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Thread: Need advice on squaring blocks

  1. #1
    Super Member Homemother's Avatar
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    I'm tackling the quilt design Twist Around the Garden in which I have reconfigured the blocks to a smaller design and they should end up 6" square. I'm using scraps to practice, so my pretty fabric is still in pristine shape. :-) Since I'm rather new at this block construction, I need some input on how to make the blocks square.

    If the blocks are all slightly under 6", should I make them all the same size at say, 5 3/4" or 5 1'2" or should I cut everything a smidgen bigger and square up all the blocks at 6"? If I square them, I'd have to take a little off each side in order to make the points meet when sewing the blocks together, is this correct? Or, is acceptable to have the blocks off a little and not worry about the minute details and look at the overall effect of the quilt? Or, should I make the seams a little smaller to accommodate the size? Gee....I need to make a decision as to which is the best way to go.

    One or two or you must have experienced this at least once in your quilting experience! :lol: :roll: :lol:

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with that pattern, but if you won't lose points by trimming, I'd probably pick the smallest block and trim the others to match that size. If they're only slightly smaller than 6", you can steam (or starch) them to the larger size. I have a 12.5" square drawn on my pressing board that I use to help me square up blocks that are only slightly off. That's the size blocks I mostly deal with. May have to draw a 6.5 to help me with my smaller blocks. Some of the last kits I got from QFK are not cut very straight and needed a little fudging to fit. :-D :-D Good luck! I have some swap blocks that a few are way off the mark. I've not put them together yet as I want to use them all, but haven't figured out what to do with them. Some are too big and some are too small.

  3. #3
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    You quilt will look more like you want it to if you have all the blocks the same size.

    If you aren't concerned about loosing the design, then you have options such as sashing to help square up the blocks.
    You can even make the sashing wonky.

    ali

  4. #4
    Super Member M.I.Late's Avatar
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    First thing I would do is verify that I have exactly 1/4" seam. or if the pattern is calling for a scant 1/4" it's slightly smaller. You should not really be loosing size unless it's in your seams.... There is a thread on here somewhere about checking your seam size.

    Click on search above and enter 1/4" seam or 1/4" scant seam. Read through a few different posts. There are ways to make sure you're keeping good seams. After you do that, make a few more samples and see if they don't end up right at the 6" you're trying to get at. Some patterns really need you to be right on or it's a bear later.

    Hope this helps

  5. #5
    Super Member greenini's Avatar
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    I'm going to follow this as I want to do one of these with thrift store fabric that got me quilting. It's a big floral in a lot of different colorways. I'm not even certain it'll work which is 1 reason I've not tackled it yet. As you progress can you please post pictures?

    And for what it's worth, I think this pattern would require a pretty close tolerance on the seams to keep it looking right, but that's JMHO.

  6. #6
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    I checked out the pattern andit would appear that the seams must match for the design to be effective. I'm not sure it is just "squaring up the block". However, try it without cutting the block to see what the effect would be if you did square to the smallest.
    A pattern like this, although appearing simple, must have accuracy in piecing the various sections. The side of the square in the corners of the square blocks must alighn with the triangles in the snowball block. Without them meeting you don't have the continuous "twist" effect.
    Having said all that.....Go back and look at your piecing to see what have happened to cause them not to end up the correct size. Was it in cutting or piecing. Before attempting to square you need to find out why they didn't end up the same.

  7. #7
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    Another thought. It is always good to make a couple blocks at the beginning and measure to assure their accuracy so if not then can correct in later blocks.

  8. #8
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Here are some links to tutorials on this board about 1/4" seams

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-89997-1.htm

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-109768-1.htm

    other things to consider when blocks are not the correct size are pressing, not ironing, and using starch. I agree that you may not be happy with the results of too much block trimming on this quilt.

  9. #9
    Senior Member FQ Stash Queen's Avatar
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    I just finished a paper piecing 6-1/2" block pattern that had to line up in the middle to make a 12-1/2" block that became a windmill star. Pick the smallest block and make them all the same. They should line up.

  10. #10
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    If your quilt is made up of the same block repeated, it isn't as important for them to come out a required measurement. The blocks do have to be all the same size however for a good result. If your block is slightly under and all the rest of the blocks are the SAME, just adjust your borders to the new size. In the case of different blocks you do need a constitant 1/4 inch seam or scant 1/4 inch seam to end up with blocks that will fit together well.

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