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The Quilt Show presents A to Z for Ewe and Me, the latest quilt in prizewinning quilter Janet Stone's 26-quilt alphabet series. Designed exclusively for members of TQS, the 69"x 82" quilt is a playful yet sophisticated sampler. Each letter in the alphabet has its own panel, where it's combined with a related pieced or appliquéd block. Make one for the child in your life, or make one for the child in you!

TOPIC: Blocking finished quilt top

Blocking finished quilt top 06 Dec 2014 00:02 #124484

Janet,

Thank you so much for that wonderful explanation about how you block your quilts. I too cannot stand the thought of squishing my quilt into a washer. Yours are ALWAYS so beautifully square and flat. :)
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Blocking finished quilt top 05 Dec 2014 22:18 #124473

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Aw, gee, thanks, Connie! I really have no secrets. I just fold 'em, bag 'em, box 'em, and say a little prayer to the shipping gods that they arrive safe and sound! I will say that when they come back from a show, I always hang them on my design wall, spray them with a little water, pin them down, and let them dry before doing it all over again. I have volunteered in several judging rooms at a few quilt shows and they typically stack all the quilts on top of one another before judging, so it doesn't seem to matter how they are folded in shipping, they will get refolded and stacked several times before they are hung at a show.
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Blocking finished quilt top 05 Dec 2014 20:01 #124470

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OK, now we all know how to block our quilts, and they'll be so beautifully flat and square that we'll just have to enter them in shows...

Which brings up the next question: how do you ship a quilt and still have it remain flat and square? Janet, your quilts are very well traveled, and they always hang beautifully in shows. Can you tell us your shipping secrets?


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Blocking finished quilt top 05 Dec 2014 11:10 #124425

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I use a crosshatch template to mark the quilt top. I find it easier to sew diagonally or side to side rather than up and down. I used Superior's silk thread which is thin and very forgiving on backtracking. I also quilt pretty slowly and LOVE the non-hopping FM foot on my Janome. Also, practice, practice, practice helps too. :)
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Blocking finished quilt top 05 Dec 2014 10:31 #124422

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Janet, do you have any tricks to share about getting perfect cross-hatching behind the applique?
Last Edit: 05 Dec 2014 10:32 by suehenyon.
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Blocking finished quilt top 03 Dec 2014 20:40 #124333

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Janet, amazingly enough I have both of those videos! It's been quite a while since I watched Grand Finale, and I had never watched Karen's video, since I bought it for the book. Good information in both of them. Thanks for the suggestion!


from the Piedmont of North Carolina
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Blocking finished quilt top 01 Dec 2014 23:25 #124177

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Connie, Ricky demonstrates it pretty well in his Grand Finale video. Also, Karen McTavish includes a CD in her book, Quilting For Show, that also shows how to block.gynconnie wrote:
Janet, I sure would love to see a video on this process! I've recently blocked a quilt for the first time, but still feel like maybe I'm not quite doing it correctly...
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Blocking finished quilt top 01 Dec 2014 23:23 #124176

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I guess the wet quilt is not very appealing to the cats. I don't get the quilt so wet that it is dripping with water. I would equate it to slightly wetter than if it came out of the washer. And believe me, the hard part IS getting up off the floor!! :)
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Blocking finished quilt top 01 Dec 2014 23:18 #124175

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I'm sorry, Janet. That should have been, "How do I get up off the floor.
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Blocking finished quilt top 01 Dec 2014 22:09 #124173

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Oh, Sue, you just always make me smile!
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Blocking finished quilt top 01 Dec 2014 21:40 #124171

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Janet, how do you keep the cats off the quilts? Or don't they like the wet? :lol:

So, trying to visualize this, you aren't wetting so much that the quilt is dripping or do you blot it with towels?

How do you get up off the floor ? :lol:
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Blocking finished quilt top 01 Dec 2014 21:13 #124170

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Janet, I sure would love to see a video on this process! I've recently blocked a quilt for the first time, but still feel like maybe I'm not quite doing it correctly...


from the Piedmont of North Carolina
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Blocking finished quilt top 01 Dec 2014 20:26 #124162

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Before I bind a quilt, I spray it heavily on both sides with water, using a garden sprayer. I then smooth it out on the floor and start pinning, using T-pins which are used in upholstery. I measure length and width and diagonally. If the diagonal measurements are the same, the quilt is square. I pin it about every 5 or 6 inches, just pulling it lightly in whatever direction it needs to be pulled. I let it dry thoroughly, at least 24 hours. Luckily my cats rarely walk on it when it's on the floor. The tearaway stabilizer I use is Ricky Tim's Stable Stuff which is polyester and it will soften and slightly pull apart when wet, so it doesn't matter that pieces are left in the stitching. Ricky Tim's video, Grand Finale, has a part in it on blocking. That whole video is worth watching. I don't wash my quilts in a washing machine because I don't like the idea of squishing them up to put in the washer. I think wetting them as much as I do gets the starch out sufficiently. I will say that if you have berber carpet or a place with commercial carpet it is easier to block. I used to work at a frame shop that had commercial carpet where I could block after hours. I no longer work there so I have to block on my somewhat plush carpet, which can be done, but is a little bit of a challenge. It is, however, worth the effort. :)
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Blocking finished quilt top 30 Nov 2014 12:49 #124064

In a short video on the AQG e-newsletter, Janet was interviewed about her winning quilts and said that she does not wash the finished tops, but wet-blocks them on the carpeted floor in her home. I wish she would share more details about that process. First we starched all the fabrics before cutting, then used Elmer's School Glue frequently to baste seams, appliqué vines, etc. How do we get all those materials, which are water-soluble, out? I know it is not wise to store items with starch in them, as certain vermin will love them. Also, removing the tearaway stabilizer is not an easy job for me, and tiny bits remain in the blanket-stitching. Janet suggests that that too will dissolve in water???
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