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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Prairie Gathering Quilt of the Quarter ~ Month Seven

It's now month seven in our Prairie Gathering piecing journey.  At last, you have graduated from Quarter Two, much of which was spent on repetitive piecing, all in preparation for more exciting tasks!  Yay!!  You will be so happy that you did just that!!

The photo above shows what your quilt top should look like today.  We're about to add the Flying Geese pieced border.  Be certain your quilt top is the correct measurement stated in your pattern before proceeding.  

Following along in your pattern for Chapter Seven, you will gather (9) Flying Geese units to make one half of one side of your Flying Geese border.  As you can see in the photo above,  I arranged all of my FG according to the red goose print.  There will be nine piles.  Each pile has the same red print with assorted lights.  
For each border section, choose one red print from each pile, trying not to repeat the same light print for a nice, scrappy mix.  Arrange the (9) FG units in a good mix for each section.

When sewing a pieced border together, DO NOT sew all the pieces for the border together and then measure the border, or skip the measuring and just sew it to the quilt!  Nine times out of ten, your border won't measure what it should.  You have no idea what seam(s) are sewn in error, so you have to check them all.   

What I'm about to say is the most important advice I 
can share in producing accurate, pieced borders!!!

Begin by sewing (4) pairs of FG units: press.  Each pair should measure 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" unfinished.  Stop and measure right away.  If any one of the pairs does not measure correctly, you instantly know what seam is a problem.  Rip it out and sew it again...it's a small seam...no big deal!  Do not proceed until all of the FG pairs measure what they should!!!! 
Now you can sew (2) sets of pairs together: press.  At this point, your FG section should measure 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" unfinished.  Again, if it doesn't measure what it should, the center seam is the only problem.  In essence, you are isolating any problems making them easy to identify.  Do not proceed until the (4) FG units measure what they should.  

Next, sew the two (4) patch sets together.  Now the FG border should measure 3 1/2" x 12 1/2" unfinished.  And again....if the border doesn't measure what it should, there's only one seam that could be the problem!  You know what to do to fix it!
For the last step, sew one single FG unit to the strip: press.  The strip should measure 3 1/2" x 14" unfinished.  If it doesn't, again, you know where the problem is and it's very easy to fix. Repeat these steps for the remaining border strips.

In this way, you can be super confident that your pieced borders will measure exactly what they should.  You just can't beat the great feeling you have when everything fits together, and all your points are in tact!  It just takes a few minutes to check your measurements and correct any errors as you go.  
Sew (2) FG borders together, checking the measurements listed in the pattern.   Repeat to make another, and sew them to the sides of your quilt top.  Be ever so proud of yourself that you have taken the time to measure along the way, and everything is looking good!

Assemble the top and bottom borders in the same manner, sewing the Square in Square units you made in a previous month to each end of the borders.  Check your measurements again according to the pattern.  Sew to the top and bottom of the quilt, then check the measurement of your quilt top.
You can sew plain border #2 to the quilt top and enjoy the fruits of your labor!  The Flying Geese border really adds a lot of movement and excitement to the quilt, framed by the deep, dark red borders...it really pops!

Additionally, you'll be continuing to make your red on red Two-Patch units.

You'll be working to begin assembly of the Four Patch border, beginning with the cornerpost units, moving on to the Four Patch units.   Hate to sound like a broken record, but be sure to measure!

Make a bunch of Half Square Triangles for your Large Triangle Sawtooth border units.  These must, must, must measure correctly, too!!

I hope you found my pieced border hints to be helpful to you.  Taking these steps with every quilt you make will result in a beautiful, accurate quilt that goes together well and looks great!

I also hope you enjoy the story included this month about the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.  Gotta admire their spunk!  

Hope you take some time to enjoy needle, thread, and lovely fabrics!