Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday Project: Adding Borders to your Mini 9-Patch and Snowball

We made it! Today we finish up the 9-patch and Snowball quilt by adding borders. Borders can be kind of tricky, especially with larger quilts, so working with a smaller size is a good way to practice techniques that will give you nice borders on any size of quilt.
For this step you will need the 1/3 yard blue fabric for cutting the border strips. Cut 3 strips that are 3" wide from the width of the fabric (selvedge to selvedge). Cut one of these strips in half. These will be your side borders. Give your quilt top one last pressing, then lay it out flat on your table. Measure it from the top to the bottom at both sided and through the center of the quilt. Because your blocks are 3 inches finished, your quilt should measure 21 1/2 inches. Chances are it will not, it will most likely be a little smaller, or even a little larger. If these three measurements are more than 1/4" different, I will add the three measurements together and divide by three to get my border measurement. You will cut your two short strips to this measurement.

For a small quilt like this you don't have to do a lot of pinning, but for a larger quilt I highly recomment that you pin at least every 10 - 12 inches. For this little one you can pin the center of the border strip to the center of the side of the quilt and at each end. When I sew a border on I like to sew with the border on the bottom and the quilt on the top so I can make sure my seam allowances all lay nice and flat when I'm stitching. Stitch each side border to the top, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press the seam allowances out toward the border.

Now repeat the measuring process, this time measuring from side to side to find the measurement for the top and bottom borders. Pin and sew the borders on in the same manner, and press. Now step back and admire your little quilt! You can quilt this in a simple manner by simply quilting a diagonal line through the nine-patch blocks, or do an overall pattern if you like. You can add buttons or beads to the snowballs for a fun touch.

I hope you enjoyed making this little quilt, I had fun making it, and think it is an easy little project that looks much more difficult than it actually is. I'm thinking about what to talk about next week, so no hints, but it will be fun to see what comes up between now and then!

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