Monday, January 23, 2012

That Teeny Tiny Line

In my last blog posting I promised to post how I add my narrow line of fabric between the edge of the quilt and the border.
I love it when something that looks really hard is actually very easy.  Separating your border from your quilt body with a thin line is one of those things. It’s a cinch to add a quarter inch, half inch or 3/4” inch separating line to your quilt creating a perfect frame.
(And yes, the line is close to perfect, the minor curves here are actually where the fabric is relaxed.)
So, what’s the secret?  How do you do it?
Start with Straight Sides:
Start with a quilt where the 4 sides are straight. Your success is requires that the edges of your quilt be perfectly straight.
Cut the Fabric for your Line:
Cut the fabric for your narrow border (the cream shown here) 1/2” wider than the width you want the finished line. For a 1/4” line, cut your fabric 3/4” wide. For a half inch line, cut the fabric 1” wide, etc. The length of the fabric depends on how you plan to finish the border. For a mitered corner, make sure the length of your narrow border fabric is the length of the quilt side plus twice the width of your narrow border. For example, if your quilt is 70” long and your narrow border 1/2” wide, the fabric for that side of the quilt should be 70” + 1/2” + 1/2”.  At this point you can add an extra inch or two for safety. 
Stitch your Line to the Quilt:
Carefully match the edges of your narrow border fabric with the edges of your quilt, right sides together.  Stitch with a  1/4” seam.

Attach the Next Border:
Next you will stitch on the next border, the wide one, (A in the drawing above). Place this border against the narrow border, right sides together, with the narrow border on top.


Use Your Presser Foot:
As you stitch the border to the narrow border, your first impulse is to make sure that your stitching is a consistent distance from the edges of the fabric. What is actually important is keeping your stitching a consistent distance from the first line of stitching (shown here as B).
To keep your next line of stitching a consistent distance from the first line of stitching, keep the left side of your presser-foot right next to the first line of stitching.  Move your needle to the left or right until it is as far from the first line of stitching as you choose to make your narrow border.
Using this technique I can add a perfect narrow border between the border and the edge of the quilt.
Although the instructions here are for a quilt, the same technique works for adding a narrow line of fabric in a garment or any other project.

A Note of Self Promotion:
We're releasing  my newest design set today, Flights of Fancy.  Make sure you stop by our site to pick up the free sample.