Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Beginner's Unite! Blocks that don't match

What do we do when our blocks aren't the same measurement?

Many people say trim them all the same size, but then you run the chance of losing your points. If you have used the same seam allowance for all of your stitching, then I say, don't even think about trimming!

Here are two squares. One is 8 1/2" square and the other 8 3/8" square.

When I come upon blocks that are off just a bit, my go to tip is: pin, stretching just a little bit if you need to, and stitch with the larger unit on the bottom.

I pin each end first. Then holding each end I pull the blocks straight to find the middle, and pin. If the block needs a lot of work, I will pull the block straight between the end and middle pins and put in another pin. With these blocks I had seams that I needed to match up as well.

Once pinned, stitch with the larger unit on the bottom. In this case, the 8 1/2" block. The feed dogs will pull the bottom fabric more than the presser foot will pull the top fabric, and this will help make the blocks the same size.

Blocks are now matching at 8 1/2".

Press, and continue.

If you are putting blocks with sashing, the same tip applies. Pin ends, then middle, and in between. Stitch with the longer piece on the bottom.

When you put your units and/or blocks together in this manner, there is no need to trim before piecing them together. However, if your blocks are 1/4", or more, off I recommend grabbing your faithful seam ripper and fixing the block. Trying to stretch that much fabric will distort your finished block.

Share your tips for dealing with units/blocks that are not the same size in the comments.

Happy Stitching!

1) Intro - May 2
6) Sewing strips and squares - June 6
7) HST - Half Square Triangles (My one true love) - June 13
8) Flying Geese - June 20
9) What about those blocks that are just a tad off? - You are here
9) Strip Piecing - July 11
12) Adding Borders - July 18
13) Sandwich that top - July 25
14) Quilting - August 1
15) Binding - August 8
16) Labels  - August 15


  1. I admit I use this same method when blocks are a teeny bit off. Especially if there are no points to match up. I might add a couple of pins if there is a single point to match though.


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