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Thread: Squaring up a block

  1. #1
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    I have a D9P pattern that says to trim my blocks to 8" before I cute them apart. What is the best way to do this?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    "Trim them BEFORE cutting them apart?"

    I'm waiting for an answer myself. The way I read this makes it kinda like someone had written it while translating from a book of their own language into English that they didn't speak.

    Or did it mean to "decorate" them before cutting them out?

  3. #3
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    What size are the blocks now? Whatever you take off has to be equal on all four sides. The center has to stay in the center - if that makes sense.

    I pressed mine and squared them before cutting, but I wasn't concerned about a size, only that all be square and the same size.

  4. #4
    Super Member feffertim's Avatar
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    You just need to square them up, the best way to do this is to use a 12X12 ruler. There is a video on you tube (I think thats where it is) about how to do this. Google 'squaring up a block' and you will find it. After you have squared up the block, then cut into four and they will all be perfect

  5. #5
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona Byrd
    "Trim them BEFORE cutting them apart?"

    I'm waiting for an answer myself. The way I read this makes it kinda like someone had written it while translating from a book of their own language into English that they didn't speak.

    Or did it mean to "decorate" them before cutting them out?
    Actually it says to trim them to 7 1/2" AFTER cutting them and resewing. I think I'll wait until and see what size they are then. Maybe I'll just leave them alone, they are 7 1/4" right now.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tellabella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommaDorian
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona Byrd
    "Trim them BEFORE cutting them apart?"

    I'm waiting for an answer myself. The way I read this makes it kinda like someone had written it while translating from a book of their own language into English that they didn't speak.

    Or did it mean to "decorate" them before cutting them out?
    Actually it says to trim them to 7 1/2" AFTER cutting them and resewing. I think I'll wait until and see what size they are then. Maybe I'll just leave them alone, they are 7 1/4" right now.
    After you put together your nine patch...your block should be 8 1/2 (did you start with 3 inch blocks?...so you put together the 9 pieces and the block is 8 1/2...THEN AFTER THAT cut into 4 pieces and re-arrange and sew back together...NOW AFTER THIS STEP your block should be 7 1/2 inches because you lose 1 inch in the resewing...does this make any sense now??? I am working on the same patterns for a class I am teaching... but my blocks are 5 inches...end up with 14 inches then I cut into 4 and resewed...my block ends up being 13 inches

  7. #7
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Any time you are making ANY blocks, you need to be sure that ALL of your blocks measure the same as all the others. Since everyone sews differently, and even different fabrics can behave differently, the blocks may differ in size slightly.

    (We do D9P blocks for Quilts of Valor, send kits home with people. When they return the blocks, there is a WIDE discrepancy in sizes (sometimes up to 1/2" or so). If we tried to sew those blocks together without squaring them up, we would get a very uneven quilt top.)

    Also, the edges of the block are often not straight and true. By squaring up BEFORE you cut them, when you turn the two pieces you will have nice straight edges to match up with the freshly cut pieces.

    To square up your blocks, measure them to see what size is most common. I like to use a square ruler that is larger than this size, and put the halfway mark of the ruler on the center of the block (for an 8" block I would line up the 4" mark in the center, both L to R and top to bottom.) Trim the right and top edges. Then turn the block 180 degrees. Now line up the 8" mark on the left and bottom sides and again trim the right and top edges. (These directions are if you are right handed.)

    Note that you are trimming a little bit from all four sides, rather than a bigger portion from just two sides. If you just trimmed from two sides, your block would end up uneven instead of symmetrical.

  8. #8
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellabella
    After you put together your nine patch...your block should be 8 1/2 (did you start with 3 inch blocks?...so you put together the 9 pieces and the block is 8 1/2...THEN AFTER THAT cut into 4 pieces and re-arrange and sew back together...NOW AFTER THIS STEP your block should be 7 1/2 inches because you lose 1 inch in the resewing...does this make any sense now??? I am working on the same patterns for a class I am teaching... but my blocks are 5 inches...end up with 14 inches then I cut into 4 and resewed...my block ends up being 13 inches
    My squares are 3", but when I sew them into a 9 patch the blocks are 7 3/4". I'm using my 1/4" foot, so I know my seam allowances are pretty accurate.

  9. #9
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    If you are starting with 3" squares, the block should equal 8" (3" x 3 = 9". Subtract 1/4" x 4 for the four pieces in the two seam allowances. 9" - 1" = 8").

    Measure the center square of your nine patch - is it exactly 2-1/2"? If not, your seam might be off a bit. Not all 1/4" feet are the same, you need to test it to be sure you're lining up properly. Or you may need to move your needle position a bit.

  10. #10
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    If you are starting with 3" squares, the block should equal 8" (3" x 3 = 9". Subtract 1/4" x 4 for the four pieces in the two seam allowances. 9" - 1" = 8").

    Measure the center square of your nine patch - is it exactly 2-1/2"? If not, your seam might be off a bit. Not all 1/4" feet are the same, you need to test it to be sure you're lining up properly. Or you may need to move your needle position a bit.
    I'm actually 7 3/4". Not sure where the other 1/4" went. How do I test my 1/4" foot?

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