If machine quilting a block quilt, you probably already know that one of the biggest frustrations is keeping every block perfectly square so they stitch together correctly into the quilt top, as just one little error on one block can affect all the others around it.
These inaccuracies are definitely something you need to notice and correct before pinning your project together and loading it onto the quilting frame for stitching - or the whole thing might end up not being squared.
A better idea is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Try these helpful tips to ensure quilt block perfection so you won’t deal with the frustration of off-square, crooked blocks when you start stitching on the quilting machine.
With precise fabric cuts and careful assembly techniques, your blocks will be perfectly square for easy matching!
1. Use Spray Starch
Start off by pressing your pre-washed fabric once it’s dry, then spray starching it before you cut it.
The easiest way to make crisp, precise cuts with a rotary cutter is by making the fabric slightly stiff which is easier to work with.
2. Trim Pieces to Exact Size
For a block to turn out perfectly square each time so it easily aligns with the other blocks and they all come together perfectly for stitching with your quilting machine, it’s essential that all pieces are precisely trimmed and then each smaller assembled segment measured and trimmed again if necessary.
Keep measuring and squaring as you go to catch problems that could affect the way things square up as you progress with the pattern.
3. Check Seam Allowance for Accuracy
Another way the whole block could be slightly off and affects how they all come together is inaccurate seam allowances.
Double-check to ensure there is exactly enough fabric for the standard ¼” seam allowance, no more and no less.
Trim accordingly so the allowances are precise and seams are perfectly aligned when you begin stitching pieces and then blocks together.
4. Press As You Go
Pressing is critical for marking seams and keeping the pieces and blocks straight.
Though some people suggest that it’s fine to use finger pressing when machine quilting because of how many small pieces must be stitched together to make a quilt top, use an actual iron to do it for block quilts, when accuracy counts.
5. Pin Everything Before You Sew
After the starching and cutting as well as the squaring and pressing, pin your pieces before you sew them together so nothing shifts.
There’s nothing more aggravating than going through all that trouble to make sure things are square and all corners correct than having the fabric shift, throwing the whole thing off before you can get it sewn.
6. Carefully Align Seam Intersections
Getting the seam intersections precisely fit and sewn is essential to ensuring the whole assembly of blocks align correctly.
Work all the blocks into place and pin them to test out alignment before you start sewing them together.
Make adjustments now before starting the quilt top so things are perfect by the time you’re making the layered sandwich and putting it on the quilting frame.
Just one crooked block could affect the look of the entire quilt.
7. Do It Again If You Have To
Always keep it in mind that preciseness is critical if you expect a block quilt to look perfectly square.
Don’t be afraid to use your seam ripper to take out seams that need to be adjusted once you see them sewn together and they are less than perfect.
Keep working the blocks until they are correct and the overall square pattern looks balanced before moving on to the actual quilting.
Block quilts with their geometric patterns and straight lines can be one of the simpler quilt types to make, especially if you’re just learning to use a machine like the Grace Q'nique 15 Pro Midarm.
They do still require accuracy and perfection to ensure the pattern turns out square and straight.
If you take your time and use these sensible tips, you should have few problems making a beautiful block quilt that’s perfectly square through and through!