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Summer 2023 Scrap Along Challenge - Adding the border

Welcome to the Summer 2023 Quilt Along Challenge. This summer I’m challenging myself to empty as many of my scrap bins of fabric as I can and make quilts for charity. I'm challenging you too!


Check the previous posts below for more information.


The blocks are complete and sewn together into the quilt top. If we look carefully, the quilt isn't balanced. It needs an extra row of 4-patch and 6-patch units to give a nice even frame to the quilt.


Again, I forgot to take a picture of the quilt top before adding the border. So I'll share this image and come back to it later.

I have a block layout of 5 blocks in a row and 7 rows. It's easy to count this if you focus on the large square units. I've already built my border (more on that later) but you can see that the left edge and the top of the quilt need to be finished.


I'll need to build 5 units across and 7 units to go down. A border unit is now a 6-patch and a 4-patch sewn together.

When I sewed these together, I rotated the 6-patch unit until the seam nested nicely with the 4-patch unit.


We'll need 12 border units (4-patch + 6-patch).


I sewed 5 of these units together for the top border and 7 of these units together for the side border.


I also need an additional 4-patch unit for the very top left corner. I placed a safety pin in my 4-patch unit to remind me that this was my 5 border units.

I pressed the seams following the twist method. It looks pretty!

I sewed the side (7 border units) border to the left edge of the quilt and then the top (5 border units + the 4-patch) border.


A careful pressing and this quilt is ready to load on my frame and be quilted!

Tip

We did not back stitch any of these seams and it's really easy for the seams to pop or come undone. Especially if your quilt will be going on a longarm frame, the quilt does get pulled a bit and you'll see more of these seams popping open.


Here's a trick. Stitch a 1/8" seam around the entire quilt top. Make sure the seam allowances continue to go the way you have planned. The quilt will be nice and stable and your longarm quilter will love you for it!


Next up.....We are done with the quilt top. You are welcome to finish it in any way you choose. Here are some options.

  • Find a nice backing and layer and quilt on your stationary (sit down/domestic) sewing machine. Use the larger squares to try some free motion designs or use your walking foot to either stitch in the ditch or outline each square.

  • Find a nice backing and bring your quilt to the studio to baste the layers together. This saves a lot of crawling on the floor with spray baste or safety pins. You can then take it home and quilt at your leisure.

  • Find a nice backing and bring your quilt to the studio.

    • You can learn to use the longarm and quilt it yourself

    • or you can leave it with me to quilt it for you.

Have you noticed that I've said "find a nice backing"? I will often find some great fabrics that I wouldn't use on the front of my quilts, but the backs can add a lot of fun or interest to the quilt. A totally scrappy quilt can be made perfect for a child by adding an age appropriate backing print. My grandson loved his Paw Patrol quilt...even though that was just the backing fabric. The scrappy quilt becomes perfect for a hunter, fisher or gardener with the right backing.


Don't forget to share your work by using #summer2023scrapalongchallenge in your social media posts.

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