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Thread: I am just full of questions this week......

  1. #1

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    When you have your finished blocks and you are ready to assemble them in to rows. Do you make sure each square is the same exact size before you sew them together?

    I always seem to have something wacky happen. After I assemble each bluck I always have a pioece or strip of the block that is longer then the rest. Should I just trim of that specific piece or should I square up all of the blocks?

  2. #2
    Izy
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    Super Member Izy's Avatar
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    I would square up to the size they should be according to the pattern you are following, if its a little on the small side you can do a bit of tweaking and ironing then check again on your mat to see if its square...thats what I do, and be careful before cutting off any apparently bigger sides as you may end up with an unsymetrical block :shock: Make sure you have enough seam allowance so as not to end up with no points on stars etc.

    Check and double check is my motto BEFORE trimming :D

  3. #3

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    I am doing the Candy Bar Road Pattern. It doesn't say how big the finished blocks are supposed to be.

  4. #4
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    YES, YES, YES!!! This makes things go together perfectly. The only quilts I have had trouble coming out wonky were the ones that I didn't square the blocks. I learned that lesson and now sqare up all the blocks before they go into rows.

  5. #5
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    Yes square them. I learned the hard way.

  6. #6
    Member Lynda in TN's Avatar
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    When I learned to quilt, I was always taught to take a plastic template and square all my blocks before putting them together. We were not taught to be a specific as we should have been when sewing, but we did square them up. The templates are expensive at the shops, but we were more fortunate. Our "teacher" had a hubby who made us all templates out of plastic that were very precise in size, from very small to very large. They do not have the scale on them, but they are great for squaring!

  7. #7
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    Yes, square them up but make sure your seams match before you just start cutting. Sometimes the part that is off is in the middle of your pieced block so cutting some off the outer block will only make matters worse.

  8. #8
    Power Poster SulaBug's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else. You must square them up, as you sew them together. You will be so much happier with the end result.

    Good Luck,
    Cheryl

  9. #9
    Super Member Pam S's Avatar
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    Nobody's going to like my answer, but I never square up my blocks. But I am a perfectionist - all my corners have to match and my points have to be sharp. So my advice is to learn to be very precise with your cutting (whether you use a ruler or a template) and VERY accurate with your 1/4 inch seam width and be careful not to stretch your fabric while you sew or your blocks can get skewed that way too. If something isn't perfect at the block stage, I tear it out right then and redo it so there are no surprises when I start putting the whole quilt together. Sure you sacrifice speed for accuracy but, in the end, you make it up by not having to spend a lot of time adjusting and tweaking your blocks to get them to fit.
    If you've already sewn the blocks, you'll have to square them. But I agree with MaryQC, make sure there aren't some individual blocks that aren't quite right and fix them if you can. You'll be so much happier with the results.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mary quite contrary
    Yes, square them up but make sure your seams match before you just start cutting. Sometimes the part that is off is in the middle of your pieced block so cutting some off the outer block will only make matters worse.
    this has been the issue with most of my block-of-the-months. if you have to trim too much, then when you stitch them together with the 1/4" seam, some of the angles get stitched into (if that makes sense).

  11. #11
    Senior Member rismstress's Avatar
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    I measure every seam after I sew it to make sure it's 1/4 inch. And I measure every piece after it's sewn to make sure it's the size it's supposed to be. If your one little seam is off by 1/16th of an inch and you repeat that several times, by the time you get to the end, you'll have a whole inch or so that is too small or too big. I have the ripper right next to the scissors and the little ruler at my machine. I rip immediately if it's not right. It's awful to get the blocks done and they don't fit right. And the puckers and stretching don't come out with the quilting-- the whole quilt just wags off crooked. My grandma- who taught me to sew- said do it right or don't do it. She also taught me with the ripper- I know it might be compulsive, but I'm more happy with the results if I do it this way.
    Cheryl

  12. #12
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    well, I agree with Pams and rismtress, measure, measure, measure and match as you go...here's why I agree. I must be a perfectionist also, but I am also still learning,...lol, as if we could ever learn everything about quilting, whew!...I am doing a princess quilt for my granddaughter and about to take out a whole bunch of seams. I spent a while last night measuring parts of each block to see why each one looked so good but did not come out the same. I am not about to sew these rows together and get a puckered mess. I could never give that to her and be proud of it. It will be a lot of work but she is worth it. I am going with the template, ruler and PRESS, do not IRON methods from now on. I may not be a fast learner, but eventually hope to get it right. C

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I square up blocks for easy patterns where there are no points and seams don't have to line up exactly. Rail fence would be a good example, and 9-patches are pretty forgiving too. In this case, I square them all up to the smallest block (assuming the smallest block isn't too far off. If it is way off, I discard that and look for something closer to reasonable.)

    It really helps to make sure all of your blocks are the same size before you start putting them together. Squaring them up is one method. However, there are other methods that can be used when points are critical or where you just don't have any excess fabric to lose. If you go to http://www.youtube.com and search on "Sharon Schamber", you will find several video examples of different methods. One video shows how she cuts off excess fabric to true up a block. Another shows how to block with spray starch to shrink in excess fabric on a block that is too large. I think another shows how to block a too-small block with spray starch, to stretch it to size. Blocking is a lot more time-intensive than just trueing up with a ruler and rotary cutter, but sometimes blocking is the only method that will keep points from getting cut off.

    Mary

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