Ok, so I have a confession…I’m a chicken…a big one…especially when it comes to cutting my finished blocks. The reason I say this is that no matter how nerve wracking you think cutting a finished appliqué block is….cutting a finished appliqué border is …like…10 times scarier. Seriously, all the grey hairs on my head that weren’t caused by my teenage children were caused by this.
So, here’s my coping method. If it is at all possible, I sew the whole quilt top together and then appliqué the borders on. Shocking I know, since everything I have ever read on this says to do all the appliqué first and then sew the border on. I find I get just as nice of result without out all the nerve crushing anxiety. Since I do my appliqué by hand I don’t have much distortion due to stitching so I think I will stick with this.
Here are a few shots of how I do this. First, I pre-make all my appliqué shapes. Second I make sure I have a good clear drawing of my border. All the lines are in black ink. I also have the lines of the border drawn on there so I can align it to the quilt.
I pin this pattern to the back of the quilt making sure all my lines and corners are in the right place.
I glue baste all my shapes to the background fabric. If I am doing something large I might do it a side at a time. For this quilt I did one corner at a time. Once that’s all done it’s nothing but stitching. Borders can take a long time so I make sure I have a good audiobook loaded onto my ipod.