Trimming A Quilt

First, I would like to wish all the Fathers out there a very Happy Father’s Day!  And to all the special men in my life, my husband, dad, step dad, & father-in-law {in no particular order ~ of course}.

I want to share with you all how I trim my quilts to get them ready for binding.  I’m not one of the super talented long arm quilters who can put binding on while the quilt is still on the frame so I always have to do a little prep work before I can sew it on.  One of these days I’ll be brave and try sewing it on while it’s still on the frame.
I always trim my quilts in the middle of my family room floor.  I find it’s much easier to get a clean cut if I’m not fighting with the
quilt.  And I always fight the quilt when it’s hanging off of a table.  So, I decided it’s just much easier to take them in the family room and lay them out on the floor.  Crawling around on the floor isn’t much fun but it’s definitely better than the alternative.
I stitch a horizontal line across the tops of my quilts when I have them loaded on Roscoe {my Gammill}.  I know it’s a nice straight line because my machine has a horizontal lock.  This stitch line comes in super handy when it’s time to trim my quilts. 
You can’t really see the stitch line in the above photo because it’s white thread on white batting.
I lay my quilt on the cutting mat and the side with the stitching will be trimmed first.
For the first cut I line up my 6×24 ruler with the stitch line.
I trim a little and then stop and move the ruler up. I keep going until I reach the end of this side.
I line up the 6″ side of the ruler on the side that was cut first.  Then I make sure the 24″ side of the ruler is lined up with the second side that will be trimmed.
It’s pretty easy to tell if the quilt is square.  After trimming all four sides the ruler should line up on each corner.
As you see in this picture, the quilt lines up pretty nice on the bottom and right sides.
Sometimes trimming can be a little tricky especially if the quilt isn’t perfectly square.  This quilt in particular wasn’t perfectly square because it was pieced partly by hand and partly by machine.  I ended up having some spots where the top pulled in a little.  This left some batting showing but I didn’t really worry about it because I knew the binding would cover it.
You can see what I’m talking about in the picture above.  As long as it doesn’t pull in more than 1/4″ everything is fine.  The binding will magically hide all the imperfections.
I did a decent job…the corners lined up quite nicely after all the trimming.  I was a little nervous with this one.  I’m glad it turned out okay.
All done!

Now I just have 3 more quilts to get finished!  I guess we all know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Trimming A Quilt”

  1. Yes, thank you. I didn’t know this information as I try to trim on a table. I recently moved into my daughters home and her island is 12 feet long and 50 in wide so if my quilts fit I’ll be using it. Thanks for this tutorial. I need assistance finishing the binding on a quilt. I leave the tails long enough but can’t figure out how to make the 45 angle close enough to finish. I end up sewing across and finishing it.

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