This month, we assemble the top for Minuet. Some of you may have done this step already, but perhaps will get an idea for borders.
Assembly of the Scrap Dance Minuet quilt went fairly quickly as I laid out the blocks on a large cardboard mat placed on the longarm for a design board. Naturally, the first four blocks I put down had came up with the same print in the same corner.
So I flipped two of them around, and moved a third to another spot. A few more adjustments and I was ready to sew.
Each row was overlapped so I could pick up one at a time and maintain the order.
Then each row was sewn one at a time, putting them back on the design board as I went.
I numbered the rows, indicating the block on the left edge so I would keep the orientation the same. By the end of the day, the top was assembled.
Now, borders. I wanted to use up the remaining fabrics from the fat quarter stack as much as possible, so I cut bricks 2-1/2 x 3-1/2 inches. This used up almost everything that was left. I did four squares at 3-1/2-inches to use as cornerstones.
I took a break from sewing to fold and pin the the yardage so I could wash it while I did the borders. Remember the Brilliant Tip? The yellow is one yard, and the green and pink fabrics are three yards each.
I randomly chain pieced the bricks while the washing cycle ran.
Out of the washer, no creases or twisting. I threw all four pieces into the dryer just like this, pins intact.
Continuing to sew, the bricks were assembled into long rows.
About that time, the fabric came out of the dryer, again without any twisting or raveling.
I put the first border on the top, a white strip to separate the piecing from the scrappy border I planned.
Then measured carefully, and made sure my pieced strip was exactly the right size.
First two borders were attached, then measured for the remaining borders. Both sewn with cornerstones.
Then, I was ready to add the final border, which I had planned to be one of the yardage prints. I auditioned the yellow first. OK, but not great.
Sorry this picture is blurry, but I wanted you to see that the pink wasn’t going to work either, too busy and the pieced border was getting lost.
That left only one option, a final white border.
Now the problem was the size. I had originally planned to do a 5 inch final border, using the Fibonacci sequence of 2-3-5, but that would make the top too large to fit the backing I had. So I went with a 3 inch final border.
Now all that was left was to sew a seam on the two green pieces that would be the backing, trim out the selvedges from the inside seam and load the longarm with it. At this point, I measured again and realized that the short axis of the backing would barely be 4 inches more than the quilt top. I could have taken it apart and added a strip of the pink, but I decided to roll the dice and load it as it was. We will see if my gamble pays off. Digging through the batting, all I had was the unbleached ecru color, and for this quilt, I thought it would do better with a more pure white. So I ordered the Hobbs 80/20 Bleached cotton poly batting from Fat Quarter Shop in queen size.
It arrived in just two days, and I could complete the loading of the quilt.
And there it sits. I want to custom quilt it, not a pantograph this time. I need to stretch my skills, work on my stitch in the ditch, so some ruler work on the borders, and just make this one more creatively quilted than I usually do. So, I gave myself a day to just think about it. One thing I want to try to emphasize is the on-point square that formed between the two blocks. Maybe a feather wreath in each one? Or maybe some straight lines intersecting in the little star center block?
So there it sat, for days as I agonized over how to do it. After more than a week, I decided that I just had to do something to break the logjam, so I began with a bit of stitch in the ditch between the borders and the anchoring along the top and edges. I didn’t get very far. Then I thought maybe do a Celtic knot in those large on-point squares, but I had no luck in finding a 14-inch stencil to mark it. The more I have thought about this, the less I want to mark, as I do not want the chance of marks not coming out of that white fabric. But, I have an idea now that is probably going to be the final decision. I’ll share it with you soon.
How’s your Minuet coming along? What do you think of mine?
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