The Delightful Quest to Construct a Quilt, Part Three
I had to chuckle when I noticed that “Part Two” of this blog post was published on April 23, 2017. After eight months I am pleased to report that the quilt is finally finished! No “Part Four” for this blog!
When last we visited I had completed the pieced blocks and now it was time to put the rows together to form the center of the quilt. This was a relatively easy process because all of the blocks were the same size - no adjustments were needed. It was rather time-consuming, however, because there were fifteen rows.
Next it was time to add the borders — four of them! The first one was a 4” border that I fussy cut out of the border print. Here is where I hit a snag as I did not have enough length for the top and bottom borders. I’m not sure how that happened, but there must have been something wrong with my initial measurements. Ugh!! In order to remedy this problem, I measured and cut the 6” outside borders and had enough fabric to cut a 4” width and piece to the two short borders. The tricky part was lining up the designs so that the seam was invisible.
The next challenge was mitering the corners of this border. I have used this technique before but was rather nervous about the end result. I found clear instructions with pictures on Craftsy.com and that helped. I still held my breath throughout this process, but the result was good. I was able to line up some of the straight lines by putting in a pin on one side and making sure that it was lined up with the fabric on the other side.
Border #2 was a pieced border. Those are always a bit dicey because the combination of a pieced center and a pieced border don’t always line up even though mathematically they should. But these borders lined up perfectly!! I didn’t stop to wonder about my good fortune, I just moved on to the next border.
Border #4 certainly made up for the easiness of the 2” Border #3 of mottled brown fabric. I sewed all four sides of the final border and then realized that I miss-measured and didn’t have enough fabric for the mitered corners. Ugh!! So I reached for my trusty seam ripper and removed all four borders. I then used the side borders on the top and bottom and added fabric to the top and bottom borders to put on the sides. Once again I had to line up the design on the fabric so that the seam was invisible. This final border also needed to be mitered. I’m sure glad that all borders on quilts don’t have to be mitered, but I sure looks nice when it is finished.
Now to decide on the quilting designs and that was not as easy as I thought it would be. I think I was putting too much pressure on myself to make it this an epic quilt. I reached for my handy reference books -- Shape By Shape by Angela Walters and Free-Motion Quilting Idea Book by Amanda Murphy -- and found some great inspiration. The paisley borders didn’t require much design except enough stitches to secure the layers. I stitched a figure 8 between the paisleys with khaki thread and a straight line in the brown lines with matching thread. The stars were be outlined with 3 parallel lines while the star itself has continuous curves in the points and diagonal lines with orange peels and an echo in the center. That same design occurs in the quarter square blocks in the border and in the light squares in the quilt center. The blue squares in the border and batik squares in the quilt center feature an all-over paisley design. The brown border has feathers with matching thread. In the final analysis I was really happy with my design choices and thought they added a lot to the quilt.
So after a journey lasting a year and a half, this quilt has finally found a permanent home on our bed. And it turned out just as I had hoped. I’m so glad that I took my time in choosing a pattern, choosing fabric, constructing the quilt, and designing the quilting. It was so worth it!