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Cyndi it really depends how exact you want to be.  Usually I find a seam I can measure off of all the way around.  I sure a square ruler for the corners and then switch to a longer ruler for the sides.  If  I want it 100% for certain square I will lay it out on the floor and use the laser level and draw my cutting line with a blue washout marker.  

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I have been making quilts for many years but have never squared a quilt. I have never heard of doing this. If you use a 1/4 inch seam allowance shouldn't your quilt be square when you are done?

I am knew to longarm quilting though, so do I really need to square up each of my quilts to quilt them?

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Sheila

Cyndi was asking about squaring after quilting.  Do a search for "quilt blocking" and you will get the concept.  It would be common practice for a quilt going to a juried  show or maybe a wall hanging.   Not something you would do with an every day quilt.

 

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with |Intellistitch & IQ

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Shelia, squaring happens after quilting, when you trim the excess backing and batting.  Since the quilting process naturally distorts the quilt just a bit, trimming helps bring everything back into alignment.


Betsy

quilting with Emmeline, a 2011 Freedom SR

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Most of my own personal quilts are square after long arming and I would do what Heidi does because of the excess batting & backing to be sure especially when they are show quilts.


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Corey Starkey

IQ & Bllissed Millennium

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I feel like I need to add to this post.  If I'm just squaring a quilt that is for everyday use I would proceed as I outlined above.  If you start with square piecing you should be able to keep the quilt square while longarming.  I normally measure and make sure it is square as I roll into the next section to be quilted.  If however I am working on a special quilt that will go in a show then I will block my quilt before I square it up.  First I take it off the long arm and trim all the way around leaving at least 1" excess all the way around of batting and backing.  This gives me a good area to tug on and stretch to get it blocked.  I always pin to either the carpet or I use a foam board covered with a sheet.  I start in the middle and stretch it to the size that it should be.  Sometimes you really have to tug.  I find that one direction always "shrinks" more than the other side.  Once I do that I move about an inch away and do it all over again all the way around.  I keep doing this until I get to the corners.  I measure on the diagonal to make sure that measurement is the same in both directions.  I let the quilt dry completely then give the final trim.  I hope that answers all of your questions.

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Cyndi it really depends how exact you want to be.  Usually I find a seam I can measure off of all the way around.  I sure a square ruler for the corners and then switch to a longer ruler for the sides.  If  I want it 100% for certain square I will lay it out on the floor and use the laser level and draw my cutting line with a blue washout marker.  

 

 

I love the idea of the laser! That is great, Thanks! I am doing a whole cloth quilt so with this one there are no seams unfortunately. 


Cyndi C.

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I have been making quilts for many years but have never squared a quilt. I have never heard of doing this. If you use a 1/4 inch seam allowance shouldn't your quilt be square when you are done?

I am knew to longarm quilting though, so do I really need to square up each of my quilts to quilt them?

 

I should have been a little more specific actually. it is a whole cloth quilt so there are no seams to go by.


Cyndi C.

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I feel like I need to add to this post.  If I'm just squaring a quilt that is for everyday use I would proceed as I outlined above.  If you start with square piecing you should be able to keep the quilt square while longarming.  I normally measure and make sure it is square as I roll into the next section to be quilted.  If however I am working on a special quilt that will go in a show then I will block my quilt before I square it up.  First I take it off the long arm and trim all the way around leaving at least 1" excess all the way around of batting and backing.  This gives me a good area to tug on and stretch to get it blocked.  I always pin to either the carpet or I use a foam board covered with a sheet.  I start in the middle and stretch it to the size that it should be.  Sometimes you really have to tug.  I find that one direction always "shrinks" more than the other side.  Once I do that I move about an inch away and do it all over again all the way around.  I keep doing this until I get to the corners.  I measure on the diagonal to make sure that measurement is the same in both directions.  I let the quilt dry completely then give the final trim.  I hope that answers all of your questions.

 

 

 

 

That explanation helps a lot Heidi! Thanks so much. This is not a show quilt thankfully. It is a whole cloth quilt I made for my best friend's guest room in her new home they just built. However, I am getting into making larger quilts and quilting for others so I do need help and advice in doing this right. i am about to start quilting a king size I made for myself. it is okay if mine isn't perfect but when someone is paying for a service they want it to look right. On the other hand I don't think I will be doing any show quilts at all so I don't have to be as picky as I would there. You have given me great advice. Thanks again!


Cyndi C.

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Cyndi normally when I do a whole cloth I can pick a motif to measure from.  As you know each is unique and finding that measuring point can be difficult.  I almost always wash these quilts and block them because I use a blue washout marker and that has to be washed so why not block at that point.  Another thing I've done on wholeclothes is I draw a line when I mark it all the way around the quilt to designate the outside edge.  Then I actually stitch it, sometimes double stitch.  Then I'll have that stitching to measure off when laying it out or trimming.  

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Heidi:

 

Thank you for sharing "squaring up" your wholecloth quilts by stitching around the outside edge at the beginning.  Do you find the different density of quilting around the quilt alters the "square" of your stitched line all that much?  

 

I ask, because I SID all my quilt tops prior to quilting since I use a sit-down.  When I asked about stitching around the outside edge of the border, I was warned not to do this as the quilt top would actually distort while quilting, and I would get a better result leaving the last few inches free to float (even though it is pin basted).  I am questioning now after writing this, if your line not so much the square line, but the measure line you use to get a square cut at the end.

 

Thanks for the input.

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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Cagey I don't know if it is different for sit down vs longarm.  I don't find that I have a problem but most of the time my order of sewing is:

1.  baste sides then clamp

2.  Stitch inside SID and move to outer borders.  With a whole cloth I would stitch the outlines of the big areas probably starting in the middle work to inside then to outside.

3.  Now stitch the outside edge where I where I have it marked.  I've learned to make sure I leave an extra inch or more on whole clothes because they can shrink up a bit.  Sometimes I just plan shrinkage in.  I'll add 2 - 3" if I'm going to do a lot of dense fill to make sure my finished quilt is big enough. 

3.  Work on fills.  If I have a lot of dense fills I will usually skip around a little to have it all be about the same density.  Sometimes if you stitch really dense in one area and leave too much unquilted you'll get pleats.  If I have to advance without quilting an area I pin the snot out of it.  

 

I hope that helps.

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Heidi:

 

Thank you for your quick response.  I think it is probably slightly different on a sit-down verses a longarm to get the layers stabilized for the real quilting.  It would be nice if APQS, and others as they develop sit-down machines would share or point out their best found practices as how to best start of.  Though it probably comes down to personal preference over anything.  What one thinks is best is the worst possible idea to another.  Below is how I get my layers stabilized and quilted. 

 

1.  I was taught to SID from one side to the other down the middle of the quilt.  I normally use my DSM with a walking foot to get even and constant stitches.  I have tried using George, but it just feels comfortable using my DSM starting off.  While it is a pain to stuff all the fabric in the throat, you are only dealing with half the quilt.  Then I alternate directions top to bottom, bottom to top, as I work from the center to the outside; switching sides each time, so the walking foot does not move the three layers of fabric in one direction more than the other.  You just have to remember to never play chicken with any and all pins.  This probably holds true for all machine types and brands.  

 

2.  I then do the same thing working side to side.  I do not SID every piecing line, just the major ones that transect the quilt top.

 

3.  Then from the center of the quilt, I divide the quilt top into quarters.  I quilt from the center outward in each quarter.  I was originally taught to fill the entire quarter section, so there was always less and less quilt top stuffed into the throat of the machine.  The instructor did stress, that when you moved to the next quarter area you had to be consistent with your quilting density so that it would lay flat.  I have found that I still work from the center outward, but will change quadrants always working to the outside, if the same design is being used.  That way my stitching seems to be more consistent working with one design and then going to another.  

 

I think there are slight differences between the two types of machines, but ideas we an use on both to improve our outcomes.  Thank you again for sharing and inspiring.  Take care, and have a wonderful day.

 

Cagey

 

PS:  Watch those loving baby bump touchy hands, you may just touch the wrong belly one day.  Probably why ladies just touch expectant mothers without thinking to ask.  


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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PS:  Watch those loving baby bump touchy hands, you may just touch the wrong belly one day.  Probably why ladies just touch expectant mothers without thinking to ask.  

I was no good at quilting on a domestic.  I always ended up with bad tension and puckers.  I also didn't like maneuvering the under the machine.  I usually make queen size.  

 

I don't touch baby bumps except my babies :-).  My DIL was very good about letting me feel the girls kick but I never rubbed unless I was invited.  I can't imagine touching a woman's belly that I didn't know.  LOL  

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Cyndi normally when I do a whole cloth I can pick a motif to measure from.  As you know each is unique and finding that measuring point can be difficult.  I almost always wash these quilts and block them because I use a blue washout marker and that has to be washed so why not block at that point.  Another thing I've done on wholeclothes is I draw a line when I mark it all the way around the quilt to designate the outside edge.  Then I actually stitch it, sometimes double stitch.  Then I'll have that stitching to measure off when laying it out or trimming.  

 

 

That's a great idea also. I haven't thought of the line or measuring from the motifs but this is my first whole cloth quilt so I won't be too hard on myself :)  Thanks so much!


Cyndi C.

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