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Chapter Four: Making Your Quilt Bigger by Adding Borders

Kate Carlson Colleran C&T Publishing ePub


Making Your Quilt Bigger by Adding Borders

How do you make a quilt bigger? One way is to make more blocks. Sometimes that is a good thing; other times, well, you just can’t bear the thought!

Other ways to make a quilt bigger would be to make bigger blocks, or to add borders or make the existing borders bigger. Take the quilt Line Dance. It has three borders, but none of them are very big. You could easily make them a little bigger to get a bigger quilt.

How do you decide what size to make the borders? Well, there are theories on good proportions, but to make it easy, keep in mind the size of your blocks. If the borders are bigger than the size of the block, they may overwhelm the quilt and the blocks will get lost.

So for Line Dance, the block is 8˝ finished. The current borders are 1˝ wide, 2˝ wide, and 3˝ wide. So overall the borders are less than the finished size of the block. A good rule of thumb is to make the borders one-half to two-thirds the size of the block. But really, like color, it is more of a personal decision. You may like big borders; many of our quilts don’t have big borders. But that gives you lots of leeway to make them bigger!

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Chapter One: Let’s Mix It Up!

Kate Carlson Colleran C&T Publishing ePub


Let’s Mix It Up!

The Stash

As quilters, we all have a stash. We love our fabric! The big question is, Why don’t we use our stash? Well, there are as many reasons for that as there are quilters. But let’s explore a few of the common reasons.

1. You bought it a while ago and it just no longer floats your boat. Quilters are notoriously frugal—some of us even turn scraps into quilts! But that shelf of unwanted fabrics can really stymie our creativity. Looking at things like that makes us feel guilty because we bought it and now we don’t want to use it!

So, do something!

One idea would be to turn the fabric into a charity quilt—we have a couple of great patterns in the book that are not hard to do—why not use Wayne’s Quilt or Dance Party or and create a couple of quick charity quilts that anyone would adore sleeping under? Add a couple of extra borders to make the quilt bed size and use any extra fabric for the backing. (See Making Your Quilt Bigger by Adding Borders.)

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Chapter Three: Projects

Kate Carlson Colleran C&T Publishing ePub





Finished block: 7¾˝ × 7¾˝  •  Finished quilt: 50˝ × 67½˝

Designed by Kate Colleran, pieced by Elizabeth Balderrama, quilted by Sandi Verbridge

Fabrics from Bluebird Park by Kate & Birdie for Moda Fabrics, Henry Glass & Co., and Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Bella, Bella, Bella, you are so pretty! This quick quilt has some fun ways to use 2½˝ strips and to cut them. It may look tricky, but it is not!

Fabric Selection

With this design, the jelly roll is really the main player. Our jelly roll, Bluebird Park from Moda Fabrics, has whimsical prints and soft pastels. For the companion fabrics, we chose a yellow green for the sashing squares to highlight the greens in the jelly roll, and a pale yellow for the sashing. The sashing yellow was lighter than most of the fabrics in the jelly roll, which provided contrast and allowed the jelly roll strips to stand out.

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Chapter Five: Gallery

Kate Carlson Colleran C&T Publishing ePub



Rebecca’s Quilt
Pieced by Alyssa Colleran DesRosier and quilted by Connie White (from the project Bella)

Winter Garden Path
Pieced by Virginia Charmion Ganucheau and quilted by Linda Forsyth (from the project Down the Garden Path)

Evelyn with Crayons
Pieced by Sharon Jarvis and quilted by Sally Mowers (from the project Sassy 16)

Not a Plain Jane
Pieced and quilted by Kate Colleran (from the project Plain Jane)

Wendy’s Line Dance
Pieced and quilted by Wendy E. Arend (from the project Line Dance)

Picturesque Holiday
Pieced by Sandra Carminati and quilted by Mary Ellen Ruhling (from the project Picturesque)

Irene’s Quilt for Wayne
Pieced by Irene Markman and quilted by Dorothy Gionet (from the project Wayne’s Quilt)

Martinis Make Me Dance
Pieced by Karen Ayotte and quilted by Michelle Eno (from the project Dance Party)

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Chapter Two: Important Information and Nifty Techniques

Kate Carlson Colleran C&T Publishing ePub


Important Information and Nifty Techniques

The Basics

■Read through the pattern instructions before getting started.

■Seam allowances are included in the cutting instructions.

■Sew with a ¼˝ seam allowance unless otherwise specified.

■All pieces are sewn with right sides together unless otherwise specified. Follow the arrows for pressing suggestions.

■Each project allows for enough fabric to piece borders and binding strips end to end or diagonally—your choice!

■Typically a jelly roll contains 40 strips 2½˝ × width of fabric (approximately 42˝). Charm packs contain 40–42 squares, each 5˝ × 5˝. And, fat quarters are 18˝ × 22˝.

For each project, we used a specific type of precut. However, we have included tips on other precuts you can use for a project when appropriate. Just look for the Precut Options box!

Bonus Tips

Kate’s Bonus Tip

Slow it down! I know the current mantra is, “Pedal to the metal!” But if you slow it down a little, you may find that you enjoy the process more and are happier with the end result. For me, I know I am more accurate when I sew just a little bit slower.

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