Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sweet Stars Sewalong

I first "met" Peta, a lovely Australian quilter, on Instagram. I was drawn to her soft, fresh, pretty quilts and her sweet personality. She has a great blog - She Quilts A Lot - {which she does!} and has started patterning her original designs.

Today I'm here as a stop on her Sew Along for one of her newest designs Sweet Stars.


When she sent me the pattern, I decided I had to give this sweet quilt a go as it has 3 of my favorite blocks {is it crazy to have favorite blocks?} - Ohio Star, Sawtooth Star and Weathervane.

I pulled a small bundle of fabric called "Mimosa" that had been sitting in my stash, added a few extras and made a fun little quilt that will be going to our guild's charity project.




We've all been asked to share a bit of quilting basic advice and my topic is... 

Perfect, Wobble-Free Borders Every Time

I found this Dresden block sitting in my UFO pile and I think it's time it had some borders!

If you ever find that your quilt will not lie flat or the borders are a bit wavy, chances are the borders are not exactly the same size or cut exactly to fit.

The number one thing not to do is sew a border on one side, trim the excess and then sew a border to the other side and trim the excess. Chances are that after all your careful piecing, fabric being the stretchy thing that it is, the edges of your quilt are not exactly the same length. When you simply sew on a border and then trim it to the length of your quilt, your borders may be 1/4" - 1/2" or more different in length. And we all know from grade school math that squares are not squares and rectangles are not rectangles if the opposite sides are not exactly the same length.


You may have learned to measure your quilt with a tape measure and cut your borders to that length. That's great if you're a really good measurer! I must not be because for years, I measured and the borders still did not fit.

You've heard the phrase "measure twice, cut once". It's a good one, but for me the better advice is "don't measure at all". Here's what I mean and what I've started doing...

1 ~ Cut 2 borders a few inches longer than the side of your quilt {For a bigger quilt, you will have to piece your strips together}. Press the strips wrong sides together so they're nice and flat.

2 ~ Lay both strips along one edge of your quilt. If your quilt is longer than your table, pin both borders and slide it across the table.

note ~ some people like to do this along the center of the quilt - it's a great idea if you think your edges might be a bit wonky.

3 ~ Use a rotary cutter and a ruler to trim both borders the same size as your quilt, using the horizontal lines on the ruler to be sure the edge is nice and square.


4 ~ The bottom strip is perfectly placed and ready to be pinned along the length of your quilt. Flip the top border strip to the other edge and pin. This border may not fit exactly! Pin all along the edge easing in either the quilt or the border. It's actually really easy to ease in along a long border length. This is where our stretchy fabric is our friend :)


Once two sides are sewn and pressed, repeat the same technique on the other two sides.


Ta da! Perfectly flat borders and you didn't even have to search for your measuring tape!


If you'd love to make this quilt just like Peta's, Fat Quarter Shop is offering a kit for it.

Follow along with the other bloggers for more great tips!

29 August
Peta from She Quilts A Lot
Let's get this party started!

1 Sept 
Amy from Diary of a Quilter 
Selecting fabrics to make a beautiful quilt

5 Sept 
Christine from Stitching Revival 
Learn the easiest (and most proven trick) to help with accuracy

8 Sept 
Kirsty from Bonjour Quilts 
Mastering the humble half square triangle

12 Sept 
Kimberly from the Fat Quarter Shop 
Sweet & simple: the Sawtooth Star block

15 Sept 
Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane 
Everything you need to know about easy corner triangles

19 Sept 
Nadra from Ellis and Higgs 
Pretty & Practical: Quarter square triangles & the Ohio Star block

22 Sept 
Cindy from Hyacinth Quilt Designs 
Perfect, wobble free, borders every time

26 Sept 
Jemima from Tied with a Ribbon 
Machine & free motion quilting tips

29 Sept 
Debbie from Happy Little Cottage 
Fast and accurate machine binding to get your project finished

30 Sept
Peta from She Quilts A Lot
Wrap Up & Giveaway

6 comments:

  1. Love the colours you chose, so fresh. Quilt pattern is very cute have added it to my todo pile.

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  2. This was a great tip Cindy and thanks....will try on my next borders. Always nice to have more info on those pesky borders!!!

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  3. Your quilt is beautiful, Cindy! I just love the star of the show on the second row! And thanks for the great border tip!

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  4. This is a delightful pattern and your quilt came out beautifully. Thanks for taking the time to share your tip! Well done!

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  5. Interesting info on the borders. I thought one was supposed to measure the center of the quilt and fit the borders to the center? This has always worked for me. I'm not sure about doing it this way. What if your middle is bigger, it will distort the next border that are put on.

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Thanks so much for taking time to comment!