Friday, June 29, 2012

Trying something new

The main field of the MQ6 quilt is done in diagonal cross-hatch, and it looks pretty good.  This week I started on the borders.  I have some stencils that were inherited from my friend's mother, Shirley.  She was a hand quilter, but I'm strictly a machine gal.  Some of her stencils can be adapted to machine work, but marking has been a problem. 

I've tried pouncing chalk, what a MESS!  and it makes me sneeze.  I've tried tracing in the stencil grooves with a chalk pencil - it keeps breaking.  Tried a washable blue pen, but I have to go over each line three or four times to get it dark enough to see and the borders on this quilt are royal blue.  Time to try a new idea.

In a catalog I've seen paper quilting guides.  Pre-printed guidelines on paper which you pin on your quilt and then you stitch along the lines.  I decided to try printing my own paper guides and see how that works.  Since our kids are now all done with school, we seem to have an overabundance of partial packages of filler paper and spiral notebooks that are half empty.  The paper isn't as heavy as copier paper, but not as thin as tissue paper which clogs up in my printer.
Turns out it works pretty well, and the price is right - FREE!  I traced the stencil on paper, then photocopied it onto filler paper pages.  The paper was a bit stiff to fold into my lap while I sewed, but other than that I've been pleased with the results.  The first border is a simple cable pattern.   My machine has a 'lock stitch', which sews in place at the start of each section, and sews in place again when you push the button as you finish the section.  By using this feature I was able to start and stop, skip over areas, and start again - and know that the stitching will not pull out.

I used a trick I read somewhere of drawing the back of a seam ripper over the stitching lines before tearing off the paper- and that worked great!  The paper came apart so easily.  A bit of masking tape pulled off the bits of paper that were left behind.

I've left the corner pieces still partially attached because I still have to decide whether to quilt in that middle line on the cable.  I thought I'd wait and see what it looked like without.  I think I'd like to keep the spacing in proportion to the center cross hatch.

I think I'll do this scalloped bunting for the outer blue border, but still haven't figured out the best way to quilt the pieced center border.  I'm thinking geometric would keep with the look of the quilt.  Big X's across the four-patch and echo diamonds in the white squares might work.  A spider-web that might be nicer in the four-patch, but don't know if I want spider-webs on a bed quilt.  I'm not fond of spiders.....


We'll I'm excited to get this far, and that it worked.  Whoop Whoop!


  1. AWESOME JOB!! I love the inter-twined inner blue border quilting. That is so very pretty. I'm no help for the four-patch ideas at all. But I can't wait to see what you come up with.

  2. That's a beautiful quilt, and such a great idea for doing the border! Whoop whoop!!

  3. I do love twisted cables and am so glad yu found a way to do it that worked well for you.