Make ‘Em Fit

Have you ever had a stack of blocks that were supposed to all be the same size – but they weren’t? Perhaps you won a block of the month stack at your guild, or friends made you birthday blocks, or you make a bunch of blocks that just didn’t all come out the same size. What do you do?

Well, if the blocks are log cabins, or simple 9-patches, these can all be squared down to the size of the smallest block without any worry about losing important points. But what if there are triangle points? I have a few thoughts on this topic, because I’ve had a few times where I’ve experienced this dilemma.

I wrote a post about one of my favorite ways to do this back in March of 2015. It involved turning each block on-point, with some extra “float”, and then squaring them all up to a common size.

Making quilt blocks measure up

In case you missed that post (or forgot where to find it), go to:

What if you don’t want to double the size of the quilt by adding the alternate blocks? Here are two suggestions:

Option #1: Divide the number of blocks in half, border blocks in the first stack with fabric A, and blocks in the second stack with fabric B, square them all to the size of the smallest block, and put them together checkerboard style:

Option 2: Border all the blocks in the same fabric, square them down to the size of the smallest block, and then put them together with sashing.

My friend Maria made this quilt from fabric printed with barns and covered bridges. Because these pre-printed blocks were not all the same size and/or “square”, she was struggling with how to put them together. She liked the idea of bordering each in a tan fabric to look like they were in a photo album. She decided to fold small squares of black fabric diagonally in half and place them in the block corners before bordering, for an old fashioned album look. The burgundy sashing between the blocks was the perfect touch, and no one would believe that the “photographs” are not all the same size! Great job Maria! Thanks for letting me share your lovely quilt.

So, there are some of my ideas for getting different sized blocks to fit together. Do you have any others?



2 Opinions

  • Laurie Neubauer said:

    Thanks Chris for the ideas on squaring up blocks to all the same size. I have the same barn and bridge blocks as Maria’s quilt to put together. I love the photo album effect although Im going to do my blocks in the attic window effect. So now I know how to square them up to fit.
    Happy Laurie

  • Geraldine Sharp said:

    Asymmetric can add interest. Who decided things need to be uniform? In architecture, eclectic (mixed styles), sale clothing (rarely match), a rainbow (many colors)


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