Thursday, May 29, 2014

Squaring up and trimming your landscape quilt

First cut

 Now that my quilt is dry and flat, it is time to trim it. This blog entry will show you how to square up your quilt and cut off the edges.  We want nice 90 degree corners and equal dimensions from side to side and top to bottom of your quilt top. 

As you can see from the first picture, I start with the side and the horizon line - NOT the corner.  Your horizon line needs to be perfectly straight across the width of the quilt.  I use my husband's (mine, really) T-square and line it up with the side of the quilt and the horizon line.  Then I cut off that side edge.  Don't cut it the whole way down, just cut a few inches off the side.

Second cut
 Once I cut off a few inches, I move the T-square and cut down to the first corner keeping the tool lined up with the first cut. Hopefully the bottom of the tool will run parallel to the strips in your landscape. Mine does, whew! (That fold/sew technique of mine combined with fusing on the batting really works!)
Third cut
 The third cut is around the corner and a few inches along the bottom. NOT the whole way yet, we are going to check the horizon on the other side.
Fourth  cut
 Do the same thing to the right side of the quilt as you did on the left side. Then cut the rest off the bottom of the quilt.  Now it is time to do the top. :)
Fifth cut

 Do the top the same way that you did to the bottom of the quilt.

Get out a measuring tape and measure top to bottom across the width of your quilt and side to side. Are both sides the same number of inches? (Or centimeters?)  Double check and trim off bits as necessary. 

My quilt back
 Like a total ditz I chose a light colored quilt backing. I wanted drama on the back and thought that if I quilted with a matching top and bobbin thread that the back would look really cool.  Well poo.  It was impossible to quilt with little black loop da loos over the confetti patches and see what I was doing. Black thread quilting over black thread doesn't work well if you are aiming for a tidy and dramatic quilt back.   Here is a closeup .

Detail of the tree from the back.

I didn't like the way the back looked. You know the old saying about problems being opportunities?  This was a time it applied.  I've sponge painted several rooms in my house over the years and I thought about doing it with fabric paint to add drama to the tree.  I also outlined the tree trunks with a very fine tip Sharpie marker in black.  Now I really like the back of my quilt - it is dramatic!

I think more sponge painting on quilts might be in my future. 

Finished back of my quilt
Today I'm going to be working on the knife edge facing.  Here is a link to another blogger who can show you how to do it.  Actually, there are many ways to do a back facing, this is the method I like best because it creates less rounded corners.  Knife Edge binding 

Comments welcome!

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