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Folded quilt border detail

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Back in 2001 I found a US Forestry Service pamphlet that described a way to fold a strip of paper to create photo corners.  I’ve used it often and did a little You Tube thingie describing the method. I wanted to add some more interest to my little improve quilt and thought I could make this work.  I played around with a handful of different ways to do it and in the end, as a way to ensure no raw edges, I settled on using a pre-done binding strip.

I will note the caveat right up front – I’m not sure I would do this again, at east not in exactly the same way, but I do think the idea bears further exploration.

I started with a bit of this soft iron on interfacing.

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and the pre-made binding pack.

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Using the folding method I folded the entire strip, adding the interfacing to the middle.  By offsetting the folds I could get a 1/2 inch gap in the middle.  The interfacing is sort of temporary as you need it to hole the triangles together but once they are sewn in under the bias binding for the quilt, it’s no longer needed and can be cut away!

This is more or less the folding method – it’s much easier to fold the fabric than the paper, as there is no need for super crisp folds.border2

You do need t be very careful with your iron so you are not ironing  onto the sticky stuff on the back f the interfacing!

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Once you have one or two done the back side exposes none of the interfacing sticky and you can press to set it according to the instructions.

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Once the whole strip is folded and pressed I stitched along the bottom, just to hold it all more securely.  If you cut it apart without the interfacing all the triangles fall apart into separate units.

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Cutting thru the middle gives you two full lengths of the border – I think my strip yielded about 30 inches.

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I pinned it to the edge of the quilt so the bottom edge of the triangle lined up with the edge of the quilt.  You can adjust the pacing to fit your quilt by snipping between two triangles and spacing them.

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The binding strip for the quilt goes over that, the edge lined up with the edges of the triangle.  Sew thru all layers then trip away the interfacing – again, the stitching of the binding strip now holds all the triangles in place so it doesn’t matter if they are actually single units.

Fold the binding to the back and hand stitch.

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What I wanted was the look you get if you sew jumbo ric rak under the binding strip.  BUT I had a heck of a time finding the all cotton jumbo ric rak in the UK and when I did it was £2.50 per meter.  That would have added at least £10 to the cost of what was meant to be an economical charity quilt.

A couple of things.  Due to the folding, there is a LOT of excess material at the edge.  I thin border is NOT the way to go!  I cut this 2 inches because I didn’t like how than and flat the bigger biding looked on the first one.  2 1/2 inches would have been better – all the layers of the bias binding used to create the folded triangle strip would have totally filed in the fold over and it wouldn’t have been so flat. And OMG the corners on this thin a strip!  A couple of then look tolerable, but at least one of them is what can only be described as a “hot mess.” Again, I am pretty sure a thicker border would have been much better.

I had some success doing basically the same thing with fabric rather than the bias binding pre-made, and did much bigger triangles with that.  The thinner softer fabric solves some of the issues with all the thickness of tape.  I think this could work really well on a quilt with a much wider side border or even sewn around the outside, sticking out, a bit like the scalloped border effect but with pointy triangles rather than scallops.

I still have one short side of the binding to stitch down then I’ll have to try to take a better shot of it  – avoiding the corners! Honestly, as I approach each one I can feel my stress level rising.  This whole process is meant to be a learning experience but no matter how many videos I watch or tutorials I read, my corners NEVER look as good as I want them too!! I know I will eventually get better at it but in the interim it just peeves me to look at them.

Anyway, I know this is a bit of an odd thing, and as I said real quilters will look, and be likely to come up with 100 reasons why this is a bad idea, none of which I had the experience to anticipate.  But it was worth a go, and I do like the look.  I’ll carry on playing and then either I’ll give up and decide it’s just a dumb idea or I’ll devise a method, using the right materials to begin with, and ending with the right placement and application method that makes this worth adding to my bag of tricks.

 

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One thought on “Folded quilt border detail

  1. Oh this is so like you, I wouldn’t have considered the ‘how to’ part if I’d even conceived the idea in the first place! It does look great, and despite approaching with rising stress, it’s worth it – so you can give the quilt away and so you can file the idea for refinement when you ‘re next in R&D mood!

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