• Squaring up — aka trimming quilt blocks to the unfinished measurements listed in your pattern so they have straight edges and true 90-degree corners — is the final step in completing a quilt block. It's rare for quilters to sew perfect blocks, and some patterns are designed so that you have extra fabric to trim in this final step, which is why this is an important skill to have in your back pocket. Here's how to pull it off flawlessly.

  • Pro Tip

    • Before squaring up, look at the pieced points near the outside edges of your block. Each should have a ¼" seam allowance between the point and edge of the block, so you don't tuck your points into your seam. As you trim, make sure this seam allowance stays in tact by trimming evenly around your edges until each one is at the measurement your pattern calls for.

    1. 1. Mark the Trimming Area

      If using a ruler larger than what you want to trim, place four small sticky notes on your ruler that define the total area of the trim size. For a 6" block, you'd align them just inside the 6" marks.

      Pro Tip

      • If you don't have sticky notes on hand, you could also use painter's or washi tape to clearly designate your trimming area, or look for a quilting ruler that matches your trim size.

    2. 2. Center the Marked Area Over Your Quilt Block

      Make sure the fabric extends past all four edges of the marked area, so that your block is centered.

    3. 3. Trim the Sides

      Trim the first two sides extending past the ruler edge. Rotate the block and realign your ruler. Trim the remaining sides.

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    Squaring Up