I use a 12,1/2 x 12,1/2 square template. It has so many lines to use as guides...kind of like the more the lines the more measurement options you can have. And always 1/2" larger than size you want. 12,1/2x12,1/2" when finished will be 12x12 square. This is why my 12,1/2x12,1/2 works so great. It also has alot of lines inside the template to line up on seams for the most accurate square.
The Crafty Gemini tells you how! How To Square Up Quilt Blocks
She gives some great tips on how to handle squares that are off by just a little bit.
- Measure across on 2 seams lines, one side to side, one top to bottom.
- Any block with a design that has points to the edge, you need to keep 1/4" allowance between the point and the edge so when sewn together, you will have a point instead of a flatten point edge on the design.
- And something I didn't think of or know...she recommend you square up side to opposite side, instead of just side and go around..which is what I was doing. She says it helps keep things straight and even if you square up opposing sides. Makes sense and every little bit helps when trying to make fabric squares/blocks even. Any quilter knows...being off just a slight tiny bit, can alter the entire looks of a block!
My personal preference is the 12,1/2 x 12,1/2 inch template ruler by Omnigrid. I use it all the time. It is the most popular size as many blocks are a finished 12x12 once in the quilt so this ruler is perfect for most blocks. And if you want smaller blocks..this ruler has all measurements down to 1x1". I prefer Omnigrid as this bright yellow is the easiest to read on all fabrics. Easy to see the numbers and lines. No more searching! Also being this large, it is a perfect small "table top". If you need to pin something while you are at your machine or to lay out squares in the formation of the block you are making, and have it all right there at hands reach.
I love my templates. "Back in the day" when I first started quilting I used a ruler, pins and a pen/pencil and scissors to cut shapes. Boy, do I love progress!