Monday, March 9, 2015

Chevron Log Cabin Quilt - Part 4 - Borders and Quilting

We've reached the end of our first project!  I'm super excited to finish this up so we can move on to another project.  I do hope you will all stick with me for the next project as well.  It will be revealed next Monday.  This week though we are going to put a border on our quilt and talk about how to quilt it.  The border we are doing is called piano keys.  I just think it's a fun way to use up some leftover fabric and make it fun.  It looks hard but like the rest of this project it's just an illusion.  So let's get started!

Chevron Log Cabin Quilt with piano key border
See those fingers and legs?  That's my husband!
You saved all your extra fabric right?  Good we are going to need a few more 2" strips from the fabric.

Top and bottom log cabin border fabric
Top and bottom border 
I used 3 of my lights and 3 strips of the black and white.  I actually sewed them right to left.  Not sure what I was thinking when I took the photos.

left and right border log cabin quilt
Left and right border

For the sides I used 1 strip of all of my yellows and 4 strips of the black and white.  Simple enough right?

Now we have to sew those strips up.  When we do that we make what is called a strip set.  The issue with strip sets though is they can start to get wavy.  You can stop this from happening by simply sewing one strip on from the top and the next one on from the bottom.  I'll show you how I keep track of that.


So I start by sewing two together just like I did here.  Nothing new, 1/4" seam, sew, press open, just like you did on your blocks.


I put this set on top of my next strip.  This forces me to go the opposite direction since we sew with the bulk of our fabric to the left of our machines.  How I kept track on this was to make sure my black and white fabric was always on top.


 I just kept doing this until I had each pile of strips sewn up.  One with 6 total and one with 7 total.


This is what it should look like when you are done.  This is my seven strip set.  Now we are going to cut them up.


You'll want to straighten the edge first.  Then cut into 4" pieces.  You should be able to get 10 out of each strip set.  You'll need 5 for each side of your quilt.


We need to sew those 5 subsets, that's the fancy quilting term for the pieces we just cut, together.  I sewed them like what's in the picture that way no two of the same colors ended up side by side.


You'll end up with this long strip.  It will be just slightly longer than your quilt.  Sew the top and bottom on first.  After you sew it on press it open just like we've been doing.  You'll need to cut off any extra on the ends.  Then repeat with the sides.  That's it!  You made your first quilt top!!

Now it needs to be quilted.  Here's the thing though.  I'm not good enough at it to teach you how to quilt it yourself.  Truth be told a lot of people don't do the actual quilting themselves.  It's a whole other art form.  So how do you get it quilted?

Quilt with your credit card.  That's what Eleanor Burns of Quilt in a Day fame calls it.  She and many others pay a professional long arm quilter to do the actual quilting.  If you don't know anyone who does this check with your local quilt shop.  Both of mine have long arm quilters on staff.  You can ask other quilters that you know where they get theirs done.  Missouri Star Quilt Company offers a mail in service.  Most people who quilt professionally offer binding for a small additional fee.  It's well worth it.

The other option is to use Youtube to teach yourself.  This is a good video to start.


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 of Log Cabin Quilt series

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Melissa Shields
Melissa Shields

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