Medallion Quilt-Along – Border 2
June 29, 2008 § 11 Comments
Viola! May I present to you Border No. 2. I know it’s not the same as the second border in the original antique quilt that was the inspiration for this quilt along. However… Let me give you my reasons for changing it.
- This one is easier to make.
- This one gives a nice even dimension to make the next borders come together well.
- It creates an opportunity to play with value and experiment. I’ll explain in just a moment.
The original border could be done… with a little work. However, it wouldn’t produce a nice even workable dimension in the end. The next border after this one, though, is only simple little rectangles that would give an opportunity to bring the whole thing up to a nice even workable dimension again.
But, I was afraid the original second border would push the beginner quilters over the edge, swearing never to participate in another quilt-along while running away declaring “I hate quilting!” And I just couldn’t bear to see that happen. So that’s why I decided to do something different.
So… without further ado, let’s begin.
The Second border – Alternating squares and half-square triangles.
1. Cut 9 – 3″ squares from a lighter fabric and 9 – 3″ squares from a medium-value fabric. Cut 18 – 2 1/2″ squares from a fabric that is just a little bit darker in value than the medium-value fabric.
2. Mark the diagonal line with a pencil in all 9 lighter 3″ squares. With right sides together, place a lighter 3″ square on top of a medium-value square.
3. Sew 1/4″ from the diagonal mark on each side. Cut the square in half along the pencil line to create 2 half square triangles. Press open. You should have 18 half-square triangles.
4. Trim each of the squares to 2 1/2″ making sure that the diagonal seam is centered.
This method sure does create a lot of little waste scraps. But, the positive side is that the result is a nice 2 1/2″ square and no wobbly edges.
5. Now here is where we will talk about playing with value. There are a number of ways to arrange the half-square triangles.
This is how I decided to arrange mine:
On the left – start with a solid square at the top, alternating half-square triangles and squares, with the darker side of the half-square triangles facing the lower right-hand corner, until there are 8 blocks in the row.
On the right – start with a half-square triangle, alternating squares and half-square triangles, with the darker side of the half-square triangles facing the upper left-hand corner, until there are 8 blocks in the row.
On the top – Place a half-square triangle in the left-hand corner with the darker side towards the center of the quilt. Then alternate squares and half-square triangles (all facing the same way) until there are 10 blocks in a row.
On the bottom – Place a half-square triangle in the right-hand corner with the darker side towards the center of the quilt. Then alternate squares and half-square triangles (all facing the same way) until there are 10 blocks in a row.
Option 1: You could arrange the half-square triangles so that they alternate darker half down and darker half up, creating the illusion of a wider band of fabric broken with a solid square of fabric.
Or… Option 2: You could arrange the half-square triangles the same as option one but reverse the light and dark halves.
Or… Option 3: You could arrange the half-square triangles alternating the darker half down and darker half up and then change the direction when you turn the corner. And I’m sure there are many more options beyond this. Play around and see what you like best.
I finally decided to place the half-square triangles so that the darker half was always next to the first border. I kind of like how this arrangement visually creates a dark line between Border 1 and Border 2. I also like how it almost creates a sawtooth border, but not quite, with the solid squares of fabric in between. That’s my reasoning and I’m sticking to it!
6. And… as always, I like the seams to be opposing when pressing, if at all possible. It sure does help to line them up better.
And there you have it. Border 2. Your total quilt size should now be 20 1/2″ x 20 1/2″. If for some reason your quilt is more or less… don’t despair. You can make up the difference in the next border.
Congratulations! You now have two borders under your belt and making good progress. Go grab a cup of coffee, relax and admire your work.