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Thread: Squaring Up A Block

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    I know we need to square up our blocks for the quilt to lay flat but my question is when I square up my block the outside pieces are always a little smaller than they should be and in some cases in order to square up the block, the outside pieces are noticeably smaller than the inner ones. How do you fix something like this. I am mostly doing utility quilts for the local nursing home now so I know it isn't a big problem but somedaywhen I am better at quilting, I want to make a nice quilt for myself and I would prefer all of the squares to be equal.

  2. #2
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    Practicing on those utility quilts is a great thing! Keep working on them, being careful to cut accurately and be sure you are sewing a consistent scant 1/4" seam; soon your blocks will be quite square, only needing a tiny bit of trimming.

    For blocks that have many pieces, like Bonnie Hunter's, I trim sub-units as I go. If there are half-square triangles, 4-patches, etc., I make sure they are the size needed before I go on to the next step. Extra work, yes, but I'm almost guaranteed to have blocks come out the needed size.

  3. #3
    Faren's Avatar
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    *sigh* I figured that I would need to square up the sub units, but now that someone else said it I can't ignore it. I'm working on a 9 in jacob's ladder, almost finished with all the four patches. That's a lot to go back and square up!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by peaceandjoy
    Practicing on those utility quilts is a great thing! Keep working on them, being careful to cut accurately and be sure you are sewing a consistent scant 1/4" seam; soon your blocks will be quite square, only needing a tiny bit of trimming.

    For blocks that have many pieces, like Bonnie Hunter's, I trim sub-units as I go. If there are half-square triangles, 4-patches, etc., I make sure they are the size needed before I go on to the next step. Extra work, yes, but I'm almost guaranteed to have blocks come out the needed size.
    Thank you. I have been mostly using 4 or 9 patch but I had so many 2" pieces that I decided to do a 36 piece square and I think probably after reading your post that somewhere in the sewing of the 36 2" squares I probably didn't have an accurage 1/4" seam. I didn't measure as I was sewing them together, just after I had them all sewn together and pressed.

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    While you are practicing your 1/4" seams, you can sew your rows together off set.
    At the end of every other row, add one extra block, and cut each end piece in 1/2 (plus 1/4" for the seam allowance.) Then when you sew the rows together, they are off set :wink:

    Or you can sew a row, add a solid strip, then a pieced row, and a solid row... :D:D:D

  6. #6
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    I measure as the block grows. I either trim off or sew slightly smaller seams.
    If necessary when I get to the last two sides, I can cut pieces larger.

  7. #7
    Senior Member scrapykate's Avatar
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    When I square my blocks, I make sure the diagonal line on the square is on the diagonal of the block. I think this helps keep the trimming even around the square. Using the scant 1/4" is a must when doing multiple seams for one block.

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