Friday, August 31, 2012

Making Square Blocks

I had a request for instructions in making square quilt pieces, so here's how I do it.  It is somewhat time consuming, but the are perfectly sized when I'm done with them!

To make square blocks, you can purchase or create your own template using this method and then trace it onto your fabric.  For simple squares I have better luck just drawing on my fabric, since sometimes I don't get the traced pieces lined up precisely and then I have a lot of extra cutting.

First iron your washed fabric (assuming this is a project that will be laundered at some point, otherwise iron your unwashed fabric).

Create a straight line with your yard stick and mark it in pencil or a fabric pencil on the 'wrong' side of the fabric.  At first glance one would assume that the fabric edge would be straight, but I've found that to be unreliable.

Next create a parallel line the depth of your square.  You will make many adjustments as you measure repeatedly, moving your ruler or rulers to be sure that this line is completely parallel.  At this point, create a front end to your blocks with a line near the left side (see the brown ruler).

 Next, measure your width on the yard stick and top ruler, both set with zero at the front line you drew.  Your vertical ruler should measure the depth of your squares as a simple check.  Draw a line and you have your first block.

If you want, you can do two rows at a time after you have made another parallel line to the original, by simply doubling the depth.

Finally, cut.  You can use standard shears or a rotary cutter and mat.  It depends on the project which I use.  For cutting large sets, you can also double up your fabric by layering more than one fabric or folding your fabric, but you must be mindful that your underlying pieces are just as flat and come at least to the same edge as the fore piece if they don't extend past it.

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