Ups! I did it again… promised to promptly write up the final part and then life got in the way.
My sincere apologies for the long delay!
This tutorial could also be titled: ‘How to finish the edge of an EPP quilt’
The first job when it comes to the outside of a quilt is to consider the look you want to achieve!
Does your quilt ‘sing’ as it is right now?
Or does it lack some impact??
Often a ‘mediocre’ quilt can be saved by a good border. And when I say ‘border’ I usually mean more than a 2 or 3 inch strip on the outside of your quilt! Many quilters seem to run out of steam or ideas when they come to the border of their quilts and often seem to ‘rush’ in order to ‘get it done’.
But, like any picture in a good frame, a quilt will benefit greatly by a well proportioned and complimentary border.
I personally like to add 3 to 4 strips around my quilts and in my view they act as a frame to make the centre ‘sing’.
On ‘light’ quilts I play around with dark border fabrics and any ‘dark’ quilts benefit from a lighter ‘inset’ strip. Sometimes a combination of contrasting colours works really well.
I also like to vary the depth of these border strips: starting with a 1″ strip, then a 1/2″ or even 1/4″ strip, followed again by a wider one.
But I am rambling on, sorry
All border fabric considerations should start with a ‘show case’ of possible fabrics.
I had managed to acquire some (1.5 m) matching light duck-egg blue fabric (with the large trees and birds nests) from the same Moda range (this is an old range, so no point going hunting for it). And I also wanted to add some more brown and the dark red (for impact). Here are a few arrangements that I considered:
One thing that quickly becomes clear looking at these pictures is how well the edge of the cream stands out on the red fabric, it is making a feature of it!! I LOVED it! This is just the kind of effect I like, especially since the very outside border was going to be rather wide and ‘pale’.
Once the decision was made I calculated (and measured) how wide I wanted this red border to be, carefully taking into account that I needed a good (1/2 in or 2 cm) ‘overlap’ on the back of the ‘pieced edge’.
The raggedy edge of the paper pieced centre is now going to be appliqued onto this strip of red fabric:
Note: I left the paper pieces in the project, but only on the very outside edge! This stabilises the edge and you are less likely to accidentally ‘stretch’ it when you pin it in place on the border strip. I also find that it makes the applique easier.
Next I marked a line on the right side of my red strip about 1/2 in (2 cm) from the ‘inside’ edge (see picture, the paper pieced bit is going to be on the top side where the pen it!)
The strip seems very wide at this moment, but the ‘raggedy’ edge will cover quite a bit of it (hence you need to measure well in preparation).
Now the paper pieced edge is placed onto the red strip and carefully aligned with the marked line (I used the small straight bit that is parallel to the edge and butted it up to the line) and pinned into place.
In the next step the pins were replaced with large tacking stitches (see next picture)
and the edge finally stitched down (appliqued with a blind stitch, using colour matched thread).
I normally work the two opposite sides of a quilt at a time (as in: do the top and bottom of a quilt and then the left and right sides of it). The corners can be mitered (if you wish) or ‘squared off’ in any fashion you prefer (or can manage).
Once you have finished wit the applique stage you can remove the tacking stitches (carefully snip them with fine scissors in short intervals, then they are really easy to pull out) and turn to whole piece over:
As you can (or can’t?) see, the applique seam is barely visible, because I used red thread. Note also how far the red border overlaps the pieced bit and note how the paper pieces are still in place!
Now you can take a good pair of scissors and carefully trim back the excess fabric to about 1/4 inch (5-7 mm). This exposes the paper pieces and they can now be removed (snip and then pull out the tacking treads, the paper pieces can then be removed without damaging them).
This whole process may seem very daunting if you have never done it before, but it is not difficult and in reality does not take very long!!!
Of course this method can be used for all sorts of paper pieced quilt edges, and talks the worry out of ‘having to make the paper-pieced edge straight’
Once you have added your applique border you can then add more borders by sewing machine
- and before you know it you will have another quilt DONE!!!
I added 2 more borders to my Lucy Boston POTC and here is the finished quilt:
And as promised here are a few close-ups of the fussy-cut blocks: I know they are not spectacular compared to the work of some other quilt ladies out there, but I am very happy with them.
(the quilt has also been hand-quilted in the meantime, but the weather has been too bad recently for a photo shoot, but I will put one in the quilt gallery eventually)
I hope you enjoyed the final part of the tutorial (apologies again for the long delay in publishing it).
Thank you very much for stopping by!