Wednesday, June 17, 2020
We're going to start putting our rainbow quilts together, working from the center out. First, a word about sashing and borders. Be sure to measure YOUR quilt as you go. If the directions say to cut your border 14 1/2" but your block is 14 1/4" or 14 3/4", don't cut 14 1/2" and ease or stretch to fit! The best way to determine what size your border should be is to measure across the top, bottom and middle and take the average and cut that measurement. Then find the middle of your block and the middle of your border strip and PIN. PIN the ends and several points in between so the fabric is distributed evenly, and then sew the border on.
I think of this as a "follow your bliss" kind of quilt. If you don't like checkerboards, don't add them! If you love diamonds, add a bunch of them! If you prefer a plainer quilt, add borders and sashing as shown above. Depending on the options you choose, you may need a little more background or focus fabric.
Border 1: This is a plain border made with your background or fabric of your choice. Your center should measure 14 1/2" and will finish at 14" (if not, adjust accordingly).
Cut two 2 1/2" x WOF strips. Cut into two 2 1/2" x 14 1/2" strips and two 2 1/2" x 18 1/2" strips. Sew the 14 1/2" strips to the sides of the center block. Sew the 18 1/2" strips to the top and bottom of the block. Your center should now measure 18 1/2" x 18 1/2".
Border 2: This is a pieced border made with 3" finished half-square triangles made in step 2.
Sew two sets of six triangles together, noting direction and sew to the sides of your center. Sew two sets of eight triangles together to the top and bottom of your center. Your center should measure 24 1/2" x 24 1/2".
Border 3: This is a plain border with 3" finished churn dash corner stones from step 3 and your background fabric. Note -- adjust your border size if your churn dash units are slightly larger or smaller than 3 1/2".
Cut four 3 1/2" x WOF strips. Cut into four 3 1/2" x 24 1/2" strips. Sew two strips to the sides of the center. Sew the churn dash units to ends of the remaining two strips and sew to the top and bottom of your center. Your center should now measure 30 1/2" x 30 1/2".
Sally replaced the plain strips with four-patch units. If you want to add diamonds in the fourth border like Sally did, see directions in Border 5.
Kristin interspersed pieced blocks as well:
Border 4: nine-patch corner stones and friendship stars.
Cut three 6 1/2" x WOF background strips. Cut into eight 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" strips. (Note: if your final border will use plain background strips, you can cut a three 12 1/2" x WOF strips and sub-cut into twenty 6 1/2" strips to use the fabric a little more efficiently).
Sew the 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" rectangles to the sides of the friendship stars. Sew two of these units to the sides of the center. Sew the nine-patch blocks to the ends of the remaining two units and sew to the top and the bottom of the center unit. Your center should now measure 42 1/2" x 42 1/2".
Nancy went for a different look and inserted a small strip which is fun, too.
Border 5: Have fun! These background units all measure 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" and there are lots of fun possibilities. If you need to adjust your measurements because your top is a little larger or smaller than expected, the diamonds are a little easier to fit than the checkerboards (if you need to take a slightly deeper seam allowance, for instance).
Here is an idea that uses both diamonds and checkerboards (shown in purple just for fun!):
These are done with stitch and flip triangles, so you could alternate colors as shown in the hourglass.
Each unit is made of two 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" background rectangles, four 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" background rectangles and four 2 1/2" focus fabric squares.
Place a focus fabric square face down on one end of a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the focus fabric square, stitch on the drawn line, trim away the background corner and press open. Make four stitch and flip corners per block, two that flip left and two that flip right. Sew the diamond unit as shown above, adding the two 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles to complete the unit.
The checkerboard units are made of two 3 1/2" (will finish at 3") four patch units and two 5" x 6 1/2" rectangles.
Cut one 2" x WOF background strip and one 2" x WOF focus fabric strip. Sew together along one long side, and press to the dark. Cut into 2'" x 3 1/2" units. Make two four patch units (should measure 3 1/2") and sew together as shown. Your completed checkerboard should measure 3 1/2" x 6 1/2". Add a 5" x 6 1/2" rectangle above and below the checkerboard unit.
Sew a pieced block, a sashing unit and a pieced block together. Sew to the sides of the top. Alternate pieced blocks and sashing units, ending with a pieced block. Sew to the top of the quilt. Repeat for the remaining blocks and sashing units and sew to the bottom of the quilt. Your completed top should measure 66 1/2" x 66 1/2".
I hope you enjoyed this! Thanks for joining our first quilt along.