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Thread: Squaring a 9 patch and a Snowball block

  1. #1
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Squaring a 9 patch and a Snowball block

    I recently completed a quilt top that was a combination of 9-patch and Snowball blocks. This is the first time that I tried squaring my blocks before sewing into rows. Loved the ease that my rows came together! However, I didn't square them properly, in that the corners of the triangles should have matched the corner of one of the 9-patches. But - it didn't. I have hopefully attached pictures to help.

    What I did. I lined up the diagonal across my 9-patches. Couldn't figure out what measurement to line up on a vertical seam, gave up on that. Ending size of my block - 6-1/4 inches (technically that would be 5-3/4 with seam allowances for the outside edges added in). I made sure the diagonal was correct, the 1-1 on the square ruler was in the top right hand corner, and that the bottom and left edges were over the 6-1/4 inch lines on the ruler (wanted to take off roughly equally on all sides). Did the same on the Snowball blocks.

    I believe that I needed to line up on a vertical seam - but in doing that it, wherever I put it, it seemed I would be taking a lot more off one side than the other.

    What should I do the next time?

    Dawn
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    Last edited by DawnFurlong; 01-17-2012 at 01:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    The only person that is going to notice is you. The quilt top looks super to me. I try to sew my blocks as exact as possible so there is only a smidge to trim. There is a ruler called I think...the squaring up ruler, that is supposed to help keep the block centered while trimming. I have not tried it but it might be something to look into if it really bothers you.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    the blocks are correct- with snowball blocks the corners are not as large---do not meet in the middle-that would make a square in a square- the corners look to be the correct size for a snowball and they look good- no one knows you didn't plan it the way it is except you- anyone else will look at the quilt and find it to be a very nice quilt-
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Junior Member Christine George's Avatar
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    Sounds like you did the right thing. If you left yourself 1/2" to trim then it's 1/4 from first two sides and 1/4 from other two sides. When you lay your block on the mat to trim, lay it on point from yourself. Put your 1/1 point of the ruler at 3 o'clock, lining up diagonals like you did, and cut two sides before you move the ruler. Then turn the block end for end and trim the other two sides. That way you're not getting confused about which side you've already trimmed. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    if this were me, the next time (this time, it looks great to me and I wouldn't have noticed anything off about it and still don't) I might draft the finished square as a paper-pieced block, that way I would sew on my lines and it would be how I wanted it. To repeat 8^)) your quilt is lovely

  6. #6
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    I believe that you did the correct thing, even though it may not make sense to you. It looks really good. Thanks for sharing.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  7. #7
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Thank you. Actually, I am happy with it. And I wasn't totally sure if the corners of the triangle should match the edge of the 9-patch. I know it is a very basic quilt, but the first time I used triangles of any sort, and first time to square up my blocks.

    It was just that reading on squaring up a block, there were references to lining up on the diagonal and on a vertical seam as well. Then there were other directions that talked about lining up on the vertical and making sure you could see the bottom and left edges over the measurement that you wanted your block to end up at (ie, 6-1/4). That made sense. In doing so I could set the ruler so that I was cutting off roughly the same amount from all sides.

    The main thing I wanted to make sure of - was that I did this correctly. Because I want to try more blocks with different triangles (up the difficulty level), and should I need to square up my blocks again - I wanted to make sure that I didn't end up with unintended consequences! (if that makes sense) Nothing like being surprised if you cut off the edges of your block incorrectly - and then lines/seams don't match up as they should - ruining the effect of the pattern.

    My ultimate goal though, is to not have to square up my blocks. Though I have to admit I liked starting with fresh cuts on my blocks when putting together my rows. I didn't have to work to ease anything in.

  8. #8
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    Well, I don't see a problem. It looks right to me and beautiful!

  9. #9
    Super Member wuv2quilt's Avatar
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    Your quilt looks FAB to me
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  10. #10
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    Lovely quilt. Don't see any problems from here.
    sew1

  11. #11
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    Very pretty quilt and don' t see any problems either.

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    i think it looks great and you learned something about the next time you square up... bonus!

  13. #13
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    Your quilt looks great.

  14. #14
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    I did a king sized for my daughter and was horrified when it was sewn together and the snowball corners did not meet the center 9-patch. Our friends here on the board gave me the same advice as you... and my daughter loved it and all was well in the end. Your quilt looks wonderful.
    Nancy in western NY
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  15. #15
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Beautiful quilt. You did a wonderful job. I'm also working on a nine-patch snowball.
    All my blocks are done but I haven't assembled it yet. I'm sure all the diagonals
    won't match perfectly but as long as it's done and look half decent, I'll be happy.

  16. #16
    Super Member Judith1005's Avatar
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    Beautiful. I love nive patches. My favorites. But, I love yours paired with the snowballs. And I think it looks perfect.
    My little shinning stars. Brantley, Kaylynn, and Emmalee

  17. #17
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    i think it looks great you did a great job!!!
    QUILTNMO

  18. #18
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I just finished the same quilt with the same problem. I think my problem was not in the squaring of the blocks, but in sewing on the perfect diagonal line when attaching the snowball corners. Being a little off changed the spot where it should have intersected with the seams in the nine patch.

  19. #19
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    This is lovely. You did a great job and is something I would be proud of.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Kim Bohannon's Avatar
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    the quilt looks great to me... but as for squaring up your blocks, usually, you do have to take more off one side than the others... that is normal.. what is important is that your seams all come to the same place on the ruler... Hope that helps
    I quilt for my sanity!

  21. #21
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    If the corners of the snowball are really bugging you, next time you could make the HST's for the corners a little larger. Then the seams would match.

  22. #22
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I wonder if your little squares moved on the snowball block? Did you mark the diagonal sewing line? Did you sew right on the line? I often leave the background square intact on blocks that add a triangle in the corner. I only trim the other half of the triangle. That way, when I press the triangle open, I can see if my block is off. When the triangle is larger than the background square I trim, when it is smaller I use the background square for alignment. Your quilt is pretty.
    Martina
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  23. #23
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    Looks perfect to me.
    http://www.skillpages.com/DonnaValleyquiltermo
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  24. #24
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Bohannon View Post
    the quilt looks great to me... but as for squaring up your blocks, usually, you do have to take more off one side than the others... that is normal.. what is important is that your seams all come to the same place on the ruler... Hope that helps
    Ahhh...and this is where my concern comes in for future quilts. I know that in some way those vertical seams are important in this. I lined up each block so that the diagonal line on the ruler went through the corners of the block - but I did not line up on any seam. Had I not been attaching the 9-patches to Snowball blocks (that did not have seams to meet up) - I think I would have run into a problem with seams not lining up.

    So if you take off more on one side than another - doesn't that make the block pattern look off? Disproportionate? I am very visual, so having trouble "seeing" this. I should probably get some scrap fabric and throw together a handful of 9 patch blocks - making my seams deliberately a little bit off on a few - then practice squaring them - paying attention to one of the vertical seams. Sometimes I have to see it done wrong before I get it - and I would prefer for that to happen on practice blocks, not a quilt!

    Lab Fairy - yes, that's a thought - I could make the HST bigger if I wanted the end of the triangles to line up with a seam on the 9-patches. I was actually relieved to see that the particular points I was looking at weren't necessarily supposed to line up. So it makes sense that in order to make those points lines up - the size would need to increase.

    MadQuilter - yes, I actually did mark all of my squares on the diagonal. I am sure not all was perfect though. Especially with the sewing, though I did get better faster after working through 124 of them! I learned what I was looking for as to where to start sewing on the corners on my machine - very valuable to get that, made sewing the later triangles easier than it seemed on the first batch.

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