Friday, February 15, 2013

Advice Wanted: Trimming Blocks

I've been sewing a bit this week, but it's been pretty boring stuff to put on a blog. I'm working on an hourglass quilt for myself, and while the blocks are easy, they're also very boring to make. I feel like I've been sewing together HSTs and pressing them open forever! But last night, I finally finished with that and started trimming them.

There are millions more where those came from!

Here's my dilemma: I'm trimming them to 4.25" but some of them are ever so slightly smaller in places. Like, 1/16" off on part of one edge of the block. I'm wondering if I should just trim them all to 4" square, just to know that they're all exactly the same size? There will be a lot of seam matching when I put the rows together, so maybe that's the thing to do. Or maybe it's such a small amount I can cheat it? I haven't trimmed too many yet, so I'm trying to decide before I proceed with the mountain of blocks before me.

What would you do?

Also, here are a couple of pictures of what I did last Sunday with two of my friends. We built snowmen, then destroyed them spectacularly. It was really fun. :) We followed up our snow play with Nutella hot chocolate--heat milk, then stir in a spoonful of Nutella. Too delicious!

Our ugly snowmen standing by the lake.


"You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while she's wearing those bad boys?" 
This was her first snowman, and it was also the creepiest looking snowman I've ever seen, so its demise was welcome. :) 
This is also the best photo I've ever taken.

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  1. I would cheat. Actually I often cheat. Looking forward to seeing your quilt.

  2. I would definitely not cut them all down! Easing fabric is always my friend.

  3. Are the quilt police coming to your house? If not, don't bother trimming...But if they were 1/4-inch bigger, that's a different story.

  4. I'd cut them to 4" to make it easier on myself down the road and because I'd want to know they were all exactly the same size.

    But I also have OCD and may not be the best person to ask :P

  5. I am a great cheater. I never understand how those little blips happen, but they do. When I have an area that is a bit shy on size, I use my frixion pen to mark the correct sewing line and just let the seam allowance be smaller. It doesn't matter if the seam allowance is small, but it REALLY matters if the block is smaller.

  6. Hehe I love the snowman destruction party. Unless the blocks are going into something like a baby quilt that will need lots of serious washing, I just fudge amounts that small. Usually just stick a pin on the small part so I know where I need to let the edge mismatch to correct for it during piecing.

  7. Seams are there to hide any shortcomings. You can even everything out in the seam area so as long as you've got something to work with and haven't lost more than the 1/4". If one side of a seam is particularly near the 1/4" sewn line you can strengthen it by going over it with some very small close zig-zag stitches to prevent pulling and fraying. Hope this makes sense :)

  8. I would definitely fudge the seam. Love the idea of marking the stitching line! Genius! Also as I am quite cheap ( not cheap, ummm, against waste) I could not throw out all that material. And the quilt would be smaller or you would have to make more blocks to bring it up to size.

  9. Haha that is such an awesome last photo! Love it!

    As for the trimming - I'd totally fudge it. But I'm lazy like that. ;)

  10. Yep, I'm a cheater...but I'm so lazy I often don't trim...

  11. I always fudge it, but sometimes I regret that decision when I start piecing! I take the cheater's way out and trim HSTs with the June Tailor "Perfect HST" ruler now and they give me a little less sizing trouble now.

  12. I'm also a cheater ... but that's me! Any way to mark the smaller ones so you know to allow less for the seam allowance? And your last picture is brilliant!