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Thread: Squaring up that Quilt?

  1. #1
    Super Member Lneal's Avatar
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    One skill I haven't mastered yet is "How to square up the edges of that quilt" How do I measure? When my quilt is finished, and before I put the binding on I wish I knew how to square my quilt properly. Help, please.

  2. #2
    Panther Creek Quilting's Avatar
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    Being a newbie - this is one this I haven't figured out yet either. Hopefully someone will give us great advice.

    Sheila

  3. #3
    Super Member Lneal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Thanks Loretta! I am amazed at how quickly we can get the info on this board that will help us. Any other tips are welcome on this thread, as you experienced quilters help us new ones~~~

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I read a tip somewhere that the easiest, most accurate way to square up any size quilt was to use a laser square. It's probably very true, but unless your hubby has one, the price of $600 seems a bit high for a quilting tool!! :shock: :lol: http://contractorstools.com/lasersquare_sl24.html

  5. #5
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    You know, it seems like a regular laser, like teacher's use or a laser level, ought to work just fine if lined up with the edge of a carpenter's square and shot down the edge of the quilt to the next corner. My problem is always the parts beyond the reach of the square and jigging the line to the next corner.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lneal's Avatar
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    You know, my husband does have a laser square!! Guess I'll have to learn how to use it. Right now it collects dust. I remember we bought it a long time ago for some remodeling project. It looks a lot different than the one in your link, but it is the same principle.

    I like the idea of the carpenter square too! Multi purpose LOL!!

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Wow! Lucky you! Bet you could rent it out if you belong to a guild!! :-D My XH has one, too, but I celebrated my 17th divorceiversary two days ago so I think I'd better not count on borrowing his! teehee

  8. #8
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I use my largest square ruler, square the corners, when use a long straight edge to do the edges. I mean, unless you're going for a blue ribbon at a national show, "straight & square" only needs to be reasonably visually so?? Am I wrong here?

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I check mine (lap quilt sized) this way. Lay it on the carpet. I tie a piece of yarn to a safety pin, pin it to the carpet just above the quilt on the longest side and bring the yarn down just past the quilt and attach the yarn to another safety pin to the carpet. (on hard floors you can securely tape it down) Lay my longest ruler perpendicular to the first string of yarn to get a true 90 degree angle and run the yarn the same way across the bottom of the quilt. Now I adjust the quilt to these two strings. I can tell where I am off and I mark it with a ultra thin permanent marker along the yarn lines. I flip the quilt around and do the other two sides. Then I can take my mat to the quilt on the floor to trim or take the quilt to my mat.

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    On bigger quilts,fan fold them in half vertically and measure half at a time :D:D:D

  11. #11

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    Fantastically timed question! I was just about to square up a wonky quilt and I was pondering how it was done rather than my old "guess and check" method.

    Kristy

  12. #12
    Super Member Lneal's Avatar
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    Lately I have been measuring the border seam from the quilt seam (say 4 1/2 in) then trimming the excess. It never measures the same all the way around. It's like my quilting changes the measurement at the seam. I do square up my blocks.

    Just found out the square laser I thought my husband had, is actually a laser level. BACK TO The DRAWING BOARD!

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I noticed that on mine too, I think it may be that I am not evenly quilting all over and that tweaks those seam lines :roll:

  14. #14
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    I have a ruler that is 20" square and that is what I use when I am squaring up my quilts. It works wonderfully!

  15. #15
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    I never square up a quilt after it has been quilted. My quilter serges around my quilts and rounds the corners for me. They are off a little, but not enough to be noticeable on the bed.

  16. #16

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    I grade myself an intermediate beginner, since I have only been quilting for four years and some. I made two horribly wonky quilts that I never quilted. First was a flower basket set on point. The block was sixteen inches and somehow, after setting triangles, it turned out to be three inches off square, which was impossible. The second and most recent one was a bargello, and I know why that one was off square--I kept sewing the strips top to bottom in the same direction and it developed a big sway as I sewed on more strips--hmm, I saw a tape recently and found my error when the instructor said to sew one strip one way, then turn it over and sew the next strip to it, going the opposite direction. I measure the quilt on the floor, with a long measuring tape and the help of my DH. I measure through the middle then I use an inner small border--usually two inches and ease that to the quilt. After that, I measure again to make sure it is square, then I know that my outer border, and the quilt will also be square

  17. #17
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  18. #18
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I square up using a large square ruler 15" or so and 24" long ruler. Place square at a corner and line up long ruler abutted to the square and trim 2 sides of the corner and along the length of the long ruler, move quilt and long ruler up the sides, I stop approxiamtely 24" from the next corner and the place the square on the corner and line up the long ruler with the square and where I stopped on the long edge. sometimes I do "fudge" a bit as sometimes it does not aline 100%. I work my way around using the quilt.

  19. #19
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    There are some excellent videos on youtube.com by Linda Lawson. She has a video about squaring the quilt back, but you can use the same method for squaring the quilt top.

  20. #20
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    Mine usually square up pretty good by measuring through the middle, one side to the other and cutting your borders to that measurement .... and then sew on those borders.........

    and take the same measurements in the middles of quilt from top to bottom for the other two borders.

    That usually does it for me.........good luck....mj.

  21. #21
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    You are welcome! I am only a 3rd year quilter, so am learning every day! Until I can make something that looks as stunning as the quilts I see here, I will be a beginner! LOL!
    I have been quilting since 1992 and I still consider myself a beginner also.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    You are welcome! I am only a 3rd year quilter, so am learning every day! Until I can make something that looks as stunning as the quilts I see here, I will be a beginner! LOL!
    Don't wait for that!!I've been quilting for years but couldn't even dream of coming close to some of the quilts here. We love all kinds of quilts. All of us started somewhere and appreciate the effort that goes into a quilt as much as the result.

  23. #23
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I am a fairly new quilter too compared to most here...I love the constant learning :D:D:D Challenging myself to try new techiques, styles... I know I will never learn it all, but it is fun trying :D:D:D

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    I read a tip somewhere that the easiest, most accurate way to square up any size quilt was to use a laser square. It's probably very true, but unless your hubby has one, the price of $600 seems a bit high for a quilting tool!! :shock: :lol: http://contractorstools.com/lasersquare_sl24.html
    this is how my tops are squared, DH is an engineer and squares all my tops for me.

    anything over 12.5 inches and i hand it to him to take care of.

  25. #25
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lneal
    Lately I have been measuring the border seam from the quilt seam (say 4 1/2 in) then trimming the excess.
    That's what I do. I use the longest ruler I have so I can get a good overview and make slight adjustments if need be. Mine come out just fine.

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