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Thread: Completely blocked on this quilt...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cheshirepat's Avatar
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    Unhappy Completely blocked on this quilt...

    Hi all.. Posting for the first time since 2011? I've missed it here! Anyway, I am hoping that some of you might have some advice for me. I bought this fabric a long time ago, and when I started working it I found that the cat panels were out of square as they were printed. I got frustrated, I started to put extra borders to make them a full 12.5" square... But then gave up. I look at it now and I can't stand the way the patterned border looks on the blocks. Do I rip those off and start over? I had another thought about sewing the center panels on top of a larger solid black kona cotton, appliqueing it on. I've never done an applique quilt so I'm hesitant to start here. Is there another graceful way to get the panels up to a true square? I don't even have a complete design for the quilt in my head yet. I've included a pic of the other fabric as well... I'd really love to begin on it!
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    *this space for rent*

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rebecca_S's Avatar
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    I would try it out with a border of one of the other fabrics. The black of the panel and the black of your other fabrics don't match, so having them touch doesn't suit my eye. Having a different color in between will disguise that the blacks are not exactly the same.

  3. #3
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    oh i kind of like it myself. very pretty but if it really bothers you, do change it. good luck.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I would take off the added borders on just one block to see if I could true up the block. Panels like this are often off-square, usually because fabric is stretched and distorted as it is wound onto bolts. They are also often printed off-grain. Usually you can "block" them into an appropriate square shape using spray starch, a pinnable ironing board, and an iron. Sharon Schamber used to have some Youtube videos on how to square up applique blocks, but I can't find them.

    Basically, what you do is place an outlined square on your ironing board. I would do this by drawing the square the block should be on the matte side of some freezer paper, then iron the shiny side of the freezer paper to the ironing board. Saturate the block with starch, either a heavy spray starch or a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo liquid laundry starch and water. You do not want the block dripping wet because of the freezer paper, so give it a few minutes so the fabric fibers have a chance to absorb as much starch as they can, then wipe off any excess with a finger. Position the block on the square outline and start pinning. I would start in the corners, then fill in with pins about 1" apart along all edges (starting with a pin in the middle of an edge, and working evenly out to the corners). Try to smooth out ripples with a finger. At this point I would let it dry completely. When dry, remove pins as necessary so you can steam *press* (not iron back and forth) the block. This should square it enough to proceed with making your quilt.

    You will want to use at least a moderate amount of quilting on those blocks to keep them squared. If you were to just outline quilt the blocks, when the quilt is washed, the block fabric might develop ripples again. To keep the blocks squared, be sure to include some quilting inside the blocks as well as around them. The quilting will secure their positioning.

    You may not be able to get the blocks perfectly square, but you should be able to get them squared up enough to use in a quilt without drawing attention to squareness.

  5. #5
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    I like the patterned borders.

    Rob
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  6. #6
    Super Member Teen's Avatar
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    I like the patterned black borders, too; however, depending on your design layout, another color may look better. Fabulous fabrics to choose from. This will be a striking quilt when completed. And, I've been told and have learned that many panels are often misprinted and not squared or stretched. Prism's suggestion may help.

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  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Instead of using freezer paper on your ironing board, you could use painter's tape to mark off the square size for your blocks. Probably easier to use.

  8. #8
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    If those patterned borders bother you, could you use a charcoal grey (or purple, any dark color) fabric paint and paint all the white areas? That would make the design subtle, more like a tone on tone. It would then look like a wide dark border. Would you like a wide dark border there?

  9. #9
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    I would remove the patterned border and use that beautiful blue.

  10. #10
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    Watch this video. She shows how to square up a panel that is printed crooked.

    bkay

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zupBTfTNZI8



  11. #11
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    Since I hate to unsew but can see how you're bothered by it being out of square, here's my suggestion.

    Trace a few inches of the outer green leaves. Make a couple 'sprigs" of leaf appliques in a fabric the color of that burnt sienna/red of the flower, and put one "sprig" of leaves in the upper right hand corner (just above the big flower), and one in the lower left (where the orange cat's paw is) . It'll draw the eye into the big cat in the center and away from the hard black lines that aren't square . Does that make sense?
    Last edited by zozee; 03-05-2018 at 11:37 AM.

  12. #12
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I like the gray/black pattern, but if you want a different color, I'd like the olive green.

  13. #13
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    I never could square up the panel blocks I had, so I framed with a wider border and cut wonky, so the uneven borders were no longer obvious. Here is an example:
    Name:  J & C's baby quilt front.JPG
Views: 718
Size:  1.24 MB

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkay View Post
    Watch this video. She shows how to square up a panel that is printed crooked.

    bkay

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zupBTfTNZI8


    That is a wonderful video - so clear in the explanations and demonstrations. Thanks!

  15. #15
    Senior Member kat13's Avatar
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    I like what you have done! The borders are
    Eye catching!! Love the green!

  16. #16
    Junior Member Grannies G's Avatar
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    Ok they are out of square make that part of the design on purpose like the one shown above. Who says everything has to be square. Add a wonky border or two then square the blocks up to the size you want. Your cats are kind of whimsical anyway.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Cheshirepat's Avatar
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    Wow, wow! First, thank you for your opinions and great ideas! It's taken me a few days to get logged in during break at work -after a 9-hour day I never have the energy to go online, let alone quilt!

    I'm half convinced the print is *not* meant to be exactly square...meaning the pattern is 'casual' and not made on-a-grid. Julie Paschkis is the designer (I adore her fabric!) and looking at another person's completed quilt, it looks a bit uneven as well!
    Either way, I think I'd be more pleased with removing the patterned border (whose black, I agree is not a perfect match) and maybe use the idea of 'wonky' borders, or offsetting the squares as diamonds instead. I love the video on how to 'disguise' an imperfect panel in a like patterned border...unfortunately this one is pure black and maybe hard to match exactly/distractingly enough.
    I'm sure I'll end up squaring other blocks w/the starch/block method - which is nothing I'd ever thought to do! Awesome wealth of info here.
    I also LOVE the idea of adding applique'd bits to move the eye around. I may just keep that in my sleeve, so to speak!
    This is a picture of someone else's quilt - same block.
    *this space for rent*

  18. #18
    Senior Member Cheshirepat's Avatar
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    Other wonkysquare

    Oops -here it is....
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    *this space for rent*

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