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Squaring Up a Quilt; brief tutorial
Lots of folks ask me how I finish up my quilt edges. It’s not rocket science. Basically you have a raw edge which you can leave or finish. The landscape quilt I have been working on since May (gulp), needs a finished edge. So here are my choices: bind it, knife edge or facing. For this quilt, I’m not sure which one I will choose, but I still need to square up the edges to perfect 90 degree corners. The tools I use to do this are a triangle ruler, a Quilter’s Ruler a long tape measure, rotary cutter, and a yellow chalk roller marker. This process all happens after I have blocked my quilt.
Step 1: Lay the quilt down on my large cutting table with the grid cutting matt underneath.
Step 2: Find the bottom edge and mark that line, making sure it appears to be a straight horizontal line. I turned it under and taped it to a line on my grid.
Step 3: Next I used my triangle to find a 90 degree angle at both bottom corners and marked those lines with my yellow chalk marker.
Step 4: I extended those lines up to the top of the quilt using my longest ruler on both sides. Now I measure both side lines to make sure they are the same length. If they are not, I know one line is longer than the other, and needs to be corrected.
Step 5: Find the top angles with my triangle and mark the top of both corners. Then connect the middle with my long ruler.
Step 6: Final measuring. Measure the bottom and top lines to make sure they are the same length. Adjust if necessary. Measure the side lines for the same length and adjust. I also check all 4 corners to see if they are 90 degrees, which by this point they should be.
Step 7: Trim to 3/8″ on all sides with a rotary cutter and quilters rule. I always leave a bit extra in case.
Step 8: Using my differential feed foot, I stitch all edges with thin, beige thread and a longer basting stitch, just outside that yellow marked edge in the seam allowance. It keeps all the layers together for the final binding or whatever.
For your entertainment (and mine), I propped up my phone and took some time lapse footage of the process. It’s really too fast to see exactly what I’m doing, but make sure you catch the thumbs up at the end 😉
Here it is ready to go!
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Roxane is a full time studio textile artist, teacher, and author, with two girls, who are both growing up too fast! She recently appeared on Quilting Arts TV, and has taught at the Houston quilt show. She is also a BERNINA ambassador. Her work is in several private collections and she loves doing custom commissions. For more info go to http://roxanelessa.com.
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