Welcome to SewVeryEasy. My name is Laura, and when we make quilt blocks, it’s important those blocks are square to the measurement that they’re supposed to be. If they’re supposed to be a twelve and a half inch square. It needs to be that twelve and a half inch square so that it matches up to the squares around it. Now, sometimes we’re going to be able to take those squares and trim them down but other times there is no trimming room, and those are the times we need to block them, and blocking them will put them into the shape and the size that we need, just in case we’re off just a little smidgen. And there’s more than one way we can block a block. The first way is on the ironing board. Now this block should be a twelve and a half inch block, which means it’s going to be a twelve inch finished square, but it should start at this raw point at twelve and a half inches. And I do have it off just a little bit. Now this can happen for a couple of reasons. It could be in the cutting, it could be in the seam allowance, it could also be in the ironing, but we can adjust this if it’s not too far off, with blocking. Blocking does not mean we’re going to cut it. We’re going to block it with heat and steam and a little moisture to put it into the shape we want. So one way is on the ironing board. Now if you have an ironing board that has lines on it, that’s great. But some of those lines are not always straight. After time, those lines shift. So if you have a board with lines, be sure to check and make sure your lines are straight to start off with. If not, then I add my own. I have a very large pressing surface. So I’m able to press on smaller mats on top or I can press right on top of this board. First thing we need to do is make sure that that cover on your board is not going to shift, and then draw some lines. I have two lines that are on the board. They’re always there. I don’t worry about them. They’re permanent and it gives me a good guide if I’m pressing strips or anything that I want to keep straight. And even though I’ve put those lines on the board myself I do make sure that they are correct, because this top surface can always shift with the heat of the iron. I have a ruler that’s already at twelve and a half inches. From there, I can add two more edges and you can use any of these markers that steam out and you don’t see the print afterwards, or you can make it permanent. Because the twelve and a half inch is a very popular size, I don’t mind moving it so that I’m going to have it in the middle of my ironing board. so I have a surface to work all the way around. And I’m going to mark those lines with a permanent marker. The permanent marker is not going to transfer to any of your fabric, but it will stay onto your pressing surface. So if you don’t want it permanent, use something that is going to steam out. And I make my marks. I like to extend my marks a little bit past that twelve and a half inch square. It gives me a good reference line. So I have two extra lines that come out for that corner. Now if this is something you like to do, you can do lots of different sizes and have them there permanently. Once I know my lines on the board are accurate I’m going to be able to use just the ironing board itself. The first thing I want to do is Get this block so it’s just a little bit damp. A little spray bottle will work just fine. From here, I’m going to be able to pin the shape that I want. I like to put my pins in a little bit of an angle and start with my four corners. Because that fabric is a little bit damp It’s going to be pliable, and I have all those great lines that I can follow. From there, I’m going to do the seams. So those seams will get pinned right along that line. Go all the way around and put pins in those seams. If you have an edge that is too big versus too small, a lot of times you’re going to be able to tap that down. But only if it’s a small amount. If it’s too big you might have to go in and adjust the seam. You’re going to be able to just take that and tap that down so that the fibers start to go back together versus spread out. And then continue putting your pins in each of those seams. Work your way all the way around. So if you need to pull in the block a little bit, that’s great. If you need to pull it over to the edge That’s good, too. This is a good time to test those seams. You want to make sure you don’t have any little fold-overs. Each of these seams should be nice and flat. When I’ve pinned all of my seam allowances, if I need to, I can then pin other areas. So smooth this block out so that it fits that exact 12 and a half inch square. I don’t want to hold that iron down on the surface for a long time because that’s what causes those shiny marks. We’re just going to push it up and down and let the steam work. Once this is cooled down and is dry, I’m going to be able to remove all of the pins. You can also have this blocked from the backside. When you block it from the backside, you’re going to be able to help put those seams in the direction that you want them to go in. So you can block it with the wrong side up or the right side up, whatever you feel more comfortable doing. If your ironing surface is not big enough to put your block on flat you can use a freezer paper method. So this is just plain freezer paper that you would get in your grocery store. It’s to wrap food to go in the freezer. And I’m going to want three layers of this fused together. The freezer paper has a plain paper on one side and the other side is shiny. And that has a wax on it, and the wax is what helps protect your food from the freezer. But it’s great for quilting. So I’m going to take three layers of freezer paper and iron them together. So when you do iron the three of these layers together, make sure that that shiny side is down because that wax will get on top of your iron. When you do iron those layers together, you might get some wrinkles between the pages. That’s okay, because we’re going to trim the size down after it’s all ironed together. I do have the size ruler that I want to use, so I’m going to be able to just use that ruler and cut out the size. Once it’s cut, I’m able to do this at the iron so it won’t matter what size the block is. We’re going to be able to move this paper as we need. And I want that shiny wax side to go onto the good side of the fabric. The paper will stick onto this fabric. I’ll be able to match up those edges and press just by holding the iron down for a minute. It’s going to stick onto that page. I want to take and put all four corners onto this paper. And I’m going to iron the edge down so that it sticks onto the freezer paper. Pull that fabric until it gets to the spot you want. Do a little bit at a time until that edge matches the fabric. so all of the four edges are stuck down. Now I can work in the center and I can just spray it and then pat it down. You’re going to be able to shift it and pat it until you get it into the right spot. If you’re in a hurry, you can press this right until it’s dry, or you can let it dry on its own. So you can turn this over and iron from this side. Once it’s done, we’re going to be able to just peel that block right off, and it gives us a perfect-blocked block. There is one other way. This method involves no iron at all. It’s the dampness of the fabric that’s going to set it. You will need a ruler the size of the block. If you have one of these rulers that have that non-slip on the one side, it would be best if you did this from the top side. This is a little bit more slippery, so it’s going to allow you to move the fabric as you need. And for this we’re going to use clips. If you don’t have any of these clips, you can also use clips that you hang your clothes up. Clothes pins. I’m going to clip the edges with my clips and then move that fabric as needed to match that edge. Just a little bit of damp is all you’re going to need. The clips are very gentle on the fabric. It’s just holding them into place. We cannot put any heat on this because the ruler will get ruined with the heat. So this is the time we can only pat it to the position that we want and let it dry. For this method, I do like to use a bit of starch or a starch alternative. So we can just push all of those seams down into the position that we want until that block is nice and flat. Blocking your blocks is a great way to make them perfectly square. If the pattern says, “Trim it down,” you won’t need to do this but if the pattern says, “The blocks should equal a certain size,” and it’s not quite, it’s better to block it than to cut it. Regardless if you do it on the ruler and let it dry, use the freezer paper which, by the way, you can use many times, or lines on the ruler, what it accomplishes is straightening up those edges without trimming so we don’t lose any of the points, and it keeps everything nice and square. Regardless how we do it, we’re able to block those blocks so the blocks are exactly the same size as what the block needs to be. Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe, and as always come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time at the sewing room. Bye for now.