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Thread: squaring up a quilt top?

  1. #1
    Senior Member quiltlady1941's Avatar
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    squaring up a quilt top?

    is there a easy way to check to see if your top is square before you put the boarder on... I have a queen top done and it has given me more head aches and now I think it may be off and not square...the quilt is the one on the MSQC tutorial video it is called periwinkle, I thought that it would be a easy quilt to make as you use the paper from the company and the template.

    I didn't use the wacky web template that they show in the video as I heard that the points didn't come out right, so I used the one out of the magazine that had the pattern in it, my hubby cut me one out of plastic so it works great but the pieces didn't go together as I thought they would ...like I said I had so much trouble sewing the pieces together and was almost ready to give up...

    it was like the quilt didn't lay flat even after I pressed it using spray starch..I don't know if it is because the pieces are cut on the bias or what ..also because I used white for the back ground if you didn't press the seams the right way they didn't line up and you could see that ..hoping that after it is quilted that part of the booboo won't show to much..any help on this problem or if someone could tell me what I did wrong to make the quilt top not lay flat would be great to know for the next time if there will be a next time LOL Thanks so much..
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  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Looks to me as if there are a lot of bias edges on those pieces. What would have helped is heavily starching the fabric *before* cutting. (I use a 1:1 solution of Sta-Flo laundry starch and water, which is much stronger than just spray starching.)

    If you use a white batting, the white seams will tend not to show through.

    Because of the edges you have on this quilt, you would be best off blocking the top. What I would probably do is lay a large flat sheet on carpeting, spread the quilt top on it, and then start measuring and pinning. I would pin the middles first, measure those, and then strive to get the ends pinned down to the same measurements. (You might need to secure the flat sheet to the carpeting with pins or painter's tape so it doesn't move around on you.) Once you are satisfied that it is as straight as you can get it, try misting the top with hot water (if you have a steam iron, you could hold the iron above the fabric and mist it with steam). Put a fan on it to speed drying. Finally, I would mist the top with several layers of spray starch, drying in-between layers, to add stability to the blocking.

    I would plan on doing fairly heavy all-over quilting with a fine thread (such as Bottom Line or Aurifil 50wt 2-ply). Lots of the distortion will become hidden in heavy quilting.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    Take a bunch of measurements on the width and length of your quilt and see how much if any you are out. It could be more of a problem of cupping in the individual blocks rather than the quilt being out of square and if that is what is happening you might need to "tighten" a few seams to reduce the bulk in the offending blocks. Some cupping can be disguised in the quilting process but this can be quite an undertaking. Hope you find a solution, good luck
    Lori - MamaBear

  4. #4
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Wash and dry after quilting, hides a multitude of boo boos. I never have to square my quilts. I measure through the center for the borders.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  5. #5
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    Prism99 is correct. you need to block the quilt, and starch it as much as possible. The fabric needs to be as stable as possible to keep the edges as stable as possible. If it comes out feeling like cardboard, great! that's perfect. Starch will wash, right now you need stiff as a board. Once you have starched and blocked it. Measure the depth of each white along the outer border. Measure from the point to the center of the outer edge of each block. When you have found the smallest one along each side, use that measurement to trim your sides.Check the full size of an existing block in the middle, and cut it in half. that measurement is what the half blocks should be. But done be alarmed if you have to make your half blocks a little smaller to square it up. that measurement is just a guide so to help you get a feel for how much you are cutting off your quilt sides. Also, don't "Iron" your quilt. that will push it out of shape. Always press it. Spray starch an area and press until dry by lifting up and down, never slide side to side. Don't panic that quilt looks beautiful, and, unless you have balloons , a good long arm quilter will be able to disguise any bubbles. I am a long arm quilter, and I just had a wedding ring quilt that looks like bazooka bubble gum. And it turned out gorgeous.

  6. #6
    Senior Member quiltlady1941's Avatar
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    Thanks ladies I will try and starch it and see what happens, I just feel so bad that it came out like this... I don't think I will be doing another quilt with so much bias to deal with...first time for me working with this and hope it will be the last... I do like the looks of the quilt but sad how it came out..Thanks again

  7. #7
    Senior Member KerryK's Avatar
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    It's still a very pretty quilt, so do the best you can, try not to worry about it too much, and enjoy it!
    Kerry
    ~ American by birth, Southern by the grace of God ~

  8. #8
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    Your quilt is beautiful!!! Don't give up! If we don't try things that are a bit of a challenge we will never learn new wonderful things. You've been given some helpful hints here, do the ones that you feel will help the most, then finish it, you will be surprised how wonderful it will be once quilted.

  9. #9
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    I would starch the top trying not to stretch it any more. I would then measure for the borders along the coloured point sections for the size. I would then pin and ease the bias edges to fit the border measurement.

  10. #10
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    I think it is a beautiful quilt and agree that some may be cupping. I think with squaring and quilting a multitude of things will disappear. Really very pretty.

  11. #11
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    Your quilt is beautiful!

  12. #12
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    After all the starching/blocking you could try the carpenter's method of checking for square...measure diagonally from corner to corner in both directions. If you get the same result both times...it's square. If it's not out horribly, I wouldn't worry about it and just make up your difference with your borders...easing as necessary.

  13. #13
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    What a beautiful quilt. I have done several bias edge patterns and have had to square everyone. I have 12 inch tiles in my breakfast room/kitchen so I like the edges up with the tiles and tape it down with masking tape. It's not perfect but it works. Then I totally wet the quilt down and let it dry. It usually works. I am looking forward to trying the Elmers glue basting to see if that helps with "poofs" that appear in the center.

  14. #14
    Member rmb282's Avatar
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    I agree with the other ladies on blocking the top. I did a star of Bethlehem quilt top in a king size and there were so many bias edges that the quilt looked to me to be totally unsalvageable. I didn't think there was anyway I could possibly fix it. I was directed on here to try blocking it. I wet the quilt and used a braided rug to pin it to. Used a lot of pins to get all the points straight and the puckers out but it worked beautifully. After it dried I unpinned it and the quilt kept its shape perfectly. Like PP said start in the middle and work your way out. Totally fixable and no one will ever know you had a problem. Good Luck!
    Rachel

  15. #15
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Your quilt is beautiful!

    Dina

  16. #16
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    I made this same quilt and did not have your problem....It was a mess from the start with the wrong template that did not make the points so I used Marti Mitchell Kite template for the center and quilt sense Kaleidoscope triangle ruler and I am square surprising.....sending it out to the quilter now....but I did buy the new template from MSQ so now I have the wrong and right one.....I even sent out to Australia for templates where the snowball was one piece but it was so small I would be still working on it.....

  17. #17
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    Who says it has to be square?When you lie under it will you know the difference?If you have it long armed your quilter can even it out a LITTLE.I have to square quilts all the time.And I quilt for some of the best piecers in our area.Your quilt is lovely.Lay it out,lay the borders on it in the middle.If the middle is within an inch of the top and bottom then you can ease that amount in.Make sure you don't ease it in all in 1 spot.Then when it is quilted,the longarmer will lay a large square on each corner and keep it square as she mounts your quilt.You can stay-stitch it along the edges to keep it from stretching anymore.That is a hard pattern but it is lovely.

  18. #18
    FLQ
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    I agree with Jingles comment that washing after quilting and binding works to cure problems. I take a wet (but not soaking wet) quilt and lay it outside if the weather cooperates. I try to "block" the quilt shape (like blocking a washed sweater that is being dried back into shape). There are tutorials on doing this and I've seen it mentioned with instructions in some quilt books.

  19. #19
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    Do not fear, the long arm quilter can do wonders. I buy many vintage quilts and sometimes when I take them to Marie who does my quilting, I warn her about the problems. She will tell me she had some difficulty but not much and the quilts always come out beautiful. By the way, your quilt top does look very pretty. I read a blog about this particular pattern and there were many many complaints.

  20. #20
    Senior Member maxnme01's Avatar
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    Lovely quilt! Once you've "squared" it up as well as you can, "stay" stitch around the entire perimeter with a long stitch to keep the bias edges from stretching as you sew on your border or quilt it. Really helps!
    Keep smiling, it makes others wonder what you're up to!

  21. #21
    Super Member grandme26's Avatar
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    Beautiful quilt and once it is quilted any goofs will not show up.
    Grandmeto6 aka Judy

  22. #22
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    Very pretty quilt in spite of any mistakes...its your quilt so who care....

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