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Thread: Squaring up a Quilt

  1. #1

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    Oct 2010
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    Hi,
    I'm new here, but have been craft sewing for some time. I have a recurring problem, I'm working on a small lap quilt, getting my quilt to be square. I have tried measuring from the selvage and then using a tee square for the sides, but it just doesn't seem to make a perfectly square quilt. Any suggestions? Is buying one of those large cardboard pieces with lines on it an option?

    Thanks so much!

    Suzy

  2. #2
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    http://www.quiltuniversity.com/squaring_up.htm
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPlo79fz6P0
    http://naptimequilter.blogspot.com/2...-tutorial.html
    these are all different ideas on squaring up quilts.
    trimming a tiny bit to square is fine. you don't want to cut into your blocks if they go out to the edges of your quilt. borders are fair game but again, not much off the edges please. quilts mostly are going onto beds, so square isn't so important.

  3. #3
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Are you checking the size of "each" block that you make for the correct finished measurements? If each block is the correct size & you are sewing accurate 1/4" seams, the quilt sould come out square. I'm not understanding what selvages you would have in a completed quilt top. Selvages are usually cut off before cutting your pieces for the blocks. If you are using selvages, I think they may distort your block sizes.

  4. #4
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    if it is 1/4 inch or less -close enough

  5. #5

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    Oct 2010
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    Thank you so much to all of you for getting back to me so quickly. I found a chenille backed quilt on a blog. It's one large piece 45"x45" of cotton fabric backed by three layers of flannel. I sewed a diagonal and then stitched 1/2" from that diagonal, and so forth to quilt the piece, essentially. Then I cut between all the channels and am in the process of squaring it before I add the binding. If you want to see the quilt, here's a link.
    http://www.aestheticnest.com/2010/08...ille-baby.html
    That's why I'm having trouble and why I have a selvage.

    Thanks again. Suzy

  6. #6
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    Sometimes the selvages aren't completely straight. Cut them off with a straightedge (ruler); then measure your pieces to cut.

  7. #7

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    But, how do you determine your "straight" edge if the selvage isn't straight? Do you guess at straight on one of the sides and then go from there? Sounds like it......

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzyMcQ
    But, how do you determine your "straight" edge if the selvage isn't straight? Do you guess at straight on one of the sides and then go from there? Sounds like it......
    Use a large square ruler on the corners. You need to cut on the outside of a ruler, not the inside. It doesn't have to be perfect. You can use the lines on a rotary cutting mat to help you get it straight.

  9. #9
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzyMcQ
    Thank you so much to all of you for getting back to me so quickly. I found a chenille backed quilt on a blog. It's one large piece 45"x45" of cotton fabric backed by three layers of flannel. I sewed a diagonal and then stitched 1/2" from that diagonal, and so forth to quilt the piece, essentially. Then I cut between all the channels and am in the process of squaring it before I add the binding. If you want to see the quilt, here's a link.
    http://www.aestheticnest.com/2010/08...ille-baby.html
    That's why I'm having trouble and why I have a selvage.

    Thanks again. Suzy
    You're sewing on the diagonal (bias) which will distort the square. Never leave the selvedge on the fabric as it shrinks differently than the regular fabric. That is the first thing I do with any fabric, remove the selvedge, before I do any cutting. I have never made chenille so I don't know how to address the bias stretching you will have; I would probably use a walking foot. I know when I quilt on the diagonal I always start in the middle and switch directions with each row of stitching; which you obviously can't do with chenille.

  10. #10
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzyMcQ
    But, how do you determine your "straight" edge if the selvage isn't straight? Do you guess at straight on one of the sides and then go from there? Sounds like it......
    You should be able to see by the straight of the threads where you cut off the selvedge. Use a yardstick or long ruler at least 24" long.

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