
    What I do is sew a hair off the sewing line, it makes room for the thread and itt finishes the block at the right size.
    loving retirement

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.