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  1. #1
    Prairie Pointer

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    Question How do you square up a quilt top?

    I just finished sewing together the rows of my very first quilt, and it looks beautiful! I used the MSQC "Noted" pattern along with "Ever After" by Deb Strain layer cake and a white background. And it's the king size! It's definitely not perfect, the points don't match all over the place, and the seams were different sizes, but I learned a lot and my next one will be even better. I just love it and I hope my son and new daughter-in-law love it as much as I do, as it's a wedding present.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Noted Quilt Top.jpg 
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ID:	132910

    The next part of the process is to get it machine quilted, but it needs to be squared up first. Can someone give me some ideas how I should approach this (squaring it up)?

    Thank you!

  2. Thanks Claire Hallman thanked for this post
  3. #2
    Block Queen

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    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: How do you square up a quilt top?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneMarieS View Post
    I just finished sewing together the rows of my very first quilt, and it looks beautiful! I used the MSQC "Noted" pattern along with "Ever After" by Deb Strain layer cake and a white background. And it's the king size! It's definitely not perfect, the points don't match all over the place, and the seams were different sizes, but I learned a lot and my next one will be even better. I just love it and I hope my son and new daughter-in-law love it as much as I do, as it's a wedding present.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Noted Quilt Top.jpg 
Views:	502 
Size:	189.8 KB 
ID:	132910

    The next part of the process is to get it machine quilted, but it needs to be squared up first. Can someone give me some ideas how I should approach this (squaring it up)?

    Thank you!
    Here is a thread I started. It might be helpful.

    http://forum.missouriquiltco.com/showthread.php?t=63950

  4. #3
    Machine Stitcher

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    Default Re: How do you square up a quilt top?

    Very pretty! I am a new quilter, too, and understand your first-timer's sense of accomplishment!! And for a king no less! I wish I could give you some tips for squaring up a quilt top, but I haven't done it myself yet. Good luck!

  5. #4
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: How do you square up a quilt top?

    Great link, Kenz! It gives a lot of good methods for adding borders, but what I neglected to mention is that this quilt doesn't have a border. The "official" size is supposed to be 98 1/2 x 98 1/2 (before binding), so I'm still in a bit of a quandary about the method to square up a top that's so big. I'm also probably not being particularly clear about what I need.

    Let's say that my finished top length in three places is 12", 13", and 11", and the width is 12", 12 1/2", and 12". (I know those length measurements are a bit extreme but it might help with my explanation.) How, where, and how much would I cut to get the entire top squared (or as close a practicable)?

    Also, do I square it up before or after it's quilted?

    Thanks for your patience with a new quilter!

  6. #5
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: How do you square up a quilt top?

    Thanks so much, kimrkb. I really appreciate the encouragement!

  7. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How do you square up a quilt top?

    I use a laser level to square up my quilt. Get one that makes two lines at a ninety degree angle. Works on any size.

    http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com/?p=5993
    Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

  8. Thanks SallyO'Sews thanked for this post
  9. #7
    9 Patch Princess

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    Default Re: How do you square up a quilt top?

    JaneMarie, your first quilt is lovely! Congratulations. A suggestion for squaring would be to use the folding method. Fold your top in half, then in half again, THEN in half again. Using your cutting mat guidelines and rotary cutter, square along the raw edge of the short side. Unfold once, then fold in half in the other direction. Again, square along the raw edge of the short side.
    I've done this a few times and seems to work well enough. So far, no one has returned any quilts due to irregularities. I hope this makes sense.

  10. #8
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: How do you square up a quilt top?

    Congratulations on finishing your first quilt, that's a fantstic achievment!
    Are you quilting it yourself or sending it out to be quilted?
    Some long arm quilters will square a top for you.
    If this were my quilt I think the I would add a narrow border first so that I could use that for squaring without cutting into any of my blocks.
    Also remember that you will loose about 3% to quilting and another 3 - 5% after washing if using a cotton batting, so your quilt will end up being about 92" square without borders.
    Please let us know how you get on, and please post a picture of the finished quilt.

  11. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: How do you square up a quilt top?

    The quilt is beautiful and sometimes it just doesn't matter if it is perfectly square. Hardly ever to mine turn out square and I just don't sweat it. Unless it is folded, no one will really be able to tell if its exactly square.

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  13. #10
    Block Queen

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    Default Re: How do you square up a quilt top?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaneMarieS View Post
    Great link, Kenz! It gives a lot of good methods for adding borders, but what I neglected to mention is that this quilt doesn't have a border. The "official" size is supposed to be 98 1/2 x 98 1/2 (before binding), so I'm still in a bit of a quandary about the method to square up a top that's so big. I'm also probably not being particularly clear about what I need.

    Let's say that my finished top length in three places is 12", 13", and 11", and the width is 12", 12 1/2", and 12". (I know those length measurements are a bit extreme but it might help with my explanation.) How, where, and how much would I cut to get the entire top squared (or as close a practicable)?

    Also, do I square it up before or after it's quilted?

    Thanks for your patience with a new quilter!
    I would wait until after quilting. The last one I did was perfectly square before quilting. After quilting it is was almost an inch off. I could have measured wrong, but I'm pretty particular. I think it was just the quilting that changed the size a bit. Not the Quilter's fault. It's just the nature of the beast. If your measurements on the sides are within 1/2 in of each other, I'd leave it be. If they are off by 3 or 4 inches then you might have an issue. I consider myself a rookie, so hopefully one of the more experienced quilters will talk you through it. I will tell you that I listen to them and heed their advice, so my information is pretty much what they will tell you.

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