Tuesday, 30 August 2016

How to attach borders to English Paper Piecing

A number of people have asked me how I attach borders to my English Paper Piecing.  I did write a blog post here when I attached the borders to my la passacaglia quilt, but I also took some photos as I finished up my Tumbling Colors and Inner City quilts, so will explain again here.

Here's what I did:

1. I decided where I wanted my borders to sit on my quilts.  Often there's two opposite easy edges with straight lines, and the other two edges are a bit trickier. I'll deal with the easy sides first.

the side of this quilt are straight, but the top and bottom aren't

2. I removed the paper pieces from the edge pieces and pressed the seam allowances out so they sat flat.

3. I laid the 1/4" mark on the ruler on the exact point where I wanted the border to meet the centre of the quilt.  I then trimmed with the rotary cutter so I had a 1/4" seam allowance to sew with. I had pieced with 3/8" seam allowance so there was a bit to trim off.

note that the 1/4" line is on the point where the paper pieces meet - see 9 3/4" on the ruler.

4.  I cut my border strips in the usual manner (measure across the centre of the quilt and cut to that length), pinned carefully, and sewed on the machine with the 1/4" foot.

5.  I pressed the seam towards the border and admired the beautiful points!

6. Now for the top and bottom of this quilt.  Once again I had to decide where I wanted the border to sit.  I laid the 1/4" mark on the ruler where I wanted the border to meet the centre. I had to cut off more on the top and bottom, just because of the way this design is. Think of it like a brick wall.  The top and bottom may be complete rows, but there will always be half bricks to on the sides.

see the 9" mark is sitting right on a point.

again - nice tidy points at the top

7. Different designs will need to be treated differently.  Here's how I trimmed my Tumbling Colors quilt.  I knew I was going to trim the top row, so only pieced half diamonds to avoid wastage.

I retained the points down the right hand side

8.  The back of the quilt is still very messy, but that's what happens with English Paper Piecing (EPP).  I did use my applique scissors to very carefully trim some of the excess points, but then I just turned it over and pressed it flat from the front.  I really don't worry about the seams sitting flat on EPP.

I hope you find that useful. I'm currently hand quilting both of these quilts with bright threads and big stitch hand quilting.  I'll show you once they are finished.


Ruth said...

Very clear - thanks for that Wendy!

QuilterinMotion said...

Well explained, Wendy. This is exactly what I would do but I'm sure it doesn't feel intuitive to everyone and having an expert explain it is worth every word.

Love your work; you are an inspiration to many of us! Marsha from QuilterinMotion

Granny Maud's Girl said...

That's what I would do too, but I doubt I could explain it as clearly and succinctly. :)