I have been working on designing a table runner for a beginner’s class I am teaching very soon, and I have been thinking about precise blocks and “perfect” points. I use EQ8 to design and find that often what I love has cutting instructions with numbers like 5 7/8” or 3 3/16.” I don’t know about you, but those types of numbers make me crazy when I think about cutting. I can manage a 7/8” cut, but those 16ths give me nervous sweats. No one wants to sweat while quilting.
I have found that I prefer to measure up and trim down. I like to increase by 1/8” or 1/16” or whatever it takes to make the cutting easier. Then once I have the unit assembled, I trim it to the precise measure called for. This is my practice, but it comes with a few caveats for sure.
I often try a test unit to make sure it will work first so things do not get distorted in the process. If it works, I am all about it. Sometimes I find that the designer's way is the best way. There are a couple of other cons to this method as well. The pattern writer works hard to get everything right, and when I measure up, I am cheating the pattern a little bit. Their way works. Also, it causes the need to trim, which is an extra step. To me, it is worth the extra step. I love precise points and love when things line up “perfectly.” How about you? Do you measure up? Do you follow the pattern exactly as written? Do you have another method? Talk to me. Tell me what helps you “measure up.”