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  1. #1
    Rotary Pro

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    Default When is a block too small

    I ask this because I'm starting a boxed square quilt. I'm using this method of putting the block together : http://cluckclucksew.com/2010/07/stack-n-whack.html

    I want to end up with a 4.5" finished block so I cut my squares to measure 6". Then cut each 6" block into equal strips of 2". I figure that when the strips are sewn back together the unfinished block will measure 5".

    I'm using a scant 1/4" seam allowance. My test blocks turned out perfect so I started on the actual blocks. Some of the blocks after that are about 1/8" too short in one direction. I am using different fabrics & some are stiffer to handle than others so that may account for some of the shortfall (as in slightly bulkier seams).

    So what is too small? Vanessa of Crafty Gemini says 1/8" is okay.

    I could trim off 1/8" on the other 3 sides to make it all match .. ? That means I would lose an extra 1/4" on each block though.

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: When is a block too small

    Make sure when sewing your strips together that you sew one in one direction and the other from the other direction. This not only prevents bowing on your block but will keep them more square.

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  4. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: When is a block too small

    Don't start cutting your blocks if you don't have to. I would try to starch the one you made that is too short and press it real good and see if you can stretch it out that extra 1/8 inch. The next block you make, maybe press your seams open then measure and see if they turn out more accurate. Good thing you caught this early on and I hope you can figure out a fix without cutting.

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  6. #4
    Rotary Pro

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    Default Re: When is a block too small

    Thanks for the great advice. Last night I tried pressing very well after every seam & the blocks are still just a scooch too small.

    At least the variance seems to be pretty consistent or within a small margin of each other.

    If I stretch / ease the fabric just a little to make it fit, will that throw the entire quilt top off?

  7. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: When is a block too small

    Try pressing before cutting your fabric. Best press or spray starch will probably help keep your different fabrics from stretching when cutting. I had some variation using two different lines recently but eased my blocks together when combining them. After quilting, they were just fine.

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: When is a block too small

    I've made a few more blocks & they are all wonky in some way around the edges.
    I was trying to be careful while cutting but some of my 6" squares are a bit off. That means that some blocks are way off after they have been sewn together

    The square in the centre seems to be okay though. So instead of cutting to square the block down to a smaller size I tried a different approach. I used a few blocks as a test & sewed them together not by matching the edges of the fabric but by matching the squares in the centre.

    The uneven edges get caught up in the seam allowance & the front of the block looks okay. It makes putting the blocks together more tricky but I think it's better than cutting the blocks down.

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