Saturday, April 04, 2015

Borders on a Blustery Day!

My borders are done!

And I am so happy with them!

I wish I could share with you the whole project, but I need to wait a bit longer. 

I CAN however, share with you how I did my borders –they look great on almost ANY quilt.

The center of this quilt is fairly busy, so to tone it down a bit, I chose one color family, blues, for my piano keys instead of using a myriad of multi colored strips which would have kept the busy going on and going on.

If you want a riot of color, go for it!  if you want to tone it down…pick one color family.  It gives two different looks, and I like both depending on which quilt these are going on.

My strips for this border are 1.5”.  These are not all width of fabric strips, or even length of fat quarter strips….they are anything and everything that was cleared out of bins.  The rule was, I had to at least get a 5” subcut from any strip.  And I sewed them into pairs yesterday.


I set up on the folding table HERE today!

It’s too cold and windy for treadling outside today, and I needed to be a bit speedier about this if I was going to get it done before Easter is over, so I set up the 301 where I could also watch some Netflix while stitching.


Trimming my widths!

With odd lengths of strips there is going to be some overage.  I decided to embrace the excess and have plans for turning the trimmings that were wide enough into 16 patch blocks for another project-to-be.  You an see here I have an untrimmed pile on the left, a pile of narrow sub-cuts from the ends , and finally a pile of border sections ready to sew into eights, into sixteens, etc.

I like to cut them to width at 4 strips per strip set for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost -- the ease of mixing and matching for utmost variety so there are few repeats all the same.  It's also very easy to trim up 4 connected strips at this point..it gets harder once you get to 8 or 16.

4 strips in a strip set before trimming is plenty enough for me and keeps it from getting unwieldy.


Keeping that piecing continuous!


Attaching borders to my quilt!



I love this half-log-cabin looking corner.

Piano key borders are STRETCHY.  So handle them carefully.  I am really happy how this turned the corner just right!


Yes there is Y2K Millennium fabric in there!

Two pieces, in fact!

Can you see that I am stay-stitching close to the edge?  I am less than 1/4” away from the edge.  I set my stitch length fairly large and sew all the way around the quilt to help secure the ends of the piano keys so seams don’t pop open in the quilting process.  This also helps keep the edges of the border from waving and stretching.


See the stitching around the edge??  Try it!

My top is COMPLETE!  And you’ll have to wait a bit to see it, but it’s going to be fabulous – just wait and see!

I needed to break from the sewing by late this afternoon when the last stitch was sewn.  We headed to Wilkesboro on a pilgrimage to Lowes:


New Front Porch furniture!

I had wanted this table last year, but they sold out before I could make my purchase.  This year we got it early ---it’s going to be really nice sitting on the deck with my tea and laptop enjoying the early mornings come summer!

Tonight ---NO SEWING.  I’m bushed.  I think it will be fairly early to bed.

Have a wonderful Easter, everyone!

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  1. Anonymous8:04 PM EDT

    Your blue piano key border is amazing! I can't wait to see the quilt later. Would you consider putting this blog about piano key borders under one of your tabs, ie Tips & Techniques, or somewhere so we can easily access it when we are trying to sew borders, please, pretty please?

  2. I have yet to try piano key borders, so I am glad you did write this post. I did use the edge stitch on my GIMQ after you briefly mentioned it a month or two ago. I'm so glad you did as it was my first pieced border and it loaded on my quilt frame nicer than any of my previous quilts have just because it doesn't stretch. Would you recommend edge stitching on a regular border too, or just pieced? I love learning new tips. Kelly

  3. Love the log cabin corners! Did you make these beforehand or somehow as you went around the corner?

  4. Have a Happy Easter!!, We bought the exact same table and chairs from Lowes last year for our back patio...the chairs are very comfortable.

  5. Happy Easter! I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what the piano key border is for!

  6. Anonymous9:17 PM EDT

    Don't know how wide the spaces are between the decking "planks" but if the legs of the table and stools/chairs want to drop into the spaces, consider putting something wider around the feet of each or having some kind of large slab of wood or something you can place these onto.
    We couldn't seem to find deck furniture for that reason and so "do without" ... besides: is too hot and humid where we live.


  7. I'm with Diane Holmblad--I'd like to know about the half log cabin blocks you put in the corners. Did you just do that for fun this time? Thanks for all the helpful hints you provide along the way.

  8. Can't wait to see the finished quilt. I am sure it will be beautiful.

  9. My first try at piano keys was on a smallish quilt. Not realizing how easily they can stretch, I ended up with one more key on the right side of the quilt to make it fit evenly. That's a lot of stretch!

  10. Piano keys are my favotite! And I love the corners! I will have to try that on my next pk border! Can't wait to see the finished product also. I am sure I will love it, as I love all of your projects!

  11. I am looking for input and ideas. I intended to make Scrappy Mountain Majesties. So I cut out a very large number of squares of fabric (all different), but I only cut them 8 inches rather than 8.5 inches. Oops. Is there a better block to make with them now that they are too small? Please help! :O) Thanks in advance.

  12. Learned a lot from this post. I love PK borders but winged it on one and the stretch was difficult to be sure. I just made the best of the keys and went for it. Maybe not the best way!The log cabin corner is perfect. My next one will certainly be better. Thanks. rjc2cam(at)gmail(dot)com.

  13. I love blues. I can't wait to see the finished product.


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