I thought that I would do a two or three part blog on squaring up a quilt, after quilting, and doing a double fold french binding. I find that many quilters simply take scissors to the edges of thier quilt and cut along the edge of thier top border; and, I get a lot of questions from fellow quilters on how to sqaure up a quilt properly so this seemed like a good idea to me :)
Step One: Place a large square ruler in the corner of the quilt. Omnigrid makes a new 24" ruler that is wonderful for this but I am using the 14" in the pictures. Line up as many lines as you can along your borders and get the most square and straight lines that you can. You may have to move the quilt a bit to achieve this. I usually cut my final borders 1/4" bigger than I want so that I have lots of room to square up the quilt. After you cut on the two sides you will have a nice 90 degree angle corner so that the rest of your quilt will be square.
Step Two: Continue cutting the edge of your quilt with a regular ruler, matching up one of the lines on your ruler with one of the lines on your boarder or quilt body, until you get to another corner. When you are about 24" from the next corner use your square ruler again and sqaure up the next corner. Hopefully then your lines will meet up without a problem. Sometimes at this point you find out the somehow your borders are different sizes. If this is the case go back and square down to the smallest size.
Once you have squared up three corners you will be coming back to the original corner that you started with. Keep on cutting until you get within one ruler length of the oringinal corner then match up with the original cut. Make the last cut and you are done! :)
As an aside; when I am adding the borders to my quilt top I do this same process after adding each border. I will add a first border then square up the quilt. Etc for additional borders. This prevents corners that take on a life of thier own and growing at wierd angles.
I hope that you enjoyed this and please feel free to comment here on my blog if you liked it. I will show how I bind a quilt next using double-fold-french binding.