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Thread: quilt top not square

  1. #1
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    I have finished my quilt top. It did not come out square. I measured for the borders and noticed that the top is around 70 inches across and the bottom is around 72 inches across. This is not a pattern that I can cut that much off in order to square up. I do not want to rip this apart and redo. Any suggestions on how to square this up. I have not added the borders yet.
    chamby

  2. #2
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Can you post a picture and have you already cut your borders?

  3. #3
    DJ
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    I have read online somewhere that you should measure each side and average the results. Measure your borders to the average result and then ease the excess. Does that make sense? Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your quilt.

  4. #4
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    re-press the shorter portion to see if that flattens it out some and gives you a more accurate measurement.

  5. #5
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    :evil: :evil: :cry: :cry: Other than averaging the measurement and easing in the fullness with the borders, I can't offfer any other advice, so I'll just be mad/sad with you.

  6. #6
    Member Lynda in TN's Avatar
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    Could you add a border that is large enough that cutting it to square it off would work? You could kind of average the difference and square it. It wouldn't be perfect, but it would be square. Most folks would never notice except while folding it!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kara's Avatar
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    Repress the quilt. Measure through the middle of the quilt and see what that is.

    Then ease in any fullness.

  8. #8
    Super Member chamby's Avatar
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    Thanks, I will try repressing first. I have not cut the borders yet. I did not want to do anything else until I had a plan on what to do. I can not post a picture at this time. I am at work and will have to wait until I get home. I will try to post a picture tomorrow. I do pray that the pressing works. I have worked a long time on this top. Please explain the averaging thing a little more in detail so that I can understand it better.
    Thanks,
    chamby

  9. #9
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamby
    I have finished my quilt top. It did not come out square. I measured for the borders and noticed that the top is around 70 inches across and the bottom is around 72 inches across. This is not a pattern that I can cut that much off in order to square up. I do not want to rip this apart and redo. Any suggestions on how to square this up. I have not added the borders yet.
    chamby
    When adding borders, the most accurate method is to measure the quilt through the middle and then cut the borders to that actual size (plus seam allowance). Since you have 70 at the top and 72 at the bottom, you would measure the middle of the quilt from side to side. If that measurement were 71, then you would cut both top and bottom borders 71 inches long, plus side border width, plus the 1/2 for seams.

    Before sewing on the top border, you would fold both quilt and border in halves and quarters, then pin first the mid-points together, then the quarter-points, and then the ends. You would ease in fullness between these pins.

    Your problem is that the 2-inch discrepancy is very big. I would try to even up the measurements as much as possible first. Depending on the pattern, you may be able to "let out" each seam at the top a little bit to get rid of 1 of the extra inches. At the bottom, it is often possible to sew right over the existing seams, angling the seam to take up a little more fabric towards the bottom of the block. Once you have done this, and perhaps "blocked" the top, you may have reduced the discrepancy to 1 inch or less. At that point, you could do the mid-point measuring/cutting/pinning above to ease in fullness from the quilt on one end and the border on the other. (To ease in the quilt, sew a basting stitch along the edge so you can gather the ease evenly.)

    Blocking can both stretch and shrink fabric. It's a little harder to do on a quilt top because it's so big (blocking is usually done on each block), but it can be done.

    I would probably use painter's tape or masking tape to "block out" a squared top on the carpet (after adjusting seams, maybe 71 inches top and bottom). Measure and mark the mid-points of each side and quarter-points of each side.

    Mist the top with water and/or several layers of spray starch (lay it on a large sheet first to catch overspray, if using starch, and then toss the sheet in the wash). Pin your top to the outline. Always match midpoints first, then quarter-points, then ends, and then pin to ease in fullness. When the fabric is damp, it will stretch a little more if you pull on it. Use an iron above the fabric (not touching) to start shrinking the too-long edges. The too-short edges can be left to dry naturally. Once the top is completely dry, un-pin and then measure through the middle to figure out how long to cut your borders.

    Some combination of the above techniques should allow you to end up with a fairly squared quilt that does not ripple or look off-kilter.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    bj
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    Just another small hint...Once you've got them closer to the same length and ready to sew on your borders, put whichever is the fullest on the bottom when you sew. Typically your machine pulls the bottom fabric next to the feed dogs through a little faster. At least that's the way it seems to me.

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