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Two questions...squaring up and marking the quilt for quilting

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Denise (denilyn) posted on Wed, Jan 16 2013 9:07 AM
I have been sending my quilts out to have them quilted and I have never had to square them up...I have not been making quilt tops as long as you ladies have. I am also self-taught through lots of books and web sites. I am really not quite sure how to square up the backing and the top but was told I needed to do this before the quilting process. Can anyone give me any information on how to square these up and/or where I can go to maybe view this? Also, I am not going to quilt by hand and am going to quilt by machine...I have been practicing. I would feel more comfortable with marking up the quilt I think and just following that with my machine. Does anyone here mark up their quilts that they are machine quilting and if so are there any suggestions on what tools are the best to do the job? Thanks so much to everyone for this site and for the wonderful help there is here. I belong to a couple of other sites for quilting and this by far is my favorite. You all make a person feel that any question asked is not a dumb question and I appreciate that very much. :-)
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Barbara replied on Wed, Jan 16 2013 10:00 AM

Denise ,I do mark my quilts when I need to ,I use a white chalk pencil or my Frixion pen  which ever works best.  I do run a FMQ group here and hope you will come and join us .I have lots of info there and you can go back and looks at some of the things we do for practice . Feel free to ask any questions and if I don't know the answer I'll find out for you . I do highly recommend you take the class offered by Leah  Day on the Crafty web site .she is a fabulous teacher and makes it very simple for you and this is done in video and and you can ask questions,as well .great class .I and a lot of us here have taken this .  

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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Thanks so much Barbara. Actually I joined her class the day it went up on Craftsy...LOL. I am a craftsy junkie. I just have not had time to work along with her in her classes. I usually view them first and then get the supplies I need and go through them again. I think I only made it to lesson 5 before I had to stop. Working does not always afford me the luxury of doing some of the things I like to do...LOL. Before after I finished the top, I would just send to my long arm quilter and she would square everything up, quilt it and then I would bind it but she has gone up a bit on her prices and I figured it was high time I do it myself so have been practicing now for about 6 months. Now, I am kind of pushed to get this one project done so figured I needed to just jump in and do it. Leah's class is wonderful so far. I am hoping to have some time today to watch the rest of her classes. :-)
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The way I was taught (on-line) to square up quilts was to measure the middle from side to side and use that as your measurement for cutting binding (or the final border).  I either ease the edge or slightly stretch it to fit the outer border and it comes out square each time (or within 1/2" which I consider good enough).   I had one quilt that was over 2" off across the top as the squares were on the diagonal.  This is probably not the way to do it, but I started at the center of the side and trimmed up, ending at 3/4" at the top.  Did this on both sides, and then cut the binding according to the measurment in the middle and eased everything in.  When done, it was impossible to tell I'd sliced that amount off.  Of course, that wouldn't work on one with a narrow border unless you did the slicing before putting the border on. 

Brigit-Carol

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