You’ve spent countless hours painstakingly cutting and assembling tiny pieces of fabric to make a gorgeous quilt top, which you’ve layered into a quilt sandwich, and then stitched together on your Grace frame and machine combo.
The entire project is done and you race toward the finish line of adding the binding to complete your quilting project.
It’s finally finished, your weeks or months of work are over, and you’re excited to get it off the quilt frame and lay it out.
Oh no - your beautiful quilt is warped and crooked - what happened?
If you didn’t square your quilt before adding the binding, that’s probably the culprit of your misaligned quilt.
Take some advice from experienced quilters and even if you stitch your quilt on an advanced machine like a Juki TL2010Q Grace 10' Continuum with Sure Stitch Combo 1, take it off and square it before you add the binding!
Why Did Your Quilt End Up Warped?
Well quite simply, the quilting process even when it’s done on a precision longarm setup like a Grace/Juki Frame Machine Combocan cause the quilt layers to shift as the stitches are being sewn.
No matter how snuggly your quilt sandwich is rolled onto the rollers and how taught it remains for the needle, it’s always possible that batting and fabric layers can bunch and shift in amounts that are barely perceptible to the eye - at lease until the quilt comes off the rollers and all those tiny shifts have added up.
If you add binding without addressing this first, chances are your project will look warped and the quilt edges won’t lay flat.
Blocking Before Binding
Knowing what can happen and how it could affect all that hard work makes it essential that you block your quilt before adding the binding.
As much as you want to skip that step and add the binding so you can finally be finished, don’t do it!
When you’ve come this far, don’t start skimping on steps now!
Blocking allows you to cut a new, square edge around your quilt where you can correctly stitch the binding so the final piece is completely straight on all four sides.
How Do You Block A Quilt Before Binding It?
Blocking a quilt to make it square is more time consuming and detail-oriented than it is hard.
Once you’ve got your quilt off your frame/machine setup, lay it out flat on a large flat surface and get a square quilter’s ruler with a grid.
Starting in one corner, align the square in that first corner, then mark the edges of the quilt sandwich to follow the two sides so that after you trim, the corner will be square.
Continue along the sides of the quilt sandwich until you get to the next corner and make sure your square template fits squarely into the quilt corner.
Once you’ve gone along and marked the whole quilt so that all sides line up with square corners, you can trim away any uneven excess to yield straight, square sides.
The quilt is now ready to have the binding added.
Squaring Things Up Is All It Takes
The last thing you want is for that quilt you’ve spent so much time sewing on your sewing machine and Juki TL2010Q Grace 10' Continuum Sure Stitch Combo 1 to end up quite apparently crooked and warped when you add the final binding.
Avoid this and the possibility of having to unstitch the binding and start it all over again by stopping to block the quilt to be certain that your project comes out as beautiful as you’re planned it to be!