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Fabric Needs and Cutting Directions
1 1/2 yards Black Fabric Cut 8 strips 1 1/2"xWOF 18 strips 1"xWOF
Assorted Bright Scraps
Sew a 1" black strip to the right side of section 1. Press open, trim, sew section 2 on, then black, trim, section 3, black, trim, and finally section 4. Repeat this same process with sections 5-8.
Now that we have the two halves made we have to join them. It's just another 1 1/2" black strip sewn to one half and then the other half attached. Then square up the panel. Add 1 1/2" strips as a border. I pieced together what was left from putting the panel back together.
I loved the panel at this point but it wasn't big enough. I really had only added a few inches to the original 24 inch width. I wanted this as my lap quilt this winter but 26" wasn't going to cover my lap. This was the hard part, adding to the panel to gain size without taking away from the panel that I loved. It took me awhile and then while I was looking through my fabric tubs I found the tub. It was full of bright tone on tone prints and those prints were pretty close to what was in the panel.
The border is all free pieced. There is no rhyme, no reason, and it can be a little difficult to just let go. I used the 1" black strips to make the angles. The one thing I struggled with, other than doing this part on the treadle, was it wants to go wonky. So I highly suggest making them much larger than you want them to end up being. I added about 4" just to have enough to trim when I was done. I have a little video showing how I did it.
Once I had the borders made I squared them up so that the sides were slightly wider than the top and bottom. I'm calling the top and bottom the narrow edges.
I think this quilt is probably one of the most striking quilts I've ever made. It is certainly well outside my comfort zone or my normal aesthetic. Free piecing the border was the perfect way to extend the panel and compliment it. Free piecing requires you not to have a plan and that's not me. I don't always sketch out my quilts on paper but I have a picture in my head. This I didn't, I had to let it organically form. All that's left is to ship it off to the long armer.
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