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Zen Studio Quilt Along - Week 6- Borders

 

 

ZEN STUDIO QUILT ALONG

WEEK FIVE: QUILT TOP CONSTRUCTION

 

Welcome Back!!  I hope you've had a great week and are ready to put the icing on the cake.  This week we will be adding on the borders and finishing up our quilt top. I'm so excited to finish this quilt.

 

A quick reminder, if you are posting pics to Instagram and tagging #zenstudioqal, we will not be able to see your pics if your account is private.  You may want to consider creating a public account for your quilty adventure so that you can participate in the contests and we can all drool over your amazing quilt pics. We also may not see pics posted in your stories, so please post in your feed.

Border 1 (Inside Border)

 

Before we start working on adding borders. Make sure your quilt top has been pressed nicely.  Not having a nice flat quilt top will make for some wonky borders.

 

 

So now we have a nice flat quilt top.  We need to measure how long the border piece will be before we add it. I use to just add a piece to the end of one side and sew it on, then cut off the excess, so I didn't have to worry about measuring.  I use to wonder why I was getting these wonky wavy borders on my quilts.  I was then informed by Long Arm Quilter (one that may be sponsoring this QAL) that if you don't measure the quilt top and do it the way I was doing it, it will indeed cause wonky borders. 

 

 

You need to measure the length and width of quilt from the middle of the quilt top, and cut your border piece before attaching it.  I've done it this way ever since and no more wavy borders. Hooray!! (side note, don't cut your top and bottom borders until you've measure the quilt top with the side pieces on)

 

 

Now, we start with the long sides of the quilt first.  You may need to piece two strips together to get the correct length needed (make sure if they have a directional print, that they going the same way). 

 

  

(oops)                                    (all better)

Take your cut border piece and pin/clip the strip at each end first, then smooth it out and pin/clip in the middle.  Now keeping halfing the distance between pins/clips until you feel you have enough.  If you pin/clip by halfing the sections, this keeps you from having a bunch of excess on one end and helps even it out.  Once you've finished pinning, attach you border and repeat for the other side (take note of the direction of the prints here as well.  Make sure you press your borders before adding the top and bottom borders.  You can either press them to the outside or flat, whatever your preference.

For the top and bottom borders, you're going to repeat the process.  Measure the quilt top width, with your side borders on, in the middle of the quilt. Cut your pieces, pin them on, and sew them in place. Easy Peasy.

 

Border 2 (Outside Border)

For the outside borders, you'll need to create the borders by piecing and cutting strips.  I like to lay out my strips before I sew my strip sets to see what they will look like all sewn together.  Remember that the last strip in your groups will touch the first strip once they are pieced together, so make sure you like those two pieces side by side.
Once you've sewn your strip sets, and pressed them open, it's time to cut your pieces.  Find the best way to keep the angle the same for each piece cut.  I use the cutting mat to keep my strip straight and my ruler to line up the angle and measure the correct length.
Once you've cut all your angled pieces, it's time to lay them out.  I usually note how many pieces I will need to make the border piece and just keep alternating the three groups until I have enough pieces for that border.  I also make sure that I start with the same piece for the left and right side, and a different piece for the  top that will match the bottom.
 
Now that you have your layout, it's time to sew your pieces together.  As noted in the pattern, you will need to offset the ends of your pieces by 1/4".  If you don't, you will have uneven edges on your pieces. 
Sew all your pieces needed for each border and press the seams open.  This reduces bulk due to all the seams.  At this point I recommend you lay out your border pieces next to your quilt top and look them over to make sure you like the layout.  I make sure to start coordinating beginning pieces at opposite corners to help even out the randomness.  Once you're happy with the layout, it's time to add those borders!!
You will cut, pin and sew the outer border in the same manner as the inner borders.  You'll sew on the side borders first and then the top and bottom, measure the quilt top in the middle, cut your border piece, pin on the ends and then in half sections.  One thing you will need to note is that because your border pieces have been cut on the bias, they are very stretchy.  Make sure not to pull too much when measuring, pinning, or sewing. Go easy and let the machine do the work. 
And there you have it, a completed Zen Studio Quilt Top.  I hope you've enjoyed the quilt along so far and had fun with this design.  Next week we will talk about quilting your top.  If you plan on quilting the top yourself and have never really quilted before, I'll walk you through some straight line quilting.  If you don't already have one, a walking foot is recommended.
If you'd rather have someone else quilt your Zen Studio Quilt, Janine from @lilbeanquilting is offering a great promo at a discounted price.  Check out her special here.

ZEN STUDIO QAL SPONSORS

Emily Jackson
Instagram: @lemonyquilts  
 
 
 

 
 
Janine Wallgren
 
 
Instagram: @lilbeanquilting Etsy: www.lilbeanquilting.etsy.com  
 

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