The top is done, you've sandwiched and basted and quilted, and now you're left with a lovely, but raggedy looking quilt. (read more)
You've got to square it, and depending on the size, it can be a big, cumbersome, frustrating job.
It doesn't have to be that way, I promise!
Squaring a quilt used to be something I absolutely dreaded, but it's also something I knew I could do, so from my very first quilt, I squared it. I've never had anyone else do it for me, and I'm proud of that!
Actually, squaring has become such a simple task that I can complete it in 10 or 15 minutes, depending on how many times my kids need me.
I'm going to show you exactly what I do, and exactly what I use to do it. (You're going to be shocked!)
STEP 1 - Get your quilted quilt and lay it out on the floor.
For me, this means moving some furniture since I do not have a large house. If you can't fit the entire quilt on the floor at once, that's okay! Just make sure you can lay at least a 24" long section flat on SOMETHING. The floor, a table, your dog that's too fat and has that really flat back... :)
STEP 2 - Grab your cutting mat, rotary cutter, marking pen and your ruler. I love my 6" x 24" Omnigrip. It's my go to for everything, this is no exception. Use a Sharpie if you have light material, use a white pencil if you have dark material. I like my Dritz pencil for marking dark fabrics, but jabbing pins in and using the heads as dots can work well, too.
STEP 3 - Line up the edge of your ruler with the inside edge of your border.
STEP 4 - Decide where you'd like your border to end. If it's particularly wavy, choose a point that you know will cut off the wave. If you have a 6" border, but it's not extremely straight, you might measure 5 1/2" from the inside edge of the border so you know you'll avoid leaving a wavy edge.
This one was very straight, so I went with 6" even though I knew that on some of the border, that would push me just a bit over into the batting. I will be binding it, so you won't be able to see any of that when I'm done.
STEP 5 - Begin marking your border at your chosen point. Move the ruler around the quilt, always keeping the edge level with the inside of your border and making your marks on the outside of your border.
STEP 6 - Once your quilt is marked all the way around, line your ruler up LONG WAYS so that one edge of the ruler touches one dot, and continues on to the next dot. Be sure to space your dots close enough that you ALWAYS have your ruler on two dots at a time. I made these two very close so you could see, but generally I space them around 18 inches apart.
STEP 7 - Lay your ruler down along the edges of TWO dots, hold it FIRMLY with one hand and, using your rotary cutter, cut along the edge of the ruler. Be absolutely sure to keep your self healing cutting mat beneath your work area at all times. The last thing you want is a marred floor or sliced carpet. Also, these Olfa rotary cutters are crazy sharp, so please watch your fingers, hand, dog's tail, etc. It's also not a bad idea to change out the blade before you square up a quilt, especially if you've already used the blade to cut all the pieces out before you began putting the top together.
I'm not holding the ruler in the above picture, but I'm also not cutting it. I just needed to take a picture. Don't be a rebel, hold the ruler.
STEP 8 - Slide the ruler and mat up the quilt, cutting as you go.
Don't worry about the corners. Just do the edges. The corners will come together on their own as long as you have the dots marked so you can line your ruler up correctly.
That's it! It really is that easy! This took me about 15 minutes. I tossed out my scraps, folded up the quilt and put it away to be bound.
I hope this has helped you get more comfortable with the process of squaring up your quilt. You can do it!
About The Author
I started quilting in June of 2018 after attending a quilt show in support of my
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