June 4, 2009 § 5 Comments
Rats! I nearly forgot about the Prairie Points. And how does another month go by so fast? We have had the most gloriously sunny days for more than a week. The last couple of days, however, have been record-breaking and are just a little too warm for us mild-weathered souls. Never-the-less, I will not complain because it is supposed to be cool and cloudy again by the weekend.
If you want to add Prairie Points to your finished Medallion Quilt, there is a lot of information floating around on the Internet. This is what I would do if I was going to add them to my quilt.
I like the look where the Prairie Points are NOT overlapping, but just meeting at each end. So, if you have finished with Border 12 and all those Half-Square Triangles, and your finished border width is 2 1/2″, you are now ready for the Prairie Points. I would also make them a finished size of 2 1/2″ wide, the same as the final border.
1. Cut (140) 3″ x 3″ squares of a variety of fabrics. You will need approximately 1 yard total of fabric.
2. Fold each square in half diagonally.
3. And then in half diagonally again. All the raw edges will be sewn into the quilt.
The width of your Prairie Point should be 2 1/2″ at the point where you would sew the 1/4″ seam. If you need to make the Prairie Points larger or smaller, simple cut squares that are 1/2″ larger than your desired finished width.
4. Pin or baste your Prairie Points to the edge of your quilt and stitch in place. I pinned these on because I am not going to put them on my quilt.
After you have quilted the entire quilt, trim the backing to 1/4″ larger than the front of the quilt. Also trim away any excess batting. Flip the Prairie Points towards the outside of the quilt and slip stitch the backing to the front to close up the quilt.
– – – – –
There are a variety of ways to make Prairie Points, so let me point out a few links that I found out on the web.
* You could fold your squares of fabric so that the opening is in the middle instead of on the edge.
* Good photos on this site show the whole process of finishing the quilt.
* You could overlap or nest the Prairie Points. In this method you start with the height that you want rather than the width.
* You could make a continuous strip of Prairie Points. The only drawback would be that they will all be of the same fabric rather than scrappy.
* Download a .pdf file demonstrating how to make a continuous band of Prairie Points from the Utah State University Cooperative Extension.
* And… if you were wondering where Prairie Points came from, it is thought that they may have started as trim on undergarments in the 1800’s. Cool, huh?
May 4, 2009 § 17 Comments
Voila. Here it is. The last border of the Medallion Quilt. I’m sorry about the wait. I’m still moving slower than my normal speed after knee surgery. But every day is getting better. Lately, I’ve been a one-task gal and only getting one thing done each day, sometimes two. Needless to say, the house is not as clean as I would like. But I feel a spring cleaning binge coming on!
This border is a repeat of Border 4 and Border 8b. You can use either method to make this final border. I chose my trusty Easy Angle again, mainly because I dislike trimming down the squares when there are so many of them. And… I wanted to use up some of the small scraps of fabric leftover rather than to try and fit them back into my stash.
- Half square triangles – finished size – 2 1/2″
- Finished width of border – 2 1/2″
- Quilt width after this border -87 1/2″ square
- Yardage requirements – 2/3 yard each light and dark fabrics.
1. Cut (66) 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ squares of each light and dark fabrics if you are using the Border 4 method of construction. Trim the blocks to 3″ square.
Or… cut (132) triangles of each light and dark fabrics from 3″ strips of fabric if you are using the Easy Angle and Border 8b method of construction.
Proceed with the perspective sewing instructions in the previous borders.
2. For the corner hour-glass blocks, cut (2) 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″ squares of each a light and dark fabric. Cut the squares in half diagonally twice to make 8 quarter-square triangles each from the light and dark fabrics.
Sew the lower two light and a dark quarter-square triangles to each other to create a half square triangle. Do the same to the upper two quarter square triangles. Sew the two half square triangles together to create a complete hour-glass block.
3. Arrange 33 half-square triangles along each side of the quilt to create a light and dark diagonal pattern. Sew the left side and the right side borders to the quilt first, pressing the seams to the outside edge of the quilt.
Then, sew the top and bottom borders together adding a corner hour-glass block to each end. Sew the top and bottom borders to the quilt, pressing the seams to the outside.
A BIG high-five to you for finishing this quilt! I can’t believe we did it. But we did! And I’m so proud of you!
A prairie point tutorial will be coming soon for those who might want to finish your quilt with them. I’ve decided to eliminate them on my quilt. Mainly because the quilt is definitely big enough! It doesn’t need anything more to fit nicely on our bed. But if you’ve decided to stop a few borders sooner, prairie points might be a nice finish.
A Big Thank You!
Some of you have mentioned your desire to do another quilt-along… I SO much appreciate all your kind comments and enthusiasm for this project! I will consider hosting another quilt-along in the future. But I have no idea what or when. Maybe this fall? Maybe only 6 months long rather than a whole year? And… I think we all need a little break. There are a lot of thoughts running through my head about this at the moment.
a. I’d like to actually quilt this quilt… and the other quilt tops sitting on my shelf. That would be a good goal for me to work on over the summer.
b. My overflowing scrap baskets are calling to me and I really want to get back to using up the scraps!
c. And… I love writing or talking about all the different ways to make a quilt. This quilt-along was an amazing way to connect with some of you and I’ve loved seeing your quilts grow. I’d love to continue hearing about what you are making, ideas of ways I can help, and generally cheering each other on in our projects.
You guys rock!
April 6, 2009 § 9 Comments
Without further delay… we have the second to last border of the Medallion Quilt. Only one more border to go! We had some sun over the weekend and it was oh so very nice!
This is a repeat of Border 7 – Stacked Logs and thankfully a very easy border. You can refer to Border 7 for more construction photos if needed. And… as in the past, this border is a great place to even up, square up, or catch up on the size of the quilt.
- Finished width of border – 2 1/4″
- Yardage requirements – approximately 1 yard total of a variety of fabrics
- Width of quilt after this border – 83″ x 83″
1. Cut (124) 1 5/8″ x 6″ rectangles in a variety of fabrics.
Sew 15 rectangles together, end to end, for the inside row and 16 rectangles together for the outside row. Sew the two rows together to make one border side. Measure and cut the border strip down to 78 1/2″ in length. Make 4 of these and trim each of them to 78 1/2″ in length. The width of each strip should measure 2 3/4″.
Sew a border strip to the left and right side of the quilt, pressing the seams towards the outside.
2. For the corner squares, cut 2 – 3 1/4″ squares each from a light fabric and a dark fabric. Mark the diagonal line with a pencil on the lighter 3 1/4″ squares. With right sides together, place a lighter square on top of a darker square.
Sew 1/4″ from the diagonal line on each side. Cut the square in half along the pencil line to create 2 half square triangles. Press open. You should have 4 half-square triangles.
3. Trim each of the squares to 2 3/4″ making sure that the diagonal seam is centered. Sew a half-square triangle block to each end of the remaining two border strips. Sew these strips to the top and bottom of the quilt.
Your quilt should now measure 83″ x 83″. It’s truly a big bed-sized quilt now! And, there is only one more border to go! Yay!
I’ve been thinking about how I might want to quilt this and have not come up with any final decisions. Part of me wants to quilt it by outlining every block like so many antique quilts do. But then I am overwhelmed with how much quilting that would take! On the other hand, I was thinking about only quilting a few borders that way – the ones I want to emphasize, and do something more simple on the rest. Or… do I want to quilt the whole thing in a basic overall utility pattern. What do you think?
It looks like we might have another sunny day today. But that could all change later. I hope there is some sun today where you are!
March 6, 2009 § 13 Comments
My quilt and I have become very intimate from the sewing & ripping and sewing & ripping that has been going on this week. I don’t know if it is in a good way. But I am happy to say that I finally stitched the last piece of the border on this afternoon.
The quilt is so big now that I have no place to hang it or lay it for a good photograph. So I pinned it up on the pergola in the back of our house. And to think that there are still two more borders! Thankfully, quilts shrink a smidge in size when all the quilting is finally done.
This border is a repeat of Border 2 and Border 5. If you have been making the Angled Bricks like Jennifer’s quilt, please continue on with that. As for the rest of you, for the sake of repetition, I haven’t photographed every step. You can refer to the instructions for the previous two borders.
- Finished block size – 3″ square
- Finished width of border – 3″
- Yardage requirements – 5/8 yard for dark squares and 1/2 yard each of medium & light fabric for the half-square triangles. Less if you are using the Easy Angle ruler.
- Width of quilt after this border – 78 1/2″ x 78 1/2″
1. Cut (50) 3 1/2″ squares from a dark fabric. For the half-square triangles, determine which method you wish to use:
- Cutting squares, sewing, cutting in half, and trimming as in Border 2. Cut 4″ squares and proceed with Border 2 instructions.
- Using Thangles as in Border 5. Cut 3 1/2″ strips and proceed with Thangles instructions.
- Using the Easy Angle as in Border 8b. cut 3 1/2″ strips and proceed with Easy Angle instructions.
You will need a total of 50 half-square triangles. As you can see, I chose the Easy Angle ruler again. And, since this is a wider border, I decided to press the seams towards the darker triangle this time.
Here’s a little quilting tip that I learned in a class some time ago. When starting a seam, use a small scrap of fabric folded in half as a leader to chain piecing your blocks. You know how threads often get bunched up on the bottom when you start? Doing this step will leave the bunchy, knotty threads on the scrap fabric and give a clean start and finish on your block.
Cut the scrap fabric off and use it the next time you start another seam. When the scrap is too full of threads, throw it away and start with another small scrap.
2. After sewing and ripping and sewing the borders a couple of times, I figured the easiest way to put this border together without having to fight the size, was to arrange the blocks for each border in a clockwise order. Then one border at a time, sew the blocks together and attach them to the quilt.
- Start at the top, arrange the alternating squares and half-square triangles. Sew 24 blocks together. Attach to the quilt.
- Going clockwise around the quilt, continue arranging the alternating squares and half-square triangles. Sew 25 blocks together and attach to the quilt.
- Again, arrange and sew 25 blocks together, attaching the border to the quilt.
- And finally, arrange the remaining 26 blocks and attach the border to the quilt.
Viola! You are finished. Can you believe that there are only two more borders left before we are finished? My, that last year went fast! I’m already having bittersweet feelings. I’m going to miss this monthly meeting with you all!!! But I am also anxious to be finished with this quilt. Sigh.
March 5, 2009 § 7 Comments
I thought I was going to be done today. But I’m not. Due to…
I painted my sewing room last week,
and then stitched the top and bottom borders in the wrong order,
so I had to rip them out,
and stitch them again while hanging out with a friend,
on her machine,
which has a different 1/4″ foot than mine,
resulting in the borders being too short,
so I’m ripping them out again,
and hoping that I’ll have everything ready to post tomorrow.
Okay? Good. I hope no one is too dissappointed. Sorry! Sometimes that’s just the way life goes.
February 16, 2009 § 19 Comments
Woohoo! It’s here! The infamous Flying Geese border! And it is making me happy. This shot of bright pink/red is just what I needed. And it’s gotten so big that I had to lay it out on the driveway today. It no longer fits on the floor of a room in the house.
How are all of you doing?
- Finished block size – 2 1/4″ x 4 1/2″ **
- Finished width of border -4 1/2″
- Quilt width after this border – 72 1/2″ square
- Yardage requirements – 1 yard light for geese (Companion Angle) and 1 yard dark for sky (Easy Angle). If you want to use the Border 3 method to construct the geese you will need 1 1/4 yards for the geese and 1 1/3 yards for the sky.
1. For the “sky” or half-square triangles, cut (11) 2 3/4″ strips from the width of fabric. From the strips, and using the Easy Angle, cut 224 half-square triangles. 2 3/4″ is an in-between measurement on these rulers. 2 1/2″ is marked and 3″ is marked. Use the dotted line between these two lines for the 2 3/4″ measurement.
2. For the “geese”, cut (10) 2 3/4″ strips from the width of fabric. From the strips, and using the Companion Angle, cut 112 triangles. Again, this measurement is in-between 4″ and 5″. Use the dotted line between these two lines for the 4 1/2″ measurement.
3. For me, this is the fun part. I like to sit down and chain-piece one side, block after block, then press the seams open and sew the other side.
That purple strip on my sewing machine is a piece of vinyl plastic called a Qtools Sewing Edge by Alicia’s Attic. I use it to ensure that I am sewing a 1/4″ seam. I have a 1/4″ foot, but it seems a little bent. This was a much cheaper solution for me than replacing the foot. The package says that the vinyl won’t leave any sticky residue on your machine, which is important in preserving the finish on these older machines.
Make 28 flying geese blocks for each side of the quilt, for a total of 112 flying geese blocks. I’m still pressing the seams open, for the most part. It seems to help a little in keeping the bulk to a minimum.
4. For the Square-in-a-Square blocks in the corners, cut (4) 5″ squares from a lighter fabric and (16) 2 3/4″ squares from a darker fabric.
I know that this method is a little bit more wasteful of fabric, but it gives easier dimensions to work with. We could save some fabric by cutting the center square exactly and cutting the corners into triangles. But for only 4 blocks, this method seems the easiest and fastest. If I was making a whole quilt of square-in-a-square blocks, I would probably choose a different construction method that would use less fabric.
5. Mark the diagonal on the wrong side of each of the 2 3/4″ squares, first sewing 2 opposing corners and trimming to a 1/4″ seam allowance. Then sew the other two remaining corners. You may refer back to Border 1 for a refresher on how to piece these blocks.
6. Sew the side borders to the quilt first. Then sew the Square-in-a-Square blocks to each end of the top and bottom borders. Sew the top and bottom borders to your quilt. You should now have a quilt that measures 72 1/2″square.
Can you believe it? Only three more borders to go. Also, how do you all feel about the Prairie Points around the outside. Do we want to do those as well?
** Edited to add: Yes, it’s true. The blocks are 2 1/4″ x 4 1/2″. If you sew two blocks together, it would be square. These last few borders are posing a challenge to end up with whole blocks on the ends rather than partial blocks. The result is these funny measurements. The beginning borders were nearly all divisible by 2. But now that I’ve made some of the outer borders larger, they aren’t always nicely divisible like the earlier ones were. I hope it’s not confusing anyone!
January 30, 2009 § 1 Comment
It was pointed out that I inadvertantly doubled the number of pieces needed in the flying geese blocks for Border 8a of the Medallion Quilt. I have corrected the number of pieces needed and then put them in bold.
My apologies to anyone who has been working on this border and scratching their head, wondering why the numbers weren’t working!
Thank you, Ann, for setting me back on track!