How To Square A Quilt Top Before Quilting

You are close to finishing the quilting process after joining your quilt blocks to form a quilt top. Before wrapping up the process, you have to square up the quilt. To square the quilt top, you need to trim the extra batting and backing on the quilt’s outer edges. You also need to ensure that the advantages are perfectly square.

Squaring up may sound relatively easy, but it is pretty challenging in reality. At times, you may face difficulty in joining the blocks.

 Your seams may not be perfect. And you will notice that after you finish quilting, the edges are not even. But these issues can be solved by Squaring up correctly. 

Things you may need:

Before jumping into the steps, let’s have a look on what are the things you may need to square the quilt:

  • Big square quilt ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • straight edge cutting ruler
  • Rotary cutting mat.

So. Let us find out how to square the quilt top.

 i. Adjust the Quilt Top

 When squaring your quilt top, the first thing you need to do is adjust the quilt top for a straight edge. You need to trim off the extra batting and backing on the outer edges to do this. Trimming the excess material will ensure that there are no bumps on the finished blade.

After trimming off the excess material, make sure that you have both of the blades in front of you. Hold the two edges together firmly with one hand to separate them. Use your fingers to feel for any bumps or irregularities in the seams with your other hand.

If there are any irregularities, use your sewing machine needle. Use a large needle and thread to smooth out these bumps and irregularities.

You can also use a sharp blade and some pins to help you remove any bumps from the seams before sewing them up again. It gives a more accurate result than using an ordinary needle.

ii. Place Straight Edge Cutting Ruler

  1. Place a straight edge cutting ruler on the quilt top.
  2. Using the straight edge cutting ruler, draw lines on the quilt top using your fingertips.
  3.  Make sure all lines are within an inch of each other. If not, trim the edges to make them even with the ruler’s line.
  4. The line you have drawn should touch both sides of the quilt top and be parallel to the long side of the quilt top.
  5. Pull up 1/4″ from one line, then use that line to measure 1/2″. Repeat this process for every section of the quilt top until all areas are measured.
  6. To finish, you need to make sure that all measurements are at least 2″. 

iii. Use Square Quilt Ruler

 When you need to square up your quilt top, you should use a Square Quilt Ruler. This ruler will help you ensure that your quilt top’s edges are straight and square. It will also make it easier for you to join the blocks together, as the ruler offers guidelines for the seams.

Using this tool will ensure that your quilting projects turn out well.

It is made more accessible with a Square Quilt Ruler that offers guidelines for perfect corners. It ensures that you don’t have to waste time cutting off excess fabric from around the corners of the square blocks before joining them together.

iv. Start Cutting

You first have to cut the extra batting and backing on the quilt’s outer edges. Cutting is not easy because you will have to follow the loose threads on the fabric that form your quilt blocks. You need to be careful when you are cutting because you don’t want to miss through any of your seams.

As soon as you finish cutting, turn over your finished product and trim all the extra material from both sides of the quilt top. Refer to picture 1 for reference. 

v. Repeat the Process

You need to repeat the same process. After everything is done, make sure to straighten the bottom and top edges of the quilt. 

Tips on How to Square a Quilt That is too Small

  • Firstly you need to cut a piece of freezer paper the same as the size of the quilt. On the other side, draw lines 1/4″ from all edges.
  • Then draw a horizontal and vertical line down the centre of the block (or wherever will be the most helpful guide. It will help guide you to where the centre of the block should be and help you line up seams to be straight.
  • Last, draw a diagonal line from opposite corners.
  • Now, place the freezer paper on top of your block (shiny side down). Line it up, making sure that the freezer paper is centred on the block and everything looks straight. If the edges of your block fall within the 1/4″ border around the paper, you’re in luck! You can still make this quilt work—iron the paper into place and make sure to leave the freezer paper on for now.
  • Repeat this process with the rest of your blocks.

The Benefit of Squaring up the Quilt

 One cannot say that squaring up a quilt is a must. But it is good to square a quilt before making borders. It may be necessary for the bottom and top left corners for you and not for another person.

But let us concentrate on the benefit of squaring. If your quilt top is not square and you fail to square it properly, then your quilt will not be even.

When you square up the quilt, no fabric moves beyond the edges. It has been the same all along. You need to measure the quilt’s sides from all directions. If things are not proper, square it up before adding the borders. 

List of Times Where Squaring is a Must Explained

i. When there is one block at a time

It is much easier to deal with a single block. Before you start sewing the quilt blocks together, square them. Next, you need to square up the quilt’s centre before you add the borders.

This technique is much better than having many blocks at once to deal with at a time. When the offs are many, it will be hard to square them up, which will be uneven.

ii. Ensuring that everything is in proper form

In some cases, you need not square up the quilt. So, what should you do? Ensure that your seam and cut allowances are correct. If so, then no need to square up.

To square up before adding borders is one among other options. While the technique may work for you, another person may find it challenging. It will entirely depend on your preference. All in all, you don’t have to square up a quilt before adding borders.

Final Words

Before the quilt top is finished, the last step is to square up the top. This step ensures that the quilt has been trimmed and joined together flawlessly. It also provides no imperfections on the edges of the quilt.

Squaring up a quilt top is an essential step in finishing your project. When you square up a quilt top, you ensure that all edges are straight and square and that there are no imperfections such as uneven layers or seams.

After everything is done, make sure to straighten the bottom and top edges of the quilt.

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