Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blue Block Border

The next border is rather plain, very easy and didn't measure out to fit the preceding steps.  This can be an ongoing problem with a self designed pattern.  Nobody has made it before and you never know what monkey wrenches are going to inject themselves.  I have many years of sewing experience, and try to visualize the technical aspects of my design and properly incorporate them into the pattern.  Doesn't always work.  Here is the next border:

The light blue, two inch squares are fussy cut from blue floral fabrics to emphasize a flower or a grouping of flowers.  They are pretty much a medium to light value.  I surrounded them with 1/2 inch dark blue sashing.  Piece of cake (or cloth)!  The problem was that I either had to fill in the ends or change the size of my blocks in order for the border to fit the previous border.  I didn't want to change the size of the 2" blocks so I pulled out some pieces of Paula Nadelstern fabric that was designed to go with the fabric I used in the center Mariner's Compass and fussy cut the pieces to mirror at the mitered corner.  It does the job although I have never been crazy about those corners, but I couldn't come up with another solution that I liked better.  Sometimes I sit and stew over a problem like this and other times I just go with it as I did here.

Lifetime so far in Illustrator

Lifetime so far in fabric.

TIP:  Do you know what "fussy cutting" means?  It is when you carefully cut out a particular element or grouping from a fabric.

I use translucent template material available at any quilt store and cut it the size of the finished piece plus 1/4 inch seam allowance all around.

Mark the seam allowance on all sides of the template and mark any distinctive lines that will guide you to place the template exactly the same on the next piece you cut. Since you can see through the template you may be able to see where you want it without marking.   Depends on how much precision you need.

Place the template on the fabric and mark around it with a fine, black marker (it won't show on the finished quilt because it is on the outer edge of the seam allowance) or if the fabric is dark use a white gel pen or fabric marker.  I often use 1/4" double sided masking tape to fasten the template temporarily to the fabric.  It is available at Joann's and probably other quilt or craft stores.

Cut with small, sharp scissors on the marked line.  This leaves your fabric with gaping holes throughout!  If this bothers you, deal with it.

TIP:  If you hit a problem in your quilt it may help to put it away and work on something else for awhile.  You could also skim through your books, check the library, go to a quilt show or fondle fabric to come up with a new idea.  I find that time usually solves the problem, often while I am sleeping.


  1. Your designs are so beautiful! I too enjoy designing. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Gosh, your fussy cutting is beautiful! I love this, can't wait to see how you quilt it!! Thanks for linking up :)

  3. I think the Paula Nadelstern fabric solution is perfect for your corners -- it kind of echoes the center star, and also reminds me of those little corner tabs that hold photographs in old albums. This is turning out to be quite lovely.

    1. I never thought of them as corner tabs. I like them better now! Actually, I don't totally dislike them, but I am happier when I find something I really LOVE.