Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Border Wars

The possibilities for today's title are numerous.

One Inch

Ah-Ha Moment

Measuring Accurately Makes All the Difference

Can't Ignore It

Why Is This So Hard??

Get the Ripper

You may recall that I made my All In A Row quilt at the Canter's Cave retreat early in April. When I got home from retreat, I pinned the quilt top up on my design wall, and basically just admired it all  month long.

Yet as much as I admired, I also knew that something was just not right. I really had to ease those borders on, and the result was that I had a quilt that was waving at me. Yes, those borders were too big for the quilt center. Maybe you can detect it from the photo above. I tried and tried NOT to notice, to no avail. Finally, I broke down; there would be no forcing myself to ignore it. Even if I'd gone ahead and finished it, I would always kick myself for not taking those borders off and making things right.

And so I bit the bullet, and took it downstairs last night to "unsew" while watching the Cavs-Hawks game. Above is the "denuded" quilt center. It deserves this extra attention, I kept telling myself.

 Above are the borders. The black needed to be trimmed down a bit, I thought. In the month since making the quilt, I was pretty sure I hadn't forgotten that I'd had to stretch the center part to fit the borders. Yet when I measured, it appeared that I had it all backwards. I needed to add just an inch to the black outer border. So I "unsewed" one end of each border, cut small bits, shown below, and added them as extensions.

Then I reattached the corner blocks and pinned it all in place. What the ?!?!?!?! It was waaay too big! Aggghh! What on earth was I doing wrong?? Pardon my emotional use of italics and excessive punctuation, but I was becoming perturbed.

I tell you this next part to illustrate that even a seasoned veteran quilter can have issues with measuring. I added, then removed, then added again, and then removed again these extenders before finally having my "ah-ha moment." Talk about frustration! The reason those extenders shown above are so frayed and frazzled is because they'd been in, out, in and out of the border so many times. Geesh. My seam ripper was working overtime today.

The simple explanation is that when I measured, I failed to account for the small inner border. I included it when I measured; I should have excluded it. I measured numerous times and never caught my error. I ended up having to cut away an inch of the black border (instead of adding an inch) and voila! I had a perfect fit! Whew. What a dense brain I have.

Now all my borders are back on, and I am a very happy seamstress with a satisfied grin on her face. My All In A Row quilt doesn't wave any more; it will make me happy every time I look at it. After some time, maybe all I will remember about this excruciatingly difficult journey is that it was totally worth it.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. love this quilt - and your commentary! glad you figured it out and can enjoy the quilt now:)

  2. I agree that your quilt deserved the extra attention. Borders are such a challenge to me. I keep forgetting not to measure exactly at the edges of the quilt, though I always remember to measure in the middle in both directions. This quilt is just beautiful. I love the colors and fabrics you chose for it.
    --Nancy. (ndmessier @ aol.com, joyforgrace.blogspot.com)


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