Setting things straight

In a previous post I showed pictures of my Dancing Shoo Flies I quilt and talked about how I managed to create such wavy edges. Since then, the unintended wonkiness of the quilt really got to me and I decided it had to be fixed — even if it meant removing the binding or other drastic measures.

But first I turned to the internet to see if there was a simpler solution. Most bloggers and discussion boards try to solve the problem of uneven or wavy borders on a quilt top. Only a few talk about fixing a quilt after it’s been quilted. A couple of sources suggested blocking the quilt the way you would a knitted garment prior to sewing it together.

Because that was the easiest and least invasive option, I started there. Blocking. And believe it or not… success! With so little information about this on the web, I thought I’d describe how I did it. 

Before (top), during (middle), after steaming

I lay one of the wavy edges onto the ironing board, and about 3 inches from the quilt’s edge I pinned it flat to the board. You can see the green glass pin heads in the second image. Once the quilt was anchored I pinned the binding to the board, right where the coloured border and the binding meet, and used extra pins in the particularly wavy sections. These are a bit more difficult to see, but they’re there.

With the iron set to linen and maximum steam, I held the iron just above the quilt and blasted away. Sometimes I had to hold down the steam button and other times the steam burst forth by itself. Once the steam dispersed I moved the iron to the next section and blasted there. After making two passes across the width of the quilt I left the quilt to cool. For the third picture (above) I removed the pins along the binding, and you can see how much flatter the quilt lies than in the first picture.

Flatter Dancing Shoo Flies I on my design wall