Blocking a Quilt

Feather Starburst is rinsed, blocked, and ready to trim square for binding. Then the color will be added. I took photos as I blocked the quilt for a little tutorial.

Here are the tools I used for blocking. I have an old quilt laying on my carpeted floor covered with a sheet. I also need a bunch of pens - I'm estimating that I used about 40-50 pins on each side of this quilt, and it's 29" square. The pins I use are the corsage pins that I use for pinning quilts to the leaders of my longarm machine. You can use whatever pins you have that are rust-proof. I also have a long tape measure, a square ruler and a 6" x 24" ruler

I rinsed the quilt in my washing machine using only the rinse cycle. This gets out the blue water-soluble pen and spins out much of the water so it isn't dripping wet when I block it.

I start blocking by placing 4-5 pins in the center of one edge of the quilt and working out, using the long 24" ruler as a guide to make sure I'm pinning the edge straight. After pinning about 6-8 inches, I switch to the opposite side and start from the center and pin out, pulling the quilt top to get the measurement I want - in this case 29".

This photo shows me measuring the top so I know how much to pull the quilt to get it stretched to the 29" mark. This quilt was orginally 32" before quilting. After quilting and rinsing, it measured 28". I could only stretch it to the 29" measurement without the quilting looking distorted. As long as it's square and flat the finished measurement doesn't matter to me.

To keep the corners square, I use my square ruler as a guide while pinning.

Here is the quilt completely blocked. I have my ceiling fan running as well as a box fan blowing over the quilt to speed up drying. This quilt was completely dry when I checked it 4 hours later.

Feather Starburst is now ready for trimming, binding, and coloring.


Great tutorial! Thank you for taking the time to instruct other people. I really appreciate all that you do.
Julia said…
Great tutorial Susan..
Your quilting is so beautiful..
Julia ♥
Susan Loftin said…
Thanks Janet and Julia. I hope that my little tutorials can be of help to other quilters.
TracyC said…
Wowzer....I learn more each time I read your blog. Thanks for taking us through these things.
Eileen said…
Wonderful information! I have a question-can I block a quilt after it's been bound?
Susan Loftin said…
Eileen - Yes you can block a quilt after it's bound. Just follow the same steps and pin it along the inner edge of the binding.
Tennye said…
Thanks for the tutorial, I have never blocked my quilts, how important do you feel this process is to the quilt in the long run. Say thirty years from now?

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