Blocking a quilt

Quilt class finished yesterday. So much fun, and idiot newbie that I am, I forgot the camera yesterday. So, no pics. But, it went great and I'll include more about it later this week. But, today, it's chores and shopping and scrubbing and I'm going to make jelly.

But, first, I have this little quilt to block. I love blocking my wallhangings. They end so stiff and flat and lay against the wall better. And, this little quilt isn't true square, so I can stretch it out to make it square enough to hang straight. The quilt has been washed and has never been in the dryer. It is quite damp when I pin it down.

First, I lay a ruler in the center of the quilt and pin in the first square. This one just happened to accomodate my big ruler, but a small square up ruler would have done jsut as well.

I pin all around it, making adjustments as necessary. This ruler is 12 1/2 and the block is 12 1/4, so I had to pin to a line inside the edge of the ruler to make it work, but all I'm trying to get is square corners and straight lines. Not worried about the size.

And, then i start adding rulers outside that block and making straight lines based on that initial square. Often, I will put in pins and then have to pull them out as I work my way around the quilt. Always getting more and more square and always getting straighter lines.

You can see how this line was almost a half inch too far to the right and had to be pulled to the left and pinned down.
I work my way all the way around to the edge, moving pins from the center out as I go, pulling and tugging based on the original square. At the end, I use rulers outside the perimeter of the quilt and pull the edges over to those rulers.

And, then it's all pinned to the floor...and it only took an hour to pin this 42" square quilt to the floor. But, it will be worth it when this is back on the wall. It will lay on the floor, under a fan overnight, until it is good and dry. Then, I pull the pins and hang the quilt on its hanger.

I have to reblock every time I wash a quilt. When I took the quilt to class, we folded it and moved it all around and the stiffness went out of it. When I rehung it, I could see where it was off square on one side. This will fix all that and it will hang perfect again.
Everybody have a great Sunday. Soon as the jelly's in the jars, I'm back to quilting.


Kath said...

great tip Lane, I have never heard of this, nor seen it done, but it makes perfect sense.
So when it's pinned down, do you press it, or just leave it, if so, for how long?

Anonymous said...

I've never seen this before either. Is it wet when you pin it down?

Pauline said...

Thanks Lane, great idea. I remember when my mother use to wash, starch and stretch flimsy curtains on a "curtain stretcher." Looked kind of like a quilting frame except there were small nails all the way around the outside for sticking the curtains to and it had props that stood the frames upright. Curtains came out square and looking ironed. Quite a time saver since she had lots and lots of curtains and she could "pin" several on the frame at once. (How's this for a trip down memory lane.)

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for the instructions. I got my quilt all blocked and I'm waiting for it to dry. I really like the look of it and I think it will show better at the quilt show. I'm certain now that the dry cleaner's could have done it without popping any stitches, because I tugged pretty hard. It would have looked even better steamed, but now I know how to do it. I hope it dries soon because I laid it out in kind of a goofy spot (didn't consider how big it was when I put it out). Anyway, thanks again!

xo -E

Carla said...

hmmm I've never done that. May have to try on this little quilt I'm about to put together.

Carla said...

Oh and I really like the quilt.