Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Quilting Road Trip -- Bonus Blocks Part II

There is a town called Wrinkle-dy-Rumple-dy-ville on our quilting path. Did you know that, rookies? Have you visited there?

Boy, I sure have!

Let me elucidate, er, illuminate, er, tell you about it. I'll get Padsworth to help me, here . . .

See, it's so bad that Padsworth just can't stand to look!
He's covering his eyes!

I was so excited a few years ago when I finally jumped into quilting with both feet. I'd been sewing for many years, and had actually hand-pieced some quilt blocks, but that was about the extent of my quilting at the time.

I saw some inspiring star blocks, and dove in. This was uncharacteristic for me, as I am usually an extremely logical and follow-the-instructions kind of person.  So you can see how excited I actually was. But I digress.

I made some block components, and then quickly sewed them up into complete blocks.


That was my brakes. Something was wrong here. Very wrong.

I R Brave to show this to you . . . 

I was smack dab in the middle of Wrinkle-dy-Rumple-dy-ville. You see, I had careened around the curve on the road, and in my excitement I missed the turnoff for Square-up-your-block-burg.

There's our trusty tour guide . . . he still can't look!

Uh-huh.  That's what this is all about.  This is totally a word of caution for you rookies again.  I hope you are listening!! (Grin)   I want you to be able to avoid the town of Wrinkle-dy-Rumple-dy-ville!

Take our bonus blocks from yesterday, for example. Once you press open your half square triangle (HST) block, you may have something similar to this. Can you see that it is severely wonk-ified?

Well, you have GOT to take care of that, before you go any further! This is how I do it (and this is by no means the only way, or the best way, or anything else. It is just what works for me.  You can check on Youtube and find lots of videos that explain how to square up your block!)

I place my square ruler on my block, laying the diagonal line on the seam line, like this:

This time the red print is on the top left of the ruler, see?

Can you see those wonky edges peeking out from around the edges of the ruler? You must be ruthless -- whack those off with your trusty rotary cutter, OK?

Then turn the block around, so that you have the other two edges showing (in this case, the red print would be on the bottom right-hand side then) and whack off any extra there, too!

If this has confused you, check out this video I found:

Then you will have a nice, square block:

And because you were careful to look for the off ramp for Square-your-block-burg, exit and stay a while there, you no longer have to fear Wrinkle-dy-Rumple-dy-ville. As far as you are concerned, it's just a wrinkle in the map, or maybe a stray dot of cheese from the nachos you were munching while you drove. (I won't tell anyone you were driving distracted, tho. Your secret is safe with me.) 



  1. I love that you posted this!! My first quilt was made with 1/2 square triangles and the class I followed didn't have you trim them. I didn't find out until later that you were supposed to do that. I bet I would have had a much easier time putting it together had I known this secret!!!!

  2. I seriously cannot think of a more important step in making those hst blocks come together so perfectly that squaring them up. What a difference it makes and well worth the time.

  3. This is a fun read! Love your Snoodle-isms!

  4. You always make me laugh! Love it! I do hate squaring up - the time it takes, but yeah, it is one of those do it or be REALLY mad at yourself at the end of the day - not worth it! :)

  5. Cute post!!! This was one of the first things I learned that REALLY helped me start to turn out blocks that looked the way they were supposed to! And I am always amazed at the seasoned quilters I know who don't bother squaring up... how do they do it???

  6. Eeek, I think you are so brave to show those! So glad you jumped in!!

  7. I look forward to your blog posts because I am assured a good laugh for the day, which I SORELY need by the time I can read it in the evenings. This rookie appreciates all the help you can give! :)

  8. As a rookie quilter, I love these posts! Thank you so much for showing the basics for us in such a fun way.

  9. But I always have to whack off too much and then have to re-figure the entire quilt and it just is this big snowball effect.


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