Saturday, June 6, 2015


Borders bore me.  They must be done but I am always amazed at how long it takes to sew them. 

I considered piecing a border for the SWRQ to accent the blocks.  Yesterday I even constructed a sample block to see how it would go.  Sure it would have meade the quilt a lot more interesting.  Maybe.  I considered how I would quilt a pieced border and decided that straight borders would be best.

In order to have a nice drop at the edge of the bed, I wanted to add 12 inches to each side.  Twelve inches is a whole lot of negative space.  Sure I could add interest with quilting.  I am not confident enough to tackle that.

Instead I decided to divide up the twelve inches with a one inch strip of the darker blue.  Sounds simple enough.  Two six in strips with a one inch strip in the middle.  Not so.

In the past I have cut my strips to the correct width and just added them on the each side, trimmed them off and added the border top and bottom.  This time I followed the directions from my One Block wonder book. 

She measures the center of her quilt tops, cuts the border that length and stitches them to fit.  If the edge of the quilt is a bit longer, she eases the border to fit.

That worked well for the first two borders.  I went back to the 201-1D for the long seams.  The machine is so quiet and sews so straight.  The 301 is FAST but the 201 is straighter.  I am thinking that the 301 needs some feed dog adjustment  It certainly needs some motor lube  It is starting to whine, just occasionally.

I had had enough of horsing the quilt around.  It was getting bigger and bigger with each border addition. 

For the last two borders,  I measured the center of the quilt and sewed the two borders to each
other before sewing to the quilt.  That worked great for the sides.  (I did pin this before stitching)
But something happened when I cut the top and bottom border.  I was off by an inch.

Looking back, I see that I measured correctly.  You might not be able to see in this photo, but the measurement is supposedly 42.5 ( the quilt edge starts at 1 inch on the dumb end).  Forty two and one half times two equals eight five.  I made my top and bottom border pieces eighty five. 

I could not make them fit.  An inch is just too much to fudge.  The borders are cut on the straight grain so there is no give. I think, likely, that there was too much room for error by the time the quilt got this big.

 I fixed it by making a square in each corner.

 It took an additional hour but I like the look.  It will look just fine draping at the corner of the bed.  You can't really see it here but you can see the one inch strip.  I think it is less boring that twelve inches of the light green.  I am less intimidated by the narrow strips when I consider the quilting design 
I am pleased to be finished with the quilt top.  I truly would like to piece a bit of the back.  I might try to make a couple of the blocks with the dark blue and the backing fabric.  I won't position them opposite the top blocks.  That would be too much bulk.  But one or two strategically placed on the back might be nice.  Plus I could practice my HST piecing. 

One more thing.  In my quest for the perfect ergonomic cutter, I found the Martelli.   Linda had mentioned it. I bought one.   I rather like it. 
I am able to use it comfortably with my wrist brace.
It doesn't require a special ruler as does the Grace Rotary cutter.

There is a left handed one too.  I think I might just get one of those, too.


  1. I have found someone who detests making and sewing on borders as much as I do. I have at least three quilts that are only lacking the borders to be called a completed top.The borders have even been cut. You have also found the one big drawback to cutting borders with the lengthwise straight of grain. Absolutely no give. Although I think I could probably have eased in one inch across 85 inches. Still, your solution worked out great. Nice looking quilt. Now let's see what the quilting adds.

    1. Yeah, I think you are right. I probably could have eased it in. The rest of them fit so nicely, I was sure that I had made a mistake. I think I actually wanted to make that little square at the corners. More interest.

  2. Certainly am glad you like the Martelli. I use it all the time now, much less shoulder issues for me. Pushing down is better than cutting like a pizza. Like the corners. I don't like plain borders. I would rather see blocks or shapes. Nice job!

  3. It's going to be a lovely quilt. I had never heard of the Martelli, will have to take a look. Nothing I love more than a new gadget. Unless it is a new (vintage) sewing machine. Or chocolate.

    1. Each time I use the Martelli, I like it better. I still need my stick cutter for finer stuff, like trimming.