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Thread: How accurately do you trim up blocks?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rebecca_S's Avatar
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    How accurately do you trim up blocks?

    If you have assembled blocks and they are square, how much do you trim them? Does it depend on the size of the block?
    I recently made a set of 13" blocks and only trimmed those that were off by 1/8" or more. It saved a lot of time to not trim the ones that were only off a few threads but I don't know if it will lead to too much inaccuracy in the finished top, which is not assembled yet. My previous top had 3.5" blocks and those I trimmed every block and the top came out square/even.

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Personally, I trim every block as close to the size it is supposed to be as I can get it.

  3. #3
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I try to trim them all to be the same. I have found for me, being a few threads off very many times really will add up. I don't obsess but do my best. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the process

  4. #4
    Senior Member KerryK's Avatar
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    I agree ... do the best you can and have fun with it!

  5. #5
    Super Member jillnjo's Avatar
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    I am pretty particular about trimming them as near to the same as possible. It does make a difference in the final outcome, but at the same time, it's not like working with steel! There is give in fabric and sometimes there are slightly different measurements that must be worked with. One of the biggest challenges to quilting is making a true block and having a squared up quilt when you are done! Good luck.
    jillnjo

  6. #6
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I trim them all as close as I can. I feel a small amount off can really add up in the end.

  7. #7
    Member Arcy's Avatar
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    Trimming blocks as you go saves time down the line when the blocks go together. Perfection is not my goal but trimming blocks to size makes sewing rows together much easier. I'm into EASY
    ​Quilt Police . . . Stay away from my door

  8. #8
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    I also try and trim them as close as possible, because if more than a very few are off, even a tiny bit, they will all add up and throw the whole quilt off...just saves headaches later...
    Good luck to you,
    Kif
    Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest~Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I try to trim as exact to the size it is supposed to be as I can. It really, really, makes a difference in the finished quilt.

  10. #10
    Super Member DonnaB's Avatar
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    I've learned the hard way when not trimming my blocks, the quilt looks caddy wampus. It only takes a few minutes to trim, and makes so much difference in the overall look of your quilts.
    Retired & enjoying life

  11. #11
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    I try my best to trim my blocks as accurate as possible. It saves frustration in the end.
    When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

  12. #12
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I should be more meticulous about this step but I don't really fret about it - if its real bad I will trim it up - also depends on the quilt block etc. Sometimes I am so excited about the quilt I just want to put it together.

  13. #13
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    I trim exact...AND if it is a star or something with points, I make sure to trim 1/4" past that point so it does not end up POINTLESS!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivelyLady View Post
    I try my best to trim my blocks as accurate as possible. It saves frustration in the end.
    I totally agree!

  15. #15
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    I trim as close as possible without loosing any points after the 1/4 inch seam allowance but I leave them untrimmed if I am not ready to assemble the quilt top. I find that when storing the blocks the edges can get ragged again and then you don't have any allowance to trim.

  16. #16
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I don't trim up blocks. You end up cutting off points, so what is the point? I would rather fudge a little. If my blocks are off more than 1/4 inch, I redo them or make another. There are a FEW techniques where trimming down is perfectly fine - say the background for applique which was made larger in the first place.

    I also don't square up blocks for swaps. I prefer to leave it to the swapper to decide if they want to fudge or trim. If you cut off the point, the block may be unusable by that swapper.

  17. #17
    Jim
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    Super Member Jim's Avatar
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    I trim all blocks...better to spend a few minutes to trim then to spend hours aggrivated because I didn't
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort :lol:

  18. #18
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    Oh, trim them. I don't want to spoil the final product by having odd sized or slightly off blocks. The better they are trimmed, the better they fit together and the easier the final construction.

  19. #19
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    I try to keep the block as close to the measurement required. Squaring-up to me, makes a difference in the finished product. Can't wait to finish my very first, pieced quilt. Will post it when finished, hopefully, in the next few days. (Just the finished top). Am planning on have it professionally quilted. Could never do all that work by hand... I always knew I was a "square"...

  20. #20
    Junior Member Camping Angel's Avatar
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    I had the same question about trimming blocks once. Out of all the replies on this topic so far, 94% trim their blocks. Sounds like it is the safe way to do it. Thanks for the advice.

  21. #21
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    First, I make all my HSTs necessary, all cut a fraction larger than they need to be...then i press and trim all of them. Then I set all pcs tog, including the HSTs, now I square up all the blocks, and lastly, i measure the quilt in 3 places, use the middle measurement to go by for borders and then square that up...it is totally worth it, and if you have ever tried to quilt a quilt with ripples and bumps and gathers everywhere, you will know why.

  22. #22
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca_S View Post
    I recently made a set of 13" blocks and only trimmed those that were off by 1/8" or more. It saved a lot of time to not trim the ones that were only off a few threads but I don't know if it will lead to too much inaccuracy in the finished top, which is not assembled yet. My previous top had 3.5" blocks and those I trimmed every block and the top came out square/even.
    Try to trim as accurately as possible. That being said, it will make a bigger difference if you're not as accurate on 3.5" blocks than it will with 13" blocks. Bigger blocks, fewer seams. A few threads off on many seams across the quilt adds up.

  23. #23
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    I agree with most of you - I trim as close as I can, every block. I've made a large quilt out of 6" blocks, didn't trim them all and I paid for it. I think I used up one whole seam ripper on that quilt alone! The little bits do add up.
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  24. #24
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    I trim them to size. I've never had a quilt that turned out uneven.

  25. #25
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I try to be as accurate as I can. I found it can make a big difference when sewing squares together. I put too much work into my hand piecing to NOT do all I can to make sure everything lines up right.

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