Monday, March 14, 2016

Smoothing Iron -- borders at last

Has this top really been sitting for more than two years?  When I last wrote about it it was still in the construction phase.  That blog post is here.  Since then I have completed the piecing and added a first border, yellow.

But the time has come for this project to be done.

I found a large piece (over 2 metres) of an intricate indigo print.  Clues on the selvage led me to a website that indicated this was a type of batik from Indonesia.  The design is very precise and the repeats are exact, so this is a different type of batik than what we usually buy in quilt shops today.

Since there are four complete repeats of the design running the length of the fabric my first thought was to cut the borders lengthwise.  But I couldn't find a five inch section I liked and making the pattern match at the corners seemed like a complicated task..

 I  decided to cut the strips across the fabric instead of along the length.  I was able to cut plenty of 5 inch strips with the designs centred -- as long a I cut the strips with a slight curve!
A bit of steam from the iron was enough to straighten each curved strip when I laid it between straight lines marked on the ironing board cover.  

Two strips together were long enough to make a border for the short side (width of quilt plus allowance for mitering.  I pieced them together, carefully reversing and matching the design at the centre.  Then I determined where the corners of the quilt were going to fall and made borders for the long sides, making sure that the same point would fall at the corners.  This meant I needed to splice extra length into the strips -- more careful matching.

With all that matching and pinning and stitching (and re-stitching), the designs worked out and I was able to complete four corners, all the same.

Yes, I do know that one should not combine butted borders and mitred borders in the same piece!  But there are a couple of reasons to do that here.  First, the yellow border was added many months ago, before the plans changed.  And second, I don't think a 45 degree mitre would look right meeting that 60 degree piecing line at the corner!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

The completed top.  Next step -- quilting!