Blocking a quilt is a bit like blocking an embroidery or a jumper. You do it to help the fibres settle into the shape that you want. Quilts are just much bigger and you need to have the space to do it. I always block wallhangings and cot quilts on my design board. If I’m putting a quilt in a show, I’ll block it before sending it off. For a queen size quilt, I use some cheap panels from the hardware that I can put pins into. Big or small, the process is the same.

So, how do you block a quilt?

I use my design board which is made of acoustic panel covered with brushed cotton. I start by pinning the top edge along the top of the board, using the straight edge of the board as a guide and placing a pin every 6 inches or so, so that the top of the quilt is pinned in a straight line. As I pin, I gently stretch the quilt a little so it sits very flat.

I then pin the left hand side of the quilt down the left hand side of the design board. This gives me a right angle in the corner and a straight line guide. Once again, I stretch the quilt a little.

I then hang a weighted piece of yarn down the right hand side. By this I mean I tie a pen onto a bit of wool, tie a knot in the other end and pin the knot to the top right hand corner. The pen weights the yarn and it hangs down in a straight line. I use this straight line as a guide to pin the right hand side. Once the three sides are pinned, I check that the left and right sides are the same length.

I then stretch a piece of yarn from the left hand corner to the right hand corner and pin the bottom edge even with this line.

The final step is to spray the surface of the quilt with water until it is damp. I leave it overnight to dry and the result is a quilt that is square and will hang flat against the wall.

This technique is good for quilts which are basically square and flat but which need a little help to look their best.

Good luck with all your quilts. May they all be square and flat.

Responses