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Thread: Trimming blocks to same size due to user error :)

  1. #1
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    Trimming blocks to same size due to user error :)

    I am making a Japanese X and plus block quilt. I am very new to machine sewing and have been working on my cutting and 1/4 seams, sewing on the diagonal etc but have A LONG way to being good. These blocks are supposed to be 8 inches at this point but already one in three is off enough that I would not join it to the others.
    Here is my question I would like to get a 7 1/2 ruler and trim them all when I am done so they will match better. MY question is how to best ensure that the outside pieces will meet up nicely with the ones on with side while trimming. I can find lots of sites about trimming "down" but not trimming to eliminate funkiness,, Any help appreciated!




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  2. #2
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I can be no help, but I like your blocks!

    Dina

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately, funkiness cannot be trimmed away...JMHO........to insure a true 1/4" seam use tape or postit notes to keep you on the mark...and of course, your cutting must be as accurate as possible....the three you show really don't look bad...there is a bit of "squish or stretch" when you join blocks together. Just sew slowly, pin much if you feel it helps and wow! It will all come together....

  4. #4
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    Make sure you trim on all sides. Have the halfway measurements in the very center. If you are trimming to 7 1/2 unfinished, you will have to put the 3 3/4 inch line through the center block. Or if you are trimming to 8 inch unfinished the lines of the ruler should be the 4in mark thru the center of your block both ways.

  5. #5
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    Good tips! I often have the deal with funkiness myself. I LOVE the fabric in your blocks!
    Lori

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  6. #6
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    This is what I was thinking. Problems only on very edges. Thank you for you reply.

  7. #7
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    You might consider making a square plastic template the size of your smallest block -

    Draw a diagonal through it - then use the X on the template to center the template and cut around it.

  8. #8
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    I am so glad you asked this question.. I am going to be dealing with this same thing great tips Your blocks look great!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsews View Post
    Make sure you trim on all sides. Have the halfway measurements in the very center. If you are trimming to 7 1/2 unfinished, you will have to put the 3 3/4 inch line through the center block. Or if you are trimming to 8 inch unfinished the lines of the ruler should be the 4in mark thru the center of your block both ways.
    This is a much more concise description than I would have written. It's exactly what I would do. You can master this..be patient with yourself.

  10. #10
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    I do not have enough quilting experience to help you out. However, I do want to say that your quilt blocks are awesome and I hope you will post a picture of your quilt when it's completed.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

  11. #11
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    You need to find out where you went wrong first. Seam accuracy and pressing are two demons that can wonk your blocks. Look at the back and measure your seams to see if you need to improve on your seam accuracy. I use blue painter's tape putting about five layers stacked.

    When you make different blocks to be put together into making a larger block, it is important to measure each of them and make any correction before you sew them into the larger block. If you snowballed the "X" block, maybe try drawing a line. You really need to be absolutely accurate with drawing and sewing the line. I use this product from Omnigrid to mark the lines on any acrylic square to check myself for accuracy:

    http://www.joann.com/omnigrid-glow-l...+Select+Stores

    With busy prints that you have selected, no one will notice that any points are missing.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  12. #12
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Accuracy is the key ultimately. But that being said, I might be tempted to either put a small border around each (maybe 1" wide) then trim all the blocks to the same size. Sashing might help if they are close. If you chose to sash them you could also stagger the blocks
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    Betty

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    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  13. #13
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    I think they look great! The trimming instructions you got are spot-on; preserving symmetry is going to be important.

    That's going to be a lovely quilt when you're done, I do hope you post pictures! I see some lovely fabrics in there.

  14. #14
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    Good trimming advice given here. I would contemplate redoing the ones that are off. Rip and restitch. I have been known to hand stitch to make blocks come together when all else fails.

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    I love your blocks! The idea of using a plastic square the size of your smallest block to ensure that they will all be the same size sounds good. Often when we receive blocks in a block exchange, they are not the same size and we have to use the smallest block as our template.

  16. #16
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I think it depends on the type of block some have points and you can very well be trimming off of point. With your blocks I believe if you trim evenly from the center of the block it should be no problem. The better option in my opinion would be to take those blocks apart and redo them to get better at you piecing skills if you are new to this the only way to get better is practice. Practice is what makes you more consistent because trimming down is not always an option so you can't always rely on that with every block IMHO
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  17. #17
    Super Member BettyGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Quilter View Post
    This is a much more concise description than I would have written. It's exactly what I would do. You can master this..be patient with yourself.
    This is the answer and so well put. I've found myself in the same situation and probably will in the future. Your blocks are very pretty and you'll have a knockout quilt.
    BettyGee, quilter on a Rocky Mountain High

  18. #18
    Super Member wendiq's Avatar
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    I have this happen often, so what I do is find the center of the middle block and put the middle measurement on my template on that spot....then I square it to that by cutting two sides and then turn it and repositioning my template, cut the other two sides. If you have a rotating cutting mat, it goes faster.

  19. #19
    Super Member Rose Bagwell's Avatar
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    The object is to get them all the same size. What I do, is take your block & ruler and measure from the same point on all 4 sides. 1st side go to the edge of block and trim straight across, then til you have a straight edge, next go to a seam on your block ,( I would use seam of 1st block on cross/t) bottom block is your red/green .Take a measurement from seam to top of edge you just trimmed, then do the same measurement on the other 3 sides. Hopefully you will get it straight and correct, maybe not 7 1/2 , just be sure you do the same for all blocks.
    TxCaRose

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