Monday, April 8, 2013

Stitching a Rotated, Repeated Border with Minimal Marking

I've got another quilt on the frame, but can't show the whole thing yet. The quilting was designed in the center working out.  I wanted simple lines in the central star shape, then repeated in the corners.  Sounds very cohesive, right?  Well, when doing those corners there are no patches or seam lines in the border to help with stitching orientation!
So this is a how-to on stitching a rotated, repeated ruler design in a border with only reference point marking.

Here's the finished design:
                                          Quilt Corner

And this is the quilt center:

It's made from the four corners of the blocks, with each block rotated 90 degreesIn my quilt corner, the stitching needs to rotate to match this star, but there are no piecing seam lines to help.  And I don't want to mark lines on the quilt, but I'm okay with small reference dots.

So, the solution?  A copy of the block, exactly as it is pieced, placed on the quilt border as if it were a real block.  This helps to keep track of the orientation of those pieces, and provides the angles for stitching.
The paper block does not need to be the same size as the sewn block.  The angle is the same no matter the block size. 

I mark reference points, which is the width and length of the triangle pieces.  My triangle piece at the square area was measured at 2 1/4", then marked the same distance from the center of rotation.
The length of the triangle was also measured and marked accordingly.
The long triangle was easy to stitch, because it's point to point. But the cut off one next to it was tricky.  That's where the paper block comes in handy.
Place the paper block in the proper orientation, using a ruler to line up the horizontal seam lines.  Line up a longarm ruler on the angled seam.
Stitch and use the markings on the ruler to line up the next stitching line.  Once that triangle is done, rotate the paper block 90 degrees, and repeat.

Hopefully this makes some sense!  If you find that you've designed quilting that rotates, and you want to make sure you're stitching correctly, a paper template is a lifesaver!  Sure beats ripping out stitches!!!

Happy Quilting!



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