Saturday, February 12, 2011

Finishing off a Quilt - 1. Borders

This is my log cabin all sewed up from January.  I'm quite happy with it!

So the next job is finishing the quilt by applying the borders.  Borders really bring a quilt to life!  Plus they give it alot more size.  I didn't have the time to choose my own borders with the new baby, so I sent Shane into the local patchwork shop to a salesperson I really trust (who has impeccable taste) with a list, and this is what she sent out!
I love it!
I'm going for finished 2" borders of the blue (so cut 2.5") and 5.5" outer borders.  If you take your finished quilt top into any patchwork shop they will be able to calculate your required meterage for borders.  I also have enough of the floral to do the binding as well.

The first job is cutting the borders.  I didn't iron first - very naughty!!

Depending on how much fabric you have, you can cut with the length, or across the length.  In the case of the inner borders, I only have about 0.5m, so I need to cut my strips across the length.  This means I'll need to join strips to get enough length across the quilt top.  So I'm cutting 6 strips.

Once you have sewn length on the strips, you iron them, and lay them across your quilt top - in the middle of the quilt.  This is a really important step as it allows you to square up your quilt top.
A log cabin is fairly easy to square up as there is a lovely line that runs through the middle of the quilt.

Trim the blue border on each side accurately.  I usually do this with a cutting board under the quilt and use a ruler and a rotary cutter.  This time I used scissors....  Not that good really.

Pin on opposite sides of the quilt and sew.

Iron out flat, and follow the same process with the other side.
This really makes a big difference.  The idea is that when you cut the strips at the length of the centre of the quilt, both ends will be the same.  So you can just sew it and cut off the extra - you need this to be square.
Trim, pin and sew.

Once you have completed the inner border, its time to do the outer border, and its just following the same process.
Lay the strips out in the middle of the quilt.
Trim, pin, sew and iron.

Repeat on the other side.
One thing to be very cautious about is whether your print has a direction on it.  If it does (like mine does) try to ensure that you get the print facing all the same way. 

Once you have sewn the outer border on the quilt, you are done!  Now its time to make the batting sandwich and quilt it.

What do you think of my finished product (or at least finished quilt top) ?  Its amazing how the borders will really finish a quilt off.  And once the padding is beneath it, there is a whole new effect to it.
I really like it - its scrappy, but very pretty.   I think Stephanie from Grandmother's Garden did a lovely job in her fabric selection!  The blue is great.
This quilt is going to my midwife to say thanks for giving me a healthy little baby boy.  I'm hoping to have it done by Tuesday when she comes over, but machine quilting is not my forte!  We shall see.

Next post - making the batting sandwich.

No comments: