Pressing and Trimming

Yesterday I wrote about the new vintage fan block quilt top.

I said that it was flat enough to quilt as is but that I wanted to re-deign it.  I thought about it and thought I might want to leave it as is.  I started to press it and found that it did need a lot of work to make it flat.  So I spent last night taking it apart. here is the stack of blocks

The blocks are all off enough that I will need to fix them in order to make the quilting go the way I want.  First thing is to press each block

See how the fan section is pressed toward the white…this will make re-piecing it be difficult because it puts 3 layers of fabric at the corner. I am pressing all the blocks like this

Now there is just one layer of fabric at the corners (bottom left and top right) and piecing the blocks will be much easier.

Now they need to be square….first thing is to figure out what size they were intended to be.  Old patterns were usually in very regular sizes so I know they would not be something odd like 6 5/8″  it turns out they are 7″ blocks so I need them all square and all 7″.  One caution if you plan to do a project like this:  Don’t only measure one or two blocks!!  measure several to be sure of the size they should be….sometimes a few of the blocks are smaller than the rest and you can work around that by adjusting the seam allowance but you can’t glue the fabric back if you trimmed too much.

I don’t have too much to trim on this corner

about 1/4″ off on this side

every block is different some need a lot of trimming

some need less

all need some

I have this many done

and many more to go

I don’t know how many I will get done today.  I have to get my quilt ready to mail to AQS for the Grand Rapids show and I don’t have a label or a sleeve on it yet and I need to get my AAQI quilts mailed as well…so I should stop playing with my fans and get to work.    I have a hard time stopping once I get started on a new project…(I can stop a lot easier at the point where it is about 1/3 quilted and I have another project waiting to go (that is why I have 5 quilts that are QIPS….quilting in progress)

Happy Quilting


10 thoughts on “Pressing and Trimming

  1. Dolores says:

    It does lead credence to the old adage, “Measure twice, cut once.” Will you put the blocks back together the way they were originally?

    • timquilts says:

      Now that they are all apart I can play with different layouts and see what I like….I might go back to the original or something different….after they are all trimmed I will try out some options

  2. Karen says:

    it is good that they are all too large so they can be cut the same. Most likely the problem laid in that the original quilter didn’t mark seams – but eyeballed – that was a problem I used to have until one day years ago I actually decided to measure some of my seams and see what i was eye balling – wow was I off!

  3. I enjoyed reading the process of how to fix this quilt to get it to lay flat!
    What great blocks!

  4. belinda says:

    Most interesting Tim. Seeing each block you are trimming it’s a wonder it looked as good as it did!
    It will be fun to see what you decide to do with it!

    • timquilts says:

      it is surprising to me how much they are off…it didn’t look that bad until I tried to press it…I could have “quilted out” the wrinkles but I want this one to be extra nice bacause I just love the assortment of fabric

  5. audrey says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has several projects going at once! The fans are going to look wonderful after you get done with your magic!


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