Blocking a Display Quilt

I wanted to share a picture of the surface I used when I blocked Wheel of the World (you can read more about that quilt and how I actually did the blocking here). Blocking is often done to knitted or crocheted pieces, to reshape them so they will hold their form (so hems stay flat or sleeves align correctly, for instance). I wanted to block this quilt to remove a bit of rippling that emerged after I completed the closely-spaced channel quilting. Since it’s designed as a wallhanging, it would be really noticeable if it didn’t lay flat.

quilt top pinned to foam blocking squares to make it flat
The quilt pinned in place on the blocking foam

When quilts are blocked, they are wetted, spread out, shaped or squared up, and pinned in place to dry. This is often done on top of a layer of towels and/or sheets on a carpeted floor. At the moment, I don’t have a carpeted floor large enough, or really any floor large enough, that I can spare for the couple of days it takes for a quilt to dry. I also have a very inquisitive cat who would have wanted to “help,” so I had to find another solution.

I did a little research and found these nifty interlocking foam mats that are designed for blocking smaller knitted pieces. I bought four sets so that I could make one surface big enough to block my 50″ x 50″ quilt, and I was able to put it up on a table where my “helper” wouldn’t walk on it.

Twenty-five 12″ drying blocks made a large enough surface

This quilt was a bit challenging to block because the center can’t get wet, but I used a spray bottle and just wetted the black background and it worked well enough. I’m very pleased with how it came out. I hope you find this useful if you need to flatten a quilt for hanging.

What do you think?

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