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Thread: Squaring up a quilt after FMQ'ing but before binding

  1. #1
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Do you square your quilt top before or after?

    I was just reading on Leah Day's blog that she FMQs then puts the quilt in the bath tub with hot water...dries and then squares it off...then binds. Never heard of that...does anyone else do that?

  2. #2
    Super Member icon17's Avatar
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    Never! but seems to me that theres no reason it shouldn't work! BUT I would think you would have to alow extra all around the edges for cutting off!

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i always square my quilt up- trim it straight before adding my binding- it's just the way i was taught- to add a nice straight binding- i need a nice straight edge. i lay the quilt out on the floor-(only space large enough) and start at one corner- i line my ruler up with a straight line on the quilt- and trim with a rotory cutter (or sometimes it is better for me to draw the straight line with a pencil- then cut with scissors after all 4 sides are marked)
    i continue up the side of the quilt- with ruler- getting one side straight/even- then i turn it - line up with the straight edge i just cut or marked- and do the next side- continueing around the quilt until all 4 sides are either cut or marked-
    then when it is all done i add my binding.
    if doing a quilt that needs to be perfectly squared i measure it diagonally to make sure both diagonal measurements are equal- if they are not then one side is (off) and i need to square it up- but for most of my quilts just having a straight edge all the way around is all i need to add the binding.

  4. #4
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Do you wash it though prior to binding?
    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    i always square my quilt up- trim it straight before adding my binding- it's just the way i was taught- to add a nice straight binding- i need a nice straight edge. i lay the quilt out on the floor-(only space large enough) and start at one corner- i line my ruler up with a straight line on the quilt- and trim with a rotory cutter (or sometimes it is better for me to draw the straight line with a pencil- then cut with scissors after all 4 sides are marked)
    i continue up the side of the quilt- with ruler- getting one side straight/even- then i turn it - line up with the straight edge i just cut or marked- and do the next side- continueing around the quilt until all 4 sides are either cut or marked-
    then when it is all done i add my binding.
    if doing a quilt that needs to be perfectly squared i measure it diagonally to make sure both diagonal measurements are equal- if they are not then one side is (off) and i need to square it up- but for most of my quilts just having a straight edge all the way around is all i need to add the binding.

  5. #5
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    No, I don't trim. I just serge a nice straight edge on the quilted part. That makes it easier to sew on the borders or binding.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    If you wash it, you can block it square before you add the binding. The quilt will hang flatter and it's easier to get the binding even.

    I square my quilts up and bind them. I usually wash quilt show entries after binding and block them. If it's for my bed, I just wash it.


    Janet

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland
    If you wash it, you can block it square before you add the binding. The quilt will hang flatter and it's easier to get the binding even.

    I square my quilts up and bind them. I usually wash quilt show entries after binding and block them. If it's for my bed, I just wash it.


    Janet
    this and Leah Day's method sure makes sense. especially since the quilting draws in the fabric and the edges don't always get the quilting.

  8. #8
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    Same here
    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    i always square my quilt up- trim it straight before adding my binding- it's just the way i was taught- to add a nice straight binding- i need a nice straight edge. i lay the quilt out on the floor-(only space large enough) and start at one corner- i line my ruler up with a straight line on the quilt- and trim with a rotory cutter (or sometimes it is better for me to draw the straight line with a pencil- then cut with scissors after all 4 sides are marked)
    i continue up the side of the quilt- with ruler- getting one side straight/even- then i turn it - line up with the straight edge i just cut or marked- and do the next side- continueing around the quilt until all 4 sides are either cut or marked-
    then when it is all done i add my binding.
    if doing a quilt that needs to be perfectly squared i measure it diagonally to make sure both diagonal measurements are equal- if they are not then one side is (off) and i need to square it up- but for most of my quilts just having a straight edge all the way around is all i need to add the binding.

  9. #9
    Senior Member yayaquilts's Avatar
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    I pre wash all my fabric first before I cut and piece. I square up my quilt after FMQ and before sewing on the binding...

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loves_2_quilt
    Same here
    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    i always square my quilt up- trim it straight before adding my binding- it's just the way i was taught- to add a nice straight binding- i need a nice straight edge. i lay the quilt out on the floor-(only space large enough) and start at one corner- i line my ruler up with a straight line on the quilt- and trim with a rotory cutter (or sometimes it is better for me to draw the straight line with a pencil- then cut with scissors after all 4 sides are marked)
    i continue up the side of the quilt- with ruler- getting one side straight/even- then i turn it - line up with the straight edge i just cut or marked- and do the next side- continueing around the quilt until all 4 sides are either cut or marked-
    then when it is all done i add my binding.
    if doing a quilt that needs to be perfectly squared i measure it diagonally to make sure both diagonal measurements are equal- if they are not then one side is (off) and i need to square it up- but for most of my quilts just having a straight edge all the way around is all i need to add the binding.
    and a ditto here too!

    Not said, though I'm sure CKCowl subliminally ment so .... when I get to the corners, I make sure they are squared up to be crisp 90 corners!


    As for the washing .... I'm a pre-washer, before I even start to cut and sew ... so no further washing at the end of the quilt-making process.

  11. #11
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I should have posted do you wash Quilt prior to binding

  12. #12
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug
    I should have posted do you wash Quilt prior to binding
    I don't understand why you would want to wash your quilt before adding the binding .... is there a reason?

    If you want to wash the quilt ... wait til after your binding is on.

  13. #13
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    After assembling the top and borders, I square up using a huge 16.5" square up ruler and then batt, baste, and quilt it. I square up again if it needs it, bind, and then WASH. Always.

    My quilts are dragged around on floor, table, chair, to guild meetings and bees, shown off to friends and family, sat upon by the cat before I call them finished. I wouldn't want them next to MY face or body without washing!! Besides which, I appreciate the crinkly, old-fashioned look and the feel of the batting after the quilt is washed.

    Jan in VA

  14. #14
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    The reason why Leah washed after she quilts and before binding is because the quilt shrinks from the FMQ'ng which makes sense...she squares it up after she washes it and then binds. I never have thought of that but it does make sense.

  15. #15
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    I think it really has to do with how and what the quilt use will be. Most of the professional show quilter's block their quilts so that they will lie flat for judging/show. Wetting the quilt, then blocking while damp by pinning it to a carpet, etc...making sure it's perfectly square..then allowing it to dry completely while pinned in place, insures the quilt will lie flat for show/judging. I do this for wall quilts. Most of my quilts are made for family to use as bedding...I don't block these...but, I do wash them before giving them, especially the embroidered and those with heavy quilting. I do bind them first though. To date, I haven't done a single show quilt...though I have an idea for one..if it turns out, I'll enter in a local (well closest one to me) show & see what happens.

    I didn't find the link on Leah's blog about how she does her quilts...anyone have a link?

  16. #16
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    http://daystyledesigns.com/faq.htm#square
    Quote Originally Posted by margecam52
    I think it really has to do with how and what the quilt use will be. Most of the professional show quilter's block their quilts so that they will lie flat for judging/show. Wetting the quilt, then blocking while damp by pinning it to a carpet, etc...making sure it's perfectly square..then allowing it to dry completely while pinned in place, insures the quilt will lie flat for show/judging. I do this for wall quilts. Most of my quilts are made for family to use as bedding...I don't block these...but, I do wash them before giving them, especially the embroidered and those with heavy quilting. I do bind them first though. To date, I haven't done a single show quilt...though I have an idea for one..if it turns out, I'll enter in a local (well closest one to me) show & see what happens.

    I didn't find the link on Leah's blog about how she does her quilts...anyone have a link?

  17. #17
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    I think this is the instructions you are mentioning, correct?

    http://www.daystyledesigns.com/blocking.htm

    This is the way most professional show quilts are done. It ensures that the quilt will be exactly square and lie flat for show & judging. Binding after blocking the quilt allows for the binding to be/look perfect. I wouldn't go through the trouble for everyday quilts...but some do. It's like all crafts...matter of the crafter's preference

    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug
    Do you square your quilt top before or after?

    I was just reading on Leah Day's blog that she FMQs then puts the quilt in the bath tub with hot water...dries and then squares it off...then binds. Never heard of that...does anyone else do that?

  18. #18
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    Thanks I was going to ask how to "block." How do you block if you don't have a large carpet to pin it to? And do you need to rinse in hot water?

  19. #19
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    For me, it depends on what I'm working on and what it looks like when I'm done FMQing.

    I ALWAYS trim my quilts square before adding binding, and if it's really distorted from FMQ and is going to be a wall hanging, table topper or the like, I may soak and block it before trimming to ensure it will lay nicely, even after lots of use. If it's a bed quilt, sofa throw or lap quilt, I'll just trim it square and bind it. Then I wash it before using or gifting so it's ready for use.

  20. #20
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    In my last reply, I included a link to the article Leah Day has on how she blocks her quilts:

    http://www.daystyledesigns.com/blocking.htm

    She uses to large (probably 4x8ft) insulation boards.


    Quote Originally Posted by commonthread
    Thanks I was going to ask how to "block." How do you block if you don't have a large carpet to pin it to? And do you need to rinse in hot water?

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    Thanks. Much to read here.

    [quote=margecam52]In my last reply, I included a link to the article Leah Day has on how she blocks her quilts:

    http://www.daystyledesigns.com/blocking.htm

    She uses to large (probably 4x8ft) insulation boards.

  22. #22
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    I've steam blocked a small quilt. Just hold your steam iron close to but not touching your quilt. Let the whole top get damp. You can then pin it to your ironing surface and let dry overnite, making sure the corners are square before pinning. This only works if your pinning surface is larger than the quilt. Most of the quilts I make are wallhangings, so I don't wash them ever. I want them to be flat.

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