Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Do You Block Your Quilts?

Today's question, "Do you block your quilts?", usually receives a 'no' answer from me, but it really depends on the ultimate use of the quilt.  Since I make a lot of quilts that are going to be hugged, no, I don't bother blocking them.  But those that are made to hang or enter shows, those get blocked.

Now, my recent Trio Two
was really a bit wavy for this picture, and I had to pin it to some piles of fabric on the floor behind the quilt to smooth it out.  I could have waited until the blocking was done to take pictures, but I was just too excited to show it!

And then my husband was eager to hang it.  Which we did, and it waved at us every time we walked by!

So, on Monday, down it came, and onto the rack!  Well, not really a rack, just some towels on the floor and some pins.
First order of business was to find a backing that would take pins.  For me that's carpet, but it might be a foam board for you. The towels are flat and smooth, so no bumps transfer to the quilt.  Using a spray bottle of water to dampen the quilt, I started pushing, pulling, and lining everything up, checking for square using a carpenter's square and a measuring tape.  Measuring from corner to corner as shown, in both directions confirms square.  Pins were pushed in at the corners and other spots to hold the quilt in place.

Now the fun part!  Heating up my iron to cotton, and filling it full of water, I hovered the iron over the quilt, hitting it with bursts of steam.  I repeated this process once more, moving slowly over the quilt, without touching it with the iron.  

And then I walked away.  For two days, it rested and dried, conforming to its new shape.  And here's the nice, FLAT result!
What a difference!  No bumps, bulges, or waves.

Hope you try this the next time you have a wall or show quilt that's waving at everyone!  That's certainly not the attention that the quilt desires!

Happy Quilting!


  1. I have a steamer - do you think that will work the same as the iron? Maybe even better. I never thought of using it for blocking quilt. thanks

  2. Thanks for this. I have a quilt ready to hang, and while I generally like friendly gestures, I don't want my quilts waving at me! Your quilt is beautiful.


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