Sunday, October 07, 2007

Spiky Border Tutorial

Here is an example of a spiky border, taken from my quilt Happy Howloween:

And here's one I just made:

Spiky borders are pieced onto paper. Cut newsprint or paper in whatever width you want; for this example it was 4.5". The border will be sewn from left to right. I used strips that were a minimum of 2" wide - just made it easier.

Lay the first strip or piece of fabric across the end of the paper and then slant the next piece across it, right sides together. Secure the strip with pins and then sew along the edge of the strip, using a smaller stitch length than usual.

Open it out. Trim the excess fabric from underneath (leaving a quarter inch seam). Then trim any excess strip off. It doesn't have to be exactly even with the paper.

Now the next strip is added. The strip HAS to meet up with the top end of the previous strip OR be to the left of it. See that bit of black fabric sticking out on the top right? You need to see that. Plus, the new strip has to meet the bottom of the previous one. Meet or be even further left. And notice how the new strip bumps up above the paper? You'll always need that.

I'm holding back the purple strip here to show you how all three of these pieces of fabric are going to meet. You want that OR even more of an angle (to the left).

After you've sewn the seam, make sure you've got a quarter inch seam allowance there, or at the very least have caught that spike in the seam by at least an 1/8".

Continue on that way. Trim excess, trim even (always with the piece opened up - do not cut off the tail of the fabric while right sides are still together).

This is how it looks for the up spikes. Notice I have the tail of the strip going up off the paper.

Be casual about it. If some of the spikes don't even spike, that's great. If they're all wonky and sort of different, then none of them are wrong. This test border I did for you isn't very wonky. It does take a while to get warmed up. Just keep practising.

This is what the back of the piece looks like. I tear out the paper a bit so that I can cut off excess fabric where I need/want to.

To make the borders longer, tape a new piece of newsprint on before you get to that bit and just keep sewing. You could also sew two individual units together, just be aware that the join won't look the same.


Kathie said...

they look so fun!
may just have to try this one day :)
I need a funky halloween quilt in my home!!!!

joyce said...

Love the wonkiness of them. I use a slightly different method a la Gwen and Freddy. Yours has fewer seams though so I may try it next time.

Kathie said...

Another one to save for posterity. Thanks.

jude said...

so many tricks and treats!

Katie said...

Great lesson. So much to try and so much life getting in my way. But soon....

Quilt Pixie said...

wish I'd done wonky spiked borders before I took the class at Quilt University on spike borders -- much much less stressful then getting all those points lined up like soldiers :-)

Julie aka "Quilt Diva" said...

Thanks, Tonya!! Calculated randomness... right up my alley!!

Laurie Ann said...

Fun! I'll have a good time trying that out some time.

mamaspark said...

Pretty neat. I will have to try it and see what it turns out like. You are so creative!

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