Medallion Quilt-Along – Border 1 – Square in a Square

June 2, 2008 § 13 Comments

Alrighty… Are you ready? Here we go! The first border…

First of all, I have to apologize. I inadvertently lied in the comments where I said that I would like to keep the look of the first border. Without any further thought to said comment, I sat down to do the cutting and sewing and before I realized what I was doing, the first border was done and stitched to my center block… and NOT like the picture of the antique quilt.

If you noticed that the end blocks in the first border were cut in half, you can still create this effect in your own borders… if you want. Just make 4 extra blocks – 1 for each side – and cut the ends off. Don’t forget to include the 1/4-inch seam allowance. You will cut off 1-inch from each end. As for my first border… I’m leaving it as it is. I guess that’s what makes it uniquely mine, eh?

This border isn’t put together in the same way as the picture. We can try that method a little later on. The reason I chose this method is because I think it may be a little bit easier for beginner quilters.

The First Border – Square in a Square – Finished block size is 2-inches

1. Cut 24 – 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares from darker fabric for the center of the block and 96 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ squares from lighter fabric for the corners of the block.

2. Mark the diagonal line with a pencil in every 1 1/2″ small corner square. With right sides together, place a small corner square in the corner of the 2 1/2″ larger square. Sew on the marked line. Trim away the corner, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. This is often referred to as the stitch and flip method.

3. Press the seams open to reduce bulk.

4. Make all 24 “Square in a Square” blocks.

5. For the corner “Half-Square Triangle” blocks in the border, cut 2 – 3″ squares from a lighter fabric, and 2 – 3″ squares from a darker fabric. Mark the diagonal line with a pencil in every lighter square. Placing right sides together, pair up a lighter 3″ square and a darker 3″ square. Sew 1/4″ from the diagonal mark on each side.

6. Cut the Square in half and press.

7. Trim the square to 2 1/2″ making sure that the diagonal seam is centered.

8. Sew together 6 “Square in a Square” blocks to create a border strip for each side of the Center Block. Sew a border strip to two of the opposite sides and press the seam towards the center.

If you want to recreate the look in the original quilt with the end blocks cut in half, make an extra block for each side and sew 7 together to create a border strip. Trim the strips to 12 1/2″ or 1/4″ past the center of each of the end blocks. Then sew to the strips to the Center Block. Obviously, I forgot about this when I was making my border!

9. Sew the “Half Square Triangle” blocks to the ends of the 2 remaining border strips. Press the seams of those two blocks towards the outside. This will cause the joining seams of the borders to oppose one another and lay more flat.

10. Sew the two remaining border strips to the Center block and press well. Your finished quilt size (including seam allowances) after this first border should be approximately 16 1/2″ x 16 1/2″.

Yay! You have just finished the first border of this amazing antique quilt. Good job! Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate.


§ 13 Responses to Medallion Quilt-Along – Border 1 – Square in a Square

  • janet clare says:

    brilliant, clear instructions thanks Anita! I’ll get around to it soon… she says hopefully!

  • Judi S says:

    Anita, thanks for the great photos. In the words of my toddler granddaughter “I can do it!” (I think 🙂 ) think I’m doing a paper pieced pattern for my center of the medallion. I’ll give you a progress report soon.

  • Tami says:

    Wow! Great tutorial. Thanks for doing this Anita. Can’t wait to begin the border.

  • Alex says:

    Anita, thanks for this fabulous tutorial. Your instructions and photos are so good, I feel like attending a patchwork class. Gosh, I might master machine piecing after all!!! Thank you so much.
    After I finished my center block today I went straight on to cutting the pieces for the border. Was a bit tricky because of the cm/inch conversion, I guess I will get an inch ruler to make things easier. I like the way your version of the first border looks!

  • isabel says:

    going and going around…
    Can’t wait to do it!

  • Emily says:

    Wonderful tutorial! I might even be able to follow along…if I had time…I’ll do it one day!

  • Michelle (ravelry:michelleinseattle) says:

    Anita – wow – how can we go wrong!!! I cannot wait to start but I do need advice, I just posted three pictures to flickr and would like some advice – I ended up locating some blocks I had made – imagine that – but while one set will be a perfect size, I really love the look of the other set which will be a inch or so too big and I might have to fool around with the first border and start with the second border exactly as you plan and or one, if anyone has a chance I would love some feedback around which one might be best… If I calculate correction – with the first border – we would then have a finished section that is 14×14 – oh look – this is my most common mistake, not accounting for 2 sides!!!! I read your notes – 16.5×16.5 with seem allowance!! Thanks again, love what you have done so far!!!!!

  • ritacor says:

    What a nice tutorial and border!
    I will star mine as soon as possible, now that I already have my center done 😉

  • Jennifer says:

    Great tutorial, Anita! I think the way you did the border is nice. I will do the same. The more I look at the quilt, the more I see how it was constructed in such a freeform manner as the borders continue to be added. Can’t wait to piece this part, as I am glad that I got the hard center out of the way. 🙂

  • Jessie says:

    Ah Anita. Every time I see your crafty quilting it makes me want to pick up that hobby. It is such a beautiful art.

  • Michelle (ravelry:michelleinseattle) says:

    Checking in, finishing my center sq and preparing to work on the first border – I just might get this done in June!!!

  • Tami says:

    I am so far behind but putting the grind to the stone. I’ve got my 24 and 96 squares cut…and then I read mark the diaganal lines. Oi! This is the bit of quilting…or any sewing really that seems so tedious to me. 96 lines…4 down, 92 to go. 😉

  • Mary Blackledge Corroo says:

    I’m a little late lol but I’m starting this quilt today. I’ve had my eye on this quilt for a while. With 2 of my 4 UFOs almost done, it seems like a good time for me to get started. I’m not sure what I want to do for a center block. I’m going to start on the first border for now. Since I’m doing this by hand and have other projects, it might take me a little while to get done. I look forward to checking in on the border #2 page when I get done with the center block and first border. Happy quilting to all!

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