Quilting the Black Blue and Gold Quilt

This past week, I had the privilege of quilting a beautiful quilt for a new quilter.  Although there were a few issues with the quilt top, I have to say I had a most pleasant experience.  This lady was so eager to learn the right way to do things, she was a delight to quilt for. Don’t you love the colors she chose?  Her points look at lot better than mine did when I first started quilting.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

The blue and gold print is paired with solid black in half square triangles. She had several prints pieced to make the HSTs. This one was the backing.  Stunning, the gold has a metallic and shiny quality that is hard to photograph.  It is gorgeous.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

I already gave the completed quilt back, and talked to her about the borders, so I hope she won’t mind helping others learn too. I knew as soon as I loaded it that the borders had extra fabric.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

She actually had two black borders on it, as she decided to make the top a bit bigger after the first border was done.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

One of the ways I can tell that the borders are too long is something you can do at home.  Lay the quilt out on a horizontal surface like a table or a bed, with the border on the surface and the rest of the quilt hanging below.  Make sure the top border is even across the top.  Then, fold the bottom up to the top and place the border seam lines together, making sure the quilt is straight across the top.  Now, step back and look at the fold on the bottom.  If the borders are too long, the middle of the pieced section will bow upward like this photo.  The batting is black which gives us a clear view of the fold.  So, you can try this at home, and fix your borders if needed before taking the quilt to the longarmer.  Properly applied borders will create a fold with a straight line across the bottom from edge to edge, like the one in the French Cottage Quilt post HERE.  Please do take a look at the link, that quilt was amazing from more than one aspect.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Anyway, out came the iron to try to steam some of the fullness out.  This turned out to be a bit more difficult than expected, and I believe that the outer border was not 100% cotton.  I think it may have had some polyester as it didn’t behave with steaming in the same way as quilting cotton does, and it was thicker than the other fabrics.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

There were a few stray threads to clip too.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

In some areas the steam helped a bit, but you can still see some puckering on the lower right and the upper left of the picture below.  As hard as I try to ease in the fullness, there are inevitably some wrinkles that turn into puckers.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

The middle, beautifully pieced, quilted nicely.  She chose this trefoil design in black thread.  The pantograph is called Wrought Iron by Willow Leaf Designs.   I used Essentials thread in the top, and Aurifil in the bobbin with Quilter’s Dream black batting.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I got to the bottom.  There was no other way to deal with this much fabric, I had to put in a pleat.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Folding the excess fabric under, I pinned the edge and created essentially a dart to the pieced section.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

I put a row of stitching right at the fold.  You can see that there is still excess fabric at the joining seam between the pieced section and the inner border, but I couldn’t take any more into the pleat without distorting the HSTs.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Then I quilted over the pleat.  That pucker at the top of the border seam to the right of the pleat couldn’t be helped.  I did try to spread the excess away from the pleat, but it isn’t easy to do when doing a pantograph from the back of the machine.  A few pins were used to help hold the bottom away from the pleat and it is better than it would have been.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Here is the finished quilting on the middle section.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

Beautiful quilt, and I hope I get to do more of her quilts.

Blue Black and Gold Quilt ~ From My Carolina Home

She seemed to be very pleased with it. And certainly those puckers will not show after the quilt is washed. One thing I am sure of, this lady will be a world class quilter in a very short time.

Need a refresher on the right way to do borders?  See my tutorial on Borders – Understanding the Why, a tutorial explaining the difference between doing it right and doing it wrong.  If you take quilts to have longarm quilting done, see my tutorial on Preparing for Longarm Quilting, with downloadable pdf.

What are you working on now?

24 thoughts on “Quilting the Black Blue and Gold Quilt

  1. Celeste Delostrinos

    Carole, your tutorial on borders is wonderful. I’ve made over 200 quilts since 1994 and still continue to learn a lot from your blogs. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  2. Barbara Jenkins

    That was an amazing save in my opinion. Once she learns borders, she will be a great quilter. Each quilt will become a learning experience.

  3. “world class quilter” – you are TOOOOO kind…………..very much a novice and willing to learn! I’m so delighted with the results of your long-arm prowess and happy that this turned into a teaching opportunity for you. I have to say that my enthusiasm often pushes me past my limits – then I tire – then I make mistakes or do not think through the next step with clarity. Your patience and “links” have been of immense help to me as I progress in this lovely journey. Thank you SO much!

  4. My first quilts as I look back on them the points were bad. This woman did a great job. Now I wonder if my longarmer ever had issues with my borders as I never measure and just sew. Your quilting turned out great in spite of the circumstances. Quilt Magic!

  5. Excellent explanation. Its great that you went through the trouble of showing each step, etc. If I were you, I would print it up and give to your customers as a courtesy. You can find postcards to order and give to customers as well, I can’t remember where I ordered them from…It is a great lesson for lazy quilters- I was guilty of not measuring borders myself until I had to longarm quilt a few of them.

  6. Good Morning Carole! You do such a beautiful job with your long arm quilting and take such special care to make sure that the quilt turns out the best that it possibly can; that is a special caring that I would want from the person who did any long arm quilting for me! Plus, that quilt is beautiful with those lovely fabric choices. Sorry, I have not been commenting…things have been crazy around here. Yet, it is a good kind of crazy! Trying to get all the Christmas gifts finished on top of even making a few more….LOL. Thank you for sharing and have a fantastic creative day!

  7. Great information. I agree with Andrea Gayle, the printed instructions would be great treat. she may not realize the issues and it is a great way to get someone the info with embarrassing them. I am saving the info.

  8. Mom

    Love the colors in this quilt, so pretty.

    Getting ready to cut out Christmas cookies. Just had to make some after enjoying yours when I was with you!

  9. Sam

    Wow,…you continue to teach and it is most appreciated. You make it so clear! I love the colors and am very impressed w/ this quilt, most especially as a “first”!!!! I agree that she has a true talent if this is her first effort! Thanks for the tutorials and clear explanations!

  10. Sandra Miller Pitts

    Thank you for such an informative instruction! Isn’t that fabric line beautiful. I used a jelly roll of this line to make a lap quilt for my 86 year old mom for Christmas. I am a new quilter and did not realize that quilting wil shrink the quilt some so it is smaller than I thought it would be or I would have added a border.
    Wish I knew how to add a picture and then I would show it to you.

  11. Rosemaryflower

    You are a great friend to help fix up and straighten out the quilt.
    We do not learn unless we first make those dopey mistakes.
    I remember when I joined a quilt club early on in my quilt making exploits. I learned so much from all of those
    brilliant women. They were so incredibly good.
    This quilt will look great. Another step to excellence

  12. I agree with so many of the comments above…thank you for your explanations and lessons. You certainly made the best of a newbies innocent mistakes. Your patience and thoughtful quilting will inspire her to keep learning and enjoy her quilting. Working on: I need to clean my house this morning and then plan to sew a quilt top of rows together this afternoon. 🙂

  13. dezertsuz

    It looks lovely anyway. You did an amazing job with the extra, and I’m sure she’s learned the right way to measure borders now.

  14. Connie Kresin Campbell

    You did a wonderful job of hiding the mistakes Carole! Fixing things like this has to be one of the hard thing about quilting for others. Great job!

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