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Thread: Please help with squaring a quilt

  1. #1
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    Question Please help with squaring a quilt

    I have just finished quilting a 101x89 quilt on my domestic machine. I'm pooped. It has 4 inch borders. One side measures 1 inch longer than the other. How do I square it up without losing the full 4 inches on one border? Or do I just square up the corners with my 12inch ruler and forget about the inch difference. I'm desperate to finish this thing today. I appreciate your help. The borders are not quilted yet.
    Last edited by molly oldham; 06-16-2012 at 08:14 AM.
    Molly O

  2. #2
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    When I get my quilts back from my LA quilter, the whole quilt is quilted and that's when I square up my quilt. My LQS owner taught me to do it then. I don't know if everyone else does it that way, but it works for me. So, maybe wait until you quilt your borders, then use your 12 1/2" ruler and square up your quilt. After you quilt your borders, they will be a different size all together.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  3. #3
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Try pressing the quilt back into shape and then trim.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  4. #4
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    My first few quilts were always different sizes on one side so I learned to square it up before I put on the borders. A solid border doesn't make that much difference and I always add a few inches more then I need, but a pieced border will be a mess to try to square up and not lose the design.
    Got fabric?

  5. #5
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Amen, BellaBoo, that is the way my grandma taught me. That and squaring up each block. Makes the end result so much better and takes just a few minutes.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    It sounds like your quilt is already quilted, so it's too late for squaring up before quilting. Your best option is to try blocking the quilt to see if you can even it up. I think that will probably work fine, since you are not off that much. However, if that doesn't work, then you have two options. One is to go ahead and slice off some of the side that's too long and accept the fact that the borders will not be exactly even. The other is to leave the quilt as it is. With a bed quilt that large, you won't ever notice that one side is 1" too long, and after a few washings it may even itself out anyway. Don't beat yourself up over it - NO ONE ELSE WILL EVER KNOW! (Because we're not telling.)

  7. #7
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I have a saying "If you can't see it on a galloping horse, then it doesn't exist."

    If you whack off an inch on a 4" wide border, you're going to notice that alot. You won't notice the one inch on something that is 101" long...Leave it be and figure out why it happened so that you can do it differently next time.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  8. #8
    Senior Member rrhaigh's Avatar
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    When I had to quilt a quilt that wasn't square I sprayed the long section of the border with hot water, let it dry and sprayed it again. It shrunk up enough. I have also heard of using a steamer to steam the long section. Maybe you can ease in the excess. But, like others said it is a large quilt so I doubt you would even notice once it is on the bed.
    Robin
    robinsquiltingroom.blogspot.com
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  9. #9
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I agree with Dunster - either try blocking it, or if you're not planning on entering it in a show, just leave it. No one will notice.

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    are you saying one border measures 5 inches now? if so, you can square it up and it should all be fine. as long as your borders don't have pieced blocks that could be ruined by trimming into them.

  11. #11
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    I square my quilts up as I add my boarders. I take a measurment in the middle of the quilt and use that number. then I 1/4 up the boarder and the quilt top and add my boarder to the quartered up quilt pin to pin. Hope you understand what I mean. If not let me know I will try and explain it better

  12. #12
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    when I was taking studio art classes and we had to learn to mat and frame our own work, we were taught to make the bottom mat boarder a bit larger than the other borders and were told the eye automatically makes the correction and it was a better way to set of the print (or whatever was being framed). Don't worry and learn from this. It seems it would only be a major problem if you wanted to enter the quilt into a show. No one else will ever ever know--at least no one who has been gifted a quilt by me has ever measured it to my knowledge.

  13. #13
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    Thank you very much for your replies. I will remember to square before I border the next time! I don't think I'll trim any from the border as I think I would be noticable. I always wash my quilts when they're done so I will probably just try to block it to size while it's wet.
    Molly O

  14. #14
    Senior Member Cheshirecatquilter's Avatar
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    How about splitting the difference and trimming off only 1/2"?

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