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Thread: I'm not sure how to explain this, but I could use some help...

  1. #1
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    I'm sure you know the term for it - is it "squaring up"?? Anyway, I have a top that is all 4.5" squares. I was getting ready to sew a couple of borders on and realized that not all the squares are in a perfect line on the edges. So I started trying to even them off - and I'm afraid that what I'm doing is slowly whittling my quilt away. Then I measured one end across and it's at least 1/4" smaller than the other end. I didn't even measure the other sides yet - I'm just afraid to do anymore now.

    Can someone tell me how to "fix" this? Please? :oops:

  2. #2
    Super Member Dragonfly Nana's Avatar
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    Sounds like your seams may not be a consistant 1/4"
    I had the same problem when I first started and so do most new quilters.
    I would measure the seams on the back side and if you find that is the problem it would be better to take it apart and fix the seams.

  3. #3
    Super Member Dragonfly Nana's Avatar
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    I know that might be a lot of work but it would "save" the size of your quilt and not lose portions of the blocks.

    Another way might be to use the first small border to accomidate the "off a smidgen" and then your other border will balance it out.

  4. #4
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    I think every quilter struggles with this. I know I do. I seriously doubt any quilt I've made thus far has truly been square (and I don't mean this literally since I haven't made many square quilts, but you know what I mean).

    If it were me I would put the borders on this quilt, trying to make up for the off measurments as best you can. Chalk it up to experience. It's more than likely you didn't have a consistent 1/4" seam all the way through.

    I'm not one for redoing things so that's just what I would do. That advice may not help you though. :)

  5. #5
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    I bet a lot of my squares were off here and there as well... these were from a swap on another forum (non-quilting). *sigh* I'll try doing careful measurements and see if I can adjust with a border. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Measure across the middle of the quilt on both side to side and top to bottom. Try to make the edges about the same size.
    Add your border and love your quilt.
    No one will notice if the end blocks are a tad bit smaller than the others.

  7. #7
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    1/4" difference in measurement from one end to another is not bad. It can be adjusted when adding binding. For example, if it really bothers you, you can run a line of basting stitches down the too-long side and gather it up 1/4" before sewing the binding on.

  8. #8
    Super Member Naturalmama's Avatar
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    Ok, I think I have it straightened out enough - thanks for the tips.

    Another question though - with an inner and outer border, oh, how do I say this.... are the top strips typically longer than the side strips, or the side strips the ones that are longer - or do you do the inner one way and the outer the other - or both the same? Does this make any sense?

  9. #9
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naturalmama
    Ok, I think I have it straightened out enough - thanks for the tips.

    Another question though - with an inner and outer border, oh, how do I say this.... are the top strips typically longer than the side strips, or the side strips the ones that are longer - or do you do the inner one way and the outer the other - or both the same? Does this make any sense?
    It's a matter of preference how you do the borders. If you have a rectangle shaped quilt and you do the long sides first, then the top/bottom, it's supposed to take less yardage of fabric if you are cutting the fabric lengthwise. If I have enough, that's how I cut it myself. Piecing the borders is acceptable too, but some fabrics hide the seams better than others. If I've got more than one border, I do them all the same way.

    Edit: here's a helpful site:

    http://www.quiltville.com/borderhints.shtml

  10. #10
    Junior Member NanaInVirginia's Avatar
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    You said that quilt is square blocks. Perhaps your seam allowance issue resulted from where you joined your rows or columns. If that is the case then you maybe be able to do what I have done in the past. I have been able to just correct a narrow seam allowance by stitching down the seam again.

    I think that if your quilt is large nobody but you will ever notice that it is out of square by a 1/4 inch, though.

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