Borders for Blocks Set on Point

If, when using Electric Quilt, you’ve ever created a quilt with blocks set on point, you probably ended up with some weird numbers for those border length measurements.

On Point Setting

You can see that the center, with only the blocks and no borders added, the size of the top would be 67.882″ square.  As I add borders, I would round that up to 68″.  I would be adding .118 of one inch, which is less than 1/8th of an inch, to the nearly 68″ length and that is not enough to make a difference to cause borders to wave or to cause the quilt to not lay flat.

On Point Setting

The above picture shows that when I get to the second border, the size would be 74.382″.  Unless I do something to “fix” this project, once I add a smidgen to the first borders to get them to be an easier number to work with, I have to keep dealing with rounding numbers up or down to get the correct lengths for the side and top and bottom borders.  In the case of Nicole’s quilt, there are 8 borders so that would be 16 sets of numbers.  For me, those are opportunities for mistakes.

To make these border numbers in the project easier to work with, I “add a new quilt” by clicking on the “Quilt” button in the top bar.

On Point Setting

If I check “Keep Current Borders”, then all the borders I’ve already worked so hard to create will stay exactly the same in the new quilt.

On Point Setting

I make the “new” quilt with a horizontal setting.  I manipulate the size of the blocks or the number of blocks . . whatever combination works, to end up with the center section being the size I need for it to be.  I’m really paying no attention to the center of this quilt at all . . just trying to get it to the correct size so the borders are the sizes I need for them to be.  In this case, I need the center to be 68″ x 68″.

On Point Setting

The border lengths are now the size I need for them to be, without the need to add or subtract to get the perfect measurement for the lengths.

On Point Setting

This makes my job so much easier!

Longarm Quilting Posts

As I’m cleaning out old blog posts that aren’t worth keeping and are cluttering up the cyberskies, I came across a series for longarm quilters that I did back in 2007.  Some of the information may be obsolete, but thought any of you longarm quilters, especially those just starting out or maybe those thinking about getting a machine, might find some of it useful.

I will label this post as “Tutorial” and if you want to go back and read any of this, simply click on the Tutorials tab above and find the info there.

Here are the posts I did in 2007:

Flying Geese Tutorial

The upcoming Quilt Along has a lot of flying geese.  My preferred method for making flying geese is Brenda Henning’s Triangulations™.  Here’s a tutorial I did a few years ago showing how I use the printed paper pieces.

When I began making the pieces for Nicole’s Sofa Quilt, it was late last night, I was out in the sewing room, the printer was out of paper and I could not find any more paper without going to the house.  I went ahead and made them the way I would make them if I didn’t have any special rulers or software (or printer paper).  This little tutorial will be for those of you who want a little confirmation about how to make them and don’t have the Triangulation™ CD or those special rulers, and there are many, and most are great.

Most instructions will have you cut a large square and then cut it into quarters and that will give you the larger triangle, or the “goose”.  For this tutorial, the goose is the pinkish fabric and the sky is the ecru.  When given the cutting measurements for the goose fabric, I always cut that exactly the size given.  Be very careful with your cutting!  Make sure your rulers do not wiggle on you!  Some rulers have “built in” grippy spots, there are products that can be added to the backs of the rulers to give them a bit more grip.  Be sure that your cutting table is the correct height for you — trying to cut on a table that is too high or too low often makes it hard to cut accurately.

For the “sky” part of the blocks, the instructions will usually have us cut a square and then cut that on the diagonal once.  I cut these just a tad larger.  If the instructions are to cut the square 2-7/8″, I cut my square 3″ and then cut that on the diagonal.  Cutting these pieces larger means that it’s going to take a bit of extra time due to having to “square” them up but it also means that they’re going to be the exact size I need for them to be.

These are the pieces we will be using:

Before the first stitch is taken, please grab a scrap, trim a straight edge and made double sure that you’re making a close to perfect 1/4″ seam.  Once you know exactly where the 1/4″ seam mark is, you can adjust the placement of your fabric to make a scant 1/4″ seam allowance when needed.  Find the 1/4″ mark and if it isn’t exact by simply lining up the edge of your fabric with the edge of your presser foot, use whatever method you need to get that 1/4″ right.  Some use various types of tapes, some use magnetic or screw in type strips . . use whatever you want but get it right or everything else is going to be off!

Carefully line up the bottom and the angled long side of the ecru piece with the corresponding sides on the pinkish piece.  If these two do not line up perfectly, something is off with the cutting.  Sew along the angled edge using a scant 1/4″ seam.  For my machine, that’s just maybe a thread’s width less than the 1/4″ mark.

Press the seam allowance towards the “sky” and be very careful not to stretch or skew anything.  There are lots of bias edges here.

Do the same thing for the other side.  Line up the long edge and the bottom.  Sew the scant 1/4″ seam.  Press.

Obviously, this piece needs a bit of trimming.  Do you see how the bottom of the pink fabric has a bit of a “sag”.  That is due to the harsh pressing that I do and since I’m going to square the pieces up, it doesn’t create a problem.

To square the pieces up, most rulers will have the intersecting 45º lines which create the peak.

Position the peak over the peak in your ruler and the two 45º lines should align with your seam lines.

Be sure there’s at least 1/4″ of seam allowance above the top of  your peak and trim the excess.  If there’s less than 1/4″ seam allowance there, when that piece is sewn to another piece, the point will be lost and we don’t want any cut off points, right?

Turn the piece around and trim the bottom.  Notice how there’s exactly 1/4″ seam allowance remaining at the top.  That’s real important!

When trimming the sides, the bottom points of the geese should be right at the corner.  No “sky” fabric needs to be extended beyond those points.  Line the top and bottom up on a straight edge, and whatever your center mark is should align with the point.  These pieces are being trimmed to 3-1/2″ so the center line is 1-3/4″.  (It’s a bit confusing because the right edge of my ruler is on the 1/2″ side but if you count inches, you’ll see that the center is at 1-3/4″.  Trim both sides and your flying geese should be perfect!