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Guidelines4Quilting's Quilting I.Q. Test Contest #2:

Coffee & CakeWe had an overwhelming response to our second quiz. Over 5,000 quilters entered the contest and we hope you had fun answering the quiz!

Here are the answers with detailed information that can help you create your own quilt blocks. So, get a cup of coffee and check out the entire page!


for our special discounts, giveaways & much more.


Question 1: If the Finished Size of this block is 9", wDouble Friendship Star - Guidelines4Quiltinghat is the Finished Size of Each Patch?

a. 3 ½"
b. 3 ¼"
c. 3"
d. 9 ½"

The answer is c. 3". Finished Sizes are simply measurements of anything on a finished quilt. It can be a Patch, Block or even an individual piece.

You can always determine the Finished Patch Size if you know the Finished Size of the block and how many patches there are in a row. The example shown is a 9" finished 9-patch.

Finished Size Quilting - Guidelines4Quilting


Questions 2, 3, 4 and 5 are all related so we will start with the answers and then see how they are all connected.

Question 2: In the same block, is the Finished Size of all the Squares and Triangles:

a. The Same?
b. Different?

The answer: a. The Same.

Question 3: In the same block, is the Cut Size of all the Squares and Triangles:

a. The Same?
b. Different?

The Answer: b. Different.

HSTQuestion 4: Do you measure Half Square Triangles on their

a. Long Side?
b. Short Sides?

The Answer: b. Their Short Sides.


QSTQuestion 5: Do you measure Quarter Square Triangles on their

a. Long Side?
b. Short Sides?

The Answer: a. Their Long Side.



Now let's see how all the answers are connected:

First, in our 9" finished 9 patch, each square equals one 3" finished patch.

Cut Sizes - Guidelines4Quilting


You may not think about the Finished Size of
individual pieces very often today:

That's because patterns almost always include the Seam Allowance in the measurements given, which is the Cut Size. If you saw our Quilt Quiz 1, you know why the amounts patterns add to the Finished Size are:

    • 1/2" for Squares
    • 7/8" for Half Square Triangles
    • 1 1/4" for Quarter Square Triangles

Cut Size - Guidelines4Quilting


Finished Size vs. Cut Size



Now let's expand that to a finished quilt:

The only measurements you care about in a finished quilt are the length and width.

The Finished Size of the Quilt = Sum of the Finished Sizes of All the Pieces + Finished Sizes of Any Sashing, Borders and Binding lengthwise and widthwise.

Size of Quilt

If you add up all the cut sizes, you'll be wasting your time for no reason, so don't do that.

3 ½" + 3 7/8" + 4 ¼" = Who cares?


Grain Line


Like everything else, there are exceptions:

The biggest one is when the blocks are set on point. Now the finished size of the quilt no longer equals the finished size of all the pieces added up.

On POint

In our first Quiz, we showed how you use Side and Corner Setting Triangles to "Set" the outside edges of the quilt on the straight grain. They are Half and Quarter Square Triangles along each edge like these:

Corner and Side Settings

The Finished Size of an entire quilt set on point = Sum of the Finished Sizes of the Side and Corner Setting Triangles.



Question 6: If this Triangle and Square are the same Finished-Size, why don't the edges match?

Square - Trianglea. The Dog Ears
b. The Bunny Ears
c. The Triangle Points
d. All of the above and probably a few more variations that all mean the same thing.

If you answered d., you're correct!

There's a lot more to this question. Read this entire section, and we guarantee that your quilting I.Q. will go up at least 30 points!

dog earsIf you've worked with Triangles at all, you have definitely trimmed off a few Dog Ears, Bunny Ears or Triangle Points which all do mean the same thing.

But most often you've probably trimmed them after you've pressed two Half Square Triangles open into a Triangle Square and there are the Triangle Points poking out just waiting to be trimmed off.


But there are times when pre-trimming the points is the way to go:

A good example is if you are sewing a triangle to a square.

Square and Triangle

You can try folding the Square in half to find the center, but a much better way is to use a Point Trimmer like our Prep-Tool that will trim the points at just the right spot.



And what is just the right spot?

You can look at it this way. These Triangles and Square are the same Finished Size and if you sew them together it will be the same seam line joining them.

If you look at the seam line on the Square, it is a Scant ¼" from each edge. So if you were to measure a Scant ¼" from the end of the seam line on the Triangle, that is where you would want to trim off the point.

Square & Triangle


Trimmed Triangles and Squares


The bottom line to all this is, the edges of Squares and Triangles that are the same Finished Size, should match exactly after you accurately trim the Triangle Points.

Align triangle with square


Most Point Trimmers have a Built-In Error:

If you've taken our Quiz 1, you know that patterns add rounded up seam allowance amounts for triangles because quilt rulers only have lines every 1/8".

  • 7/8" (0.875") instead of 0.854" to make Half Square Triangles.
  • 1 1/4" (1.25") instead of 1.207" to make Quarter Square Triangles.

Because those measurements are rounded up, so are the measurements used by most point trimmers. Most Point Trimmers use a width of .375" which is 3/8". But, if you do the math, the exact width you should trim at is .354".

The smaller the triangles, the more that built in error matters:

If you are cutting 3" or larger triangles, the built in error is a pretty small part of the total measurement and can be eased in fairly easily. But if they are 2" or less, it's a much bigger part of the total length.

So, when following a pattern precisely, unfortunately, Triangles will end up being slightly bigger than Squares of the same size no matter how accurately you cut them:

Using a quilt ruler alone,


Now, there is a lot more that goes into accurate piecing beyond just cutting the pieces as accurately as possible, but who would want a built-in error if it can be avoided?


Using Our Seam Allowance Additions and Prep-Tool
Eliminates the Built-in Error Completely.

Before and After Trimming Triangle Points


If you've Seen Our Ultimate Stashbuster:

it's not only a great way to turn your stash into finished blocks, it's also a great way to practice your cutting skills.

Ultimate Stashbuster by Guidelines4Quilting



Because the Seam Allowance Additions add the exact amounts and the Prep-Tool trims the points at the exact spot, you can cut Squares and Triangles the exact same Finished Sizes and then see if the edges match. If you are following a pattern and something doesn't fit together right, you may have no idea at what point it started going wrong.


Sew an Accurate Scant ¼" with the Prep-Tool:

Not only can you see how accurately you are cutting, but the Prep-Tool makes it easy to set a Seam Guide on your sewing machine at a Scant ¼". It also makes it easy to check how accurate your sewing is.

Scant 1/4" Seam Allowances

Now just wait until we come out with our "Press-O-Matic" for perfect pressing! Smile



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