Parallel and Perpendicular

I was raring to go!  I finished another 4 blocks of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”, which meant I was ready to stitch together another row!  But first I had to add the embroidery to the schooner.

Before the embroidery…

schooner 1

…and after the embroidery!

schooner 2

Once all the ropes were stitched in place, I started to “square up” my blocks.  When I say “square up” I mean any straight lines are running parallel and perpendicular to the edges of the block.  Here are a few (hopefully!) helpful hints…

First of all, if you have ever wallpapered, you know that before you start, you have to use a plumb line to make sure you begin with a straight line.  The same holds true for squaring-up a block.  First you have to find a straight line somewhere in the block.  It sounds easy, but there are no straight lines on this block!

block 1

So…using the schooner block as an example…here are my thoughts!

Luckily, there are some pretty obvious straight lines in this block.  The masts!  So, I want the masts to be parallel to the edge of the block.

trim 1

Next,  I placed my window template on the block.  You can read more about that here.

So, I measured the distance from the bottom of the mast to the template.

trim 2

Then I measured the distance from the top of the mast to the template.  Both of those measurements need to be the same!

trim 3

Then, I took my 6″ ruler and made sure that there was an equal distance from the applique to the template on both sides..

trim 4

trim 6

…and top and bottom.

trim 8

trim 7

When I was sure the block was square and centered..(and I mean really sure!)  I marked  along the inside of the template with a marking pen and then I cut on the line with my rotary cutter and ruler.  Easy peasy!

So, once the blocks were trimmed, I started to sew the row together.

rows 1

And, finally, 3 rows sewn together!

rows 2

Til next time…



35 thoughts on “Parallel and Perpendicular

  1. Wonderful tutorial! I square up my applique blocks in much the same way, but don’t think I could say it as plainly as you did! You are making amazing progress. Such a great idea to have your sashing strip all ready to go too.:)

  2. OMG just soooo beautiful they look all together and of course seeing each one individually is amazing. Thank you for sharing your methods, I truly appreciate that. Your really tempting me to buy this pattern and start making it!

  3. Wowza! It is looking fantastic! Thanks for your squaring instructions. It is the kind of thing I know but often ignore. If I want my quilts to look even close to as good as yours, though, I better stop ignoring that step. Thanks for keeping me “straight.” Sorry for the cheap pun.

  4. This was so helpful! Thanks for the great tutorial! Your work is fantastic! And this quilt……OH! It’s a masterpiece! I’m so glad I saw a link to you on Kathie’s Inspired by Antiques blog. I can’t wait to see more of your beautiful work! :o)

  5. Kerry your appliqué is amazing. I have admired sue Garmens patterns, but they are too steep for my budget. Have you seen the one she has of ships only?

  6. so beautiful! I almost cried when I saw the blocks joined with the amazing blue hsts. Kathie from Inspired by Antique Quilts suggested we click over here – I’ so glad I did! Off to look at more of your beautiful work. Thanks for sharing this tip on squaring up applique blocks. I will definitely keep this in mind!

  7. I found your blog through Kathie (from inspired by antique quilts)…..This is what happened: I spent the whole night reading a lot of your posts, tips and so on. Thanks for all the techniques you share. One of the best things I learned is that you take out the freezer peper before you start to sew. You make wonderful applique quilts. I enjoyed it very much and will come back!
    Annemieke (from the Netherlands)

  8. Just found your blog through Kathie from Inspired by antique quilts. I love to applique and have been using the needle turn method, but your starch and freezer paper method looks like it is so accurate and it is worth a try. Thanks so much for sharing. Your quilts all look so beautiful!

    • Thanks! I used to do only the needleturn method, and I actually taught needleturn for many years, but once I found this starch and freezer paper method, it is all I do. I love the speed of it and also the accuracy. I teach this method now, and have converted a number of needleturners! Hope you give it a try.

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