top of page

Squaring up your quilt top: A Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: Mar 27

(If your piecing is precise, you do not need to square your top until after it’s quilted.)

I inherited some of my grandmother's fabric and her quilt tops after her passing. I am truly thankful for her work to live on. So, for this tutorial I used her quilt top. I was pretty sure it was not square because she used scissors and card board cut outs for her templates. All in all, she did really well. It was not that far from square.

Please disregard the stains and holes. I'm not sure when this top was completed by my granny, or how it was stored. I am in the process of trying to remove the stains and repair the holes.

Step 1: Tools needed

· Iron

· Fabric starch or spray water bottle, if needed.

· Self-healing cutting mat.

· Rotary cutter with a new blade.

· A square acrylic ruler.

· Additional acrylic rulers if you have them.

Step 2: Press Your Top

The most important step is pressing your top very well. If necessary, use fabric starch or a spray water bottle to help remove any wrinkles and ensure your top is as flat as possible.

Step 3: Start with the Corners

Using your largest cutting station and starting with a corner of your quilt top, lay it out as flat as possible.

Begin squaring your quilt by squaring each corner on your quilt top. Using the largest square ruler you have, place it on the corner and align at a 90° angle with the top and side edge. Use your additional rulers to line up with the square ruler to extend as long as possible along the top edge and side edge of your quilt top.

Trim the excess.

Step 4: Square Each Corner

Continue this process until all corners are squared. When you have completed the last corner, continue trimming your way up in between each corner, moving your quilt and ruler throughout the process. Keep your top nice and flat and aligned with the lines on your cutting mat.

Step 5: Stay in Alignment

If you come to a section of your quilt top that does not extend to your ruler edge, don’t trim. Move your quilt and ruler up to the above corner and start trimming your way down to the section where you were just trimming. Continue trimming all the way to the bottom corner. This will allow you to stay in alignment.

Step 6: Finish Squaring Your Quilt Top

Continue trimming between corner to corner until the entire quilt top is trimmed and squared.

This process will help ensure for a nice square quilt top! Which is essential for certain quilting designs to stay in alignment and for a successful and beautiful finished quilt.

Remember, if your piecing is precise you may not need to square your top until after it is quilted. However, if you are unsure, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Happy Quilting,


118 views0 comments
bottom of page