Tuesday, 5 July 2011


The piano key borders have been made and added to the centre. Fluff assisted to stop the patchwork blowing away. I will add one more narrow border, using some more of the gold 'mist' abstract print, with each side a slightly different colour, and then perhaps a red/gold outer border, depending on how much of the red/gold geometric print I have as an extra.

I thought I'd be able to make the quilt a few inches larger all round than usual. A Moda Jelly Roll (40 strips) makes a patchwork approx. 52in square, if all the strips are used. The Fabric Freedom roll has 50 strips, but I'm only getting one more plain strip border out of it, with approx. one and a quarter of a strip on each side. So where did the remaining five strips go? I managed to make a classic mistake cutting the faux mitred corner pieces and had to remake one set of triangles... of course, the diagonal cut must slant to the right when cutting one set of strips and to the left for the other set, but I forgot to flip the second set over and cut from the back. So I had to remake a set. Other than that, there is quite a bit of various red Celtic strip pieces left over, though no whole strips.

The piano key border used up one more strip than I expected, so twenty rather than nineteen strips were needed, and the completed borders were 1 1/4in too long. If I had switched to using the standard quarter inch foot to machine these borders, I could have got away with just nineteen strips, but with each seam taking up an extra 3mm approx., an extra piece was needed. They are 6 1/2in long by the way. I will remember this point next time I teach the workshop.

The excess length on the border was removed by sewing a second line next to the seam line on every other strip, gradually shortening the border to fit the side seam - click on the photo to see the stitching detail. It is not a triumph of mathematical calculation, square of hypoteneuse etc. to make the number of border strips apparently perfectly match the required length! The second stitching line is very close to the original seam, only about 1mm in between.

By the way, there has been a theme to the titles for this post and the previous three - has anyone spotted it? I love playing word games!


Amanda said...

Turning cumulative error on it's head and to your advantage. I'm sure it was Fluff who came up with the idea, of course. ;-)

Susan Briscoe said...

LOL, no Fluff can't claim credit for that one. The extra seam is the way I've always 'shrunk' strip borders to fit. In the finished quilt, you really can't see that a smidgeon is taken off the strips, provided you don't do it on any strip which has to match up with the narrow border joint just inside (i.e. don't do it on the first seam). But in future I'll suggest that there are two ways to piece the border strips when using the slightly wider rolls.