Saturday, July 23, 2016

Basic Quilt Drafting - Borders -

The borders are on my version of Peggy Martin's Pinwheel Polka pattern (from her Craftsy class) - finally -

Although I used Peggy's layout for the blocks - I didn't use her pattern for the borders. I wanted to make mine differently - and as you can see - I decided to go with the GREEN inner border and the PINK outer border. The top border isn't really that wavy - I wanted to show it lengthwise instead of sideways - and it was too high to reach over the table to smooth it out properly - ;))

I had a couple of yards of the PINK - so I wasn't worried about having enough of that - but I wasn't sure if I had enough of the GREEN for the inner border that I wanted. I had a regular/linear quarter yard - 9" x WOF - so I had to do some sketching before I actually cut it - just in case - ;))

And I had to do some MATH - that dreaded four-letter word -

But MATH is just "counting" - so it's not that scary - honest - ;))

I remember when I was a kid and my Dad - who was a GREAT cook - taught me (and my sister) how to cook. I complained that I couldn't cook - I didn't know how. He said, "Can you READ?" When I replied, "Yes." - he said, "All you have to do is read a recipe - and do what it tells you to do." Oh - OK - I can do that - and if that's all there is to it - no problem - ;))

And if I can cook because I can READ -

I can quilt because I can COUNT - ;))

Some of you may remember the line from the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles -
"Badges? - We don't need no stinkin' badges." -

Well - it's the same with these borders -
"Pattern? - I don't need no stinkin' pattern." - ;))

Quilting without a pattern is like cooking without a recipe -

With a little experience - you can make it up as you go along -

All I need is some graph paper - a couple of pencils - and a little ruler to draw myself a picture - ;))

"Old school" quilters do this all the time -

But for any new quilters out there who may want to know -

This Is How I Did It - ;))



The "secret" is to use GRAPH PAPER -

It's cheaper than a pattern - and only requires simple counting - ;))

First I drew a grid -

I used one square for every 2" of block/border -

3 squares by 3 squares = 6" block -

12 squares across by 18 squares down = 4 blocks across by 6 blocks down

Inner/center part - without borders - measures 24" x 36" - FINISHED -

NOTE - SEAM ALLOWANCES (1/2") need to be added before cutting -



Normally the side borders are added first -

If I want a 2" GREEN inner border (one square) - I need to cut it 2-1/2" WIDE -

The LENGTH would be (COUNT the squares) - 18 times 2 = 36 PLUS 1/2" seam allowance - remember each square represents 2" -

So I need to cut two GREEN strips 2-1/2" x 36-1/2" -
One for the LEFT side and one for the RIGHT side -



Because I'm making the corners separately -

The top/bottom borders are COUNTED the same way as the side borders -

If I want a 2" GREEN inner border (one square) - I need to cut it 2-1/2" WIDE -

The LENGTH would be (COUNT the squares) - 12 times 2 = 24 PLUS 1/2" seam allowance - remember each square represents 2" -

I need to cut two GREEN strips 2-1/2" x 24-1/2" -
One for the TOP and one for the BOTTOM -



Left side - CUT 2-1/2" x 36-1/2"
Right side - CUT 2-1/2" x 36-1/2"
Top - CUT 2-1/2" x 24-1/2"
Bottom - CUT 2-1/2" x 24-1/2"



I don't have enough GREEN to cut 4 strips @ 2-1/2" wide -
I would need 10" of fabric and I only have 9" -
so I'll be short - before I even consider cutting the corner units -


So - on to Plan B -

Bottom line - for the inner borders - I need to cut four strips - two @ 36-1/2" long and two @ 24-1/2" long - and those are shorter than the width of the fabric (WOF) - so I don't need to piece them. And I should have enough left over from the shorter strips to use for the corner units.

All I need is four strips the same width and I'm good.

Probably could/should have started with Plan B - but then I couldn't show you how to "adapt" - ;))

My GREEN regular/linear quarter yard is 9" wide x WOF - so the MAX width that I can CUT is 2-1/4" - to finish at 1-3/4" - which is a perfectly good number - but -

To simplify the MATH - let's go with a 2" wide CUT border - to finish at 1-1/2" - ;))

It's easy enough to CUT 4 strips @ 2" - that comes to 8" - leaving a "string" for something else - ;))

My quilt top came out to exactly what it should have been mathematically - but if it hadn't - I would have adjusted the subcut lengths to the "actual" lengths needed - so be sure to MEASURE before you cut - ;))

GREEN - CUT 4 strips @ 2" x WOF - (Need 8" of fabric x WOF)
subcut 2 to 36-1/2" for the sides (or actual length)
subcut 2 to 24-1/2" for the top/bottom (or actual length)

PINK - CUT 4 strips @ 4-1/2" x WOF - (Need 18" of fabric x WOF)
subcut 2 to 36-1/2" for the sides (or actual length)
subcut 2 to 24-1/2" for the top/bottom (or actual length)

Save the leftovers from the shorter strips for the corner units -

Next time - I'll show you how I did those -

Without a pattern - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -


Gene Black said...

Ha ha.. I know a lot of people that quilt but can't count.

Katie M. said...

Love the quilt! And thanks for the math lesson :-) It is so frustrating to have a 'plan' just to discover you're literally an inch short... Thank goodness quilters are good at adapting ...

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Yeah - and those same people probably cook, too - but I'm not sure that I would want to eat whatever they made without a recipe - ;))

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Thanks, Katie - so many people are afraid of MATH - and it IS just "counting". Multiplication/division are variations of basic addition/subtraction - which covers just about everything. I think quilters (and cooks) use algebra every day and don't even realize they're doing it - ;))

Karen M said...

This turned out great. I love the colors. I appreciate the sharing of your process.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Thanks, Karen - I love being able to quilt without a "pattern". It has several advantages. It allows me to "make it my own" - so I'm not tied to something designed by someone else. And I don't have to "wait for" or "find" a pattern - if I can sketch it - I can probably make it. (How do you suppose "designers" come up with their designs and "patterns"?) - AND with graph paper - you don't even need a computer or EQ7 to figure it out - easy peasy - ;))


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...