Designing A Border

I have had a king size triple irish chain quilt top made for a LONG time. I never finished it because I wanted to design a border for it.  Well I am tackling another UFO and am designing the border.  Here is my method and progress to date.

First, I taped a LOT of freezer paper together making a strip 95 inches long which matches the four sides of my quilt top.  The border is 9 inches wide.   I drew a design on one half of my freezer paper. Then I traced it in reverse on the other half. I now have one entire border to work with. Some of the flowers I used from the William Morris Applique book and some I drew. I drew all of the vines myself.  It was drawn with a mechanical lead pencil allowing for LOTS of mistakes.   Here are some photos.

Center of Border




[Nothing like a million little pieces, huh?] This design will be the corner block, matching up to the long side borders.


My DH cut me a piece of plexiglass to fit into the opening where I normally have my sewing machine.  [He is such a nice guy!]  I put a small florescent light under it to use as a light table.


Using “Steam-A-Seam-Lite” I traced my designs onto fusible web.  [LOTS of tracing going on for four borders!]


Now my fusible web pieces are ironed onto the wrong side of my fabric ready to cut out. [Whew…cutting out takes forever!]


I have a design wall in my sewing room made of thick insulation which is covered with white flannel and screwed to the wall.    My four cream colored  borders have been pinned to the wall behind where I am working.  (They are not pink!…must have been the sunshine!)  I divided the border into fourths and marked each border with a water soluble pen.  Working from the center out I am placing my pieces onto the border.  I can actually use my Clover mini iron to affix my pieces right on the wall before taking it to the ironing board.  When I have finished the center sections of each border, I will re-pin and do the remaining sections of each border.   After fusing the borders, I plan to sew my appliques down with a small blanket stitch before sewing the borders onto the quilt.


I don’t have any of the leaves or small fabric circles done yet…but I am making good progress with my UFO.  When it is completed, it will be hand quilted.

It is a BIG project….[perhaps I am nuts?!]   But the end is in sight for my LONG AWAITED quilt.

Amities, Averyclaire


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KerryCan
    Mar 25, 2014 @ 17:47:19

    I canNOT believe what you’ve been through to get this far! It looks like it’ll be worth it but what a lot of work! Wow!


  2. Southpaw Stitcher
    Mar 25, 2014 @ 18:01:49

    Wow! Your border is turning out to be so beautiful, and the level of difficulty of this project looks like a 10+ to me! I know this quilt will be just stunning when it’s finished–I can hardly wait to see it! You are clever, talented and ambitious! I don’t know what else to say.


  3. Shirlee Fassell
    Mar 25, 2014 @ 18:14:53

    Makes me tired thinking about how much work is involved!! But it will be exquisite when it it done.


  4. Elizabeth
    Mar 25, 2014 @ 21:29:45

    That is absolutely amazing! What an inspired idea to add an applique border to an Irish chain quilt. The design and colours are striking. I love William Morris as well and find his designs a great inspiration. This will be another heirloom quality quilt!


  5. Margaret
    Mar 25, 2014 @ 21:38:40

    Wow! So so gorgeous! I can’t wait to see more! Love William Morris. Big time!


  6. LoretteC
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 02:41:43

    What beautiful work you’ve done and I can’t wait to see it finished! You’ve designed a gorgeous border. A lot of work but it will be fabulous!


  7. Nanouanne
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 03:26:09

    You are not nuts, you are a wonderful gifted quilter! Yes, it is a lot of work to be done, but I think that sewing such a marvel will be joy ans serenity, and no pain at all. I understand you are doing what we call ‘broderie Perse’, I have a question: why did you use freezer paper instead of regular copy paper, as you are using fusible web. I certainly miss something…


  8. Virtual Quilter
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 04:54:12

    The border is looking wonderful! Lots of work ahead of you, but it will be worth it!


  9. Annie
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 06:07:56

    This is completely amazing! All of that time and effort are leading to an incredibly stunning piece. Love the plexiglass light table idea!


  10. Marjorie
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 15:34:30

    This is really beautiful–I’m sure it will be a lovely complement to the quilt. Thanks for outlining your steps–I love seeing the process.


  11. Your lil sis, Barb!
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 23:07:16

    I don’t know where all your energy comes from but you certainly are addicted to quilting and you produce some beautiful work and creations! Good going Sis!


  12. Linda Hubbard
    Mar 31, 2014 @ 22:03:07

    Your borders are lovely, I can’t wait to see the entire quilt. It will be spectacular! Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. Yes we are having quite a winter. We usually get a fair bit of snow but this winter has been crazy- much more snow than normal. Usually it is melting away by now, not still coming in storm after storm.
    I am your newest (email) follower.


  13. Sheryl
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 06:49:26

    The borders are beautiful I love old embroidery and this post gives me a sense of what was involved in making some of those pieces.


  14. thistlecovefarm
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 08:18:03

    No, you’re not crazy and the borders are beautiful!


  15. whimseytopia
    May 19, 2014 @ 07:02:01

    Beautiful work. Any one of these would make a gorgeous rug pattern for hooking.


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