Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fast & Easy Scrappy Border with a String-Pieced Look

This "Harvest Chicken" quilt was made using a magazine pattern called "Chicken and Pumplings" by Mary Lou Weidman for the center. I decided to border it with a scrappy border made using fall fabrics. it was a fun project... so much so that I made three of these, giving two as gifts. The border goes together quickly, and is quite easy to complete. The quilt was thread painted and machine quilted. I did a demo on the border for my quilt guild, so will share the steps here as well.

• Cut 4 fabric squares of determined size (demo uses 9" squares)

• Place the squares right side up on a cutting surface, edges aligned.

• Make three slightly-angled cuts through all 4 layers, using a ruler and rotary cutter. Make one cut near the mid-point of the squares, and the other two about halfway between the first cut and the edges. Vary the angle of the cuts, but do not make them sharply angled to avoid unevenness and fabric waste. You'll have four groups of four fabric slices.

• Begin with the first group of fabric slices, working from left to right, and move the top slice to the bottom of the group.

• Move the top two slices from the top of the second group, to the bottom. Similarly, move the top three slices from the third group to the bottom.

• Leave the fourth group as it was cut.

• Keeping the groups in the same positions as they were cut, place all four on a small mat to carry to the sewing machine.

• Pair the top slices from group one and two, right sides together, and sew. Continue, pairing the remaining slices from group one and two, chain sewing them. Clip the pairs apart, and stack them on the mat, maintaining the original order.

• In the same manner, pair and sew the slices from group three and four together. Stack them on the mat next to the sewn pairs from the first two groups.

• Join the pairs to complete four border units.

• Press the units, using sizing and directing seamlines the same way.

• Trim the edges of the units, and sub-cut them depending on the border width required. These could be cut in half lengthwise to create two border units, each about 4 1/2" wide.

• Join enough units to make four border strips of the desired size. Trim to length and sew two of these to opposite sides of the quilt top. There are a number of options to finish the borders. You can simply sew another border length to the remaining sides of the quilt. Or use cornerstones, as in the photo quilt.

A Purrrr..fect Helper

While reviewing the handout and packing up the various pieces for the demo, Mary Belle the cat strolled into the sewing room, looking for the best place to lounge. Where might that be? On top of the handouts I was reviewing. She has a knack for intuitively knowing where my focus is, what pile of fabric I'm working with, or what pattern I'm reading. And that is where she flops down! It's a gift.


sonja said...

looks like a lot of help to me! i am on the staff of the 3 cats that live with us. my ginger tabby hammy is most in charge of me and will stand on my feet,first one then the other. as i watch the sunset.

grandmarockton said...

LOVE the Chicken quilt

Mary Lou Weidman said...

This is so cute and cuter than the sample I did. Love your style and color and happy spirit. Thank you for sharing how to do the borders. Anything we do to perpetuate quilting is a great thing!