How to Square Up a Block and more…

It’s been another busy day around here.  I didn’t feel like working on the binding for either of my quilts that need it…so I didn’t.  But here’s a look at the Sunkissed Quilt without the binding.

The soft pink and grey colors are so beautiful.

Today I started working on 1 of 5 quilts that my step mom has asked me to make.  She was gifted 12 hand embroidered blocks and would like them made into a quilt.  These are proving to be quite the challenge for me.  They are huge blocks {18″} and very pink!  Light pink, medium pink, dark pink and maybe a splash of red.  She told me to “do whatever I want with them.”  I’ve spent several months just looking at them not knowing what I wanted to do. {Thank goodness she’s not in a hurry} I think I finally have a plan of action.

I need to square them up and trim them down to 16.5.”  I figured this would be a good time to take pictures and show you how I square up my blocks.

Let’s take a look at the block

I always start by finding the center of the block.  Finding the center on this block turned out to be pretty easy.  My square up ruler has cross hairs and a hole in the middle.  That allowed me to mark the center.

You can see in the above picture that the black lines on the ruler actually fit nicely inside the embroidered design.  I’m sure I wasn’t 100% exact on finding the middle but I got as close as possible.  Then I took my Pilot Frixion pen and marked the center.  

The pink dot is approximately in the center of the block.

Now it’s time to put the square up ruler back on the block.  I need to determine where to put the ruler.  My ruler has a diagonal line with measurements marked on it.  I find the 8.25″ point {half of 16.5″} on the diagonal line and place it on my mark. Unfortunately, my pink post it note is covering up the 8 on the ruler.  {I placed the post note on the ruler to help identify the point.  Basically, the bottom left corner of the post it note is the center of my block and the 8.25″ mark on the ruler}  I hope that makes sense.   

There was excess fabric on the top and right sides of the ruler.  This is what I trimmed off. 

You can see another pink post it note under the ruler.  You’ll find out why in a minute. 

I removed the ruler.  Now I’m going to flip my block so that the top right corner will become the bottom left corner.  Watch the pink post note. 

I flipped the block.  The previously trimmed sides are now on the left and bottom.

The block is lined up with the 16.5″ lines on the left and bottom. 

I replace the ruler so I can trim the last 2 sides.  This time the ruler will line up nicely with the left and bottom.  I line it up with the 16.5″ lines on the ruler.  Now I trim the right and top.

That’s it.  My block is square and measures 16.5″ inches.  I think I’m going to nick name this quilt the Pepto quilt for obvious reasons.  I’m worried it might end up looking like a Pepto Bismol mess.  Not to mention I think my step mom plans on using this in their bedroom.  Oh boy…I hope dad loves pink!  But I might have an idea.  How about some pink camo for the backing?  It could be like a mullet {business in the front, party in the back}.  Lady like on top, manly on the back???  I thought it was pretty clever.  Not so sure about my step mom.  It might just be the end of “do whatever you want.”

I almost forgot.  I also made a block for a quilt along being hosted by Vanessa at the Crafty Gemini.  

I do try very hard to make my tutorials clear.  I know sometimes it’s clear as mud.  Please don’t hesitate to ask  if you don’t understand something or I’ve confused you beyond belief.  Leave us a comment or send us an email


6 thoughts on “How to Square Up a Block and more…”

  1. I like your Sunkissed quilt! Last week I was browsing the quiltindex app and saw this layout for the first time ever – wondered what it would look like done in current fabrics. And today here it is on your blog!

  2. Thank you. I always struggle with “squaring up” and feel your tut was very clear. I do have a block that needs to be squared up to 8.5 x 5.5. It is app. an inch wider in both directions. There is quite a bit of embellishment and embroidery on it which makes the block a bit wavey and the embellishments affect the ruler – it doesn’t lie completely flat. Any suggestions?

  3. I so need this ruler.. did you see the one I had on my post,is it like that. whats the name of your ruler? Have you decided to come to the Dallas Quilt Celebration? Thank you for teaching us something today, your fabulous ! smooches

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