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Thread: Squaring up a block

  1. #1
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    Squaring up a block

    When making a eight point star block how would you square up the block without cutting off the points. TIA for all responses

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    that's a tricky one. if it's only a little off, i square it so that i have the 1/4" seam allowance needed, even if that causes a slight bulge in the center. if it's more than a little off, i'll resew it more accurately.
    Nancy in western NY
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    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    that's a tricky one. if it's only a little off, i square it so that i have the 1/4" seam allowance needed, even if that causes a slight bulge in the center. if it's more than a little off, i'll resew it more accurately.
    Agree ... will add.

    If the block is slightly larger than the required size - use your points and measure 1/4" from the point to the outside edge to square it.

    If the block is slightly smaller than the required size - I generally leave it as it is and try to compensate by using a smaller seam allowance. In other words ... when I match my star block to the next block/sashing/border I will match it to the POINTS of the block, not the outside edge of the block.

    If the block is smaller than 1/8" on ANY side ... I'll deconstruct it and re-sew.

    Make sense??
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  4. #4
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    You need to have 1/4 inch of seam allowance past the point for the seam allowance. If you don't, you can't help cutting off the points when squaring "down" a block.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Sharon Schamber has some videos on Youtube that show how to square up a block using starch and pins. There's only so much you can do with an 8-point star to square up because you absolutely must leave enough seam allowance so the points are not chopped off.

    If the block is too big, even after blocking, you may have to ease the block edges.

    If the block is too small, you may be able to "float" the block in order to preserve the star points. A basic way to make this work is to have sashing the same as the background color of the blocks. Here is an example: http://www.bamrobot.com/pz-inch-7-su...35Ktzkjpg.html

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    This is why I don't make star blocks! Blessings to all of you who do and for the advice to Tribe, but thank heaven for squares, triangles and rectangles! froggyintexas

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    In addition to the suggestions above, generally speaking, when I square a block, I will start my measurements from the center of the block to help with not chopping off those points.

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    It's really hard to make an eight point star block bigger! I'd agree with Sue, match the points, not the seam allowances..but you must have at least 1/8th inch! The absolute best thing to do when you're making a difficult quilt is to buy extra fabric to begin with, because it will all be gone everywhere if you look for it later, trust me!
    Margaret F

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    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I do as others have suggested by squaring up ensuring the point has a 1/4 seam above it. At this stage you can adjust if needed. Once you have cut the fabric no way back so leave ears until doing major cut.
    Finished is better than a UFO

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    ....if you don't get that 1/4"seam allowance automatically as you are piecing it then means your 1/4" seam is either too thick to too skimpy....I personally would NOT trim to 1/8" if that's all you have...that's a sure way to get a raveled seam after washing...not enough fabric their to hold that seam together.....

    Ugly four letter----REDO - saves lots of misery in the end...jmho

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    Super Member katiebear1's Avatar
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    Since I only make quilts for myself and husband ( and-my grown children) I really don't care if my quilts are perfect, so if a point gets cut off so be it

  12. #12
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Normally, to be able to square up a block like Eleanor Burns demos, you have to be able to make the block a bit bigger such as with HST rounding up 1/8" of an inch when cutting the squares. SORRY !!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  13. #13
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    If the block is off enough I would be tempted to redo it. When I am making a block like this, I will square up each of the sub units - before cutting/trimming them, I check the points and any other places where they intersect with other units. Easier to correct these issues when you do not have to rip out a huge amount.

    Another option (depending on the setting that you are using) you might be able to add a small frame of the background around each block and square up to a larger block - thus enlarging the block slightly and saving the points.
    Betty

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    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

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    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I dislike losing points, so I will use my seam ripper and redo any block that has lost even one point. Also, I agree with everyone that says if the block is smaller than should be, add a small border around the block to make it the right size. I have done that often and in the end you can't tell. I love stars and make 8 point stars often, when I'm sewing.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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