Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tackling the zigzag border on LE

After lots of consideration and a little experimentation, I finally decided to get down to business on LE's tiny zigzag border. Since my method of appliqué is a little different than Esther's, I knew it would be best for me to just figure out a method that would work for me. At first I thought I would English Paper Piece it but after cutting out a few pieces I knew that that was not the best solution for me. I considered cutting out all the piece individually and appliquéing them one by one but again felt that was not best. Then, as I was considering the method presented here, someone else posted photos and instructions on Esther's Yahoo group. Forgive me for not crediting that person, frankly I cannot remember who it was but this method is very similar. I just discovered that the person that originally posted this process was Auckje. You can find her photos in the photo section of Esther's Yahoo group.

So here goes. Just a reminder that this is just what worked for me. If you are making this quilt I advise you to use Esther's instructions but if this helps you get a visual of my process that is great. I recognize that everyone works differently and this is just what worked for me.
First, using my light box and my taped together pattern, I traced one full side unit of the zigzags on freezer paper. I was very precise and used a ruler for this.




This was then cut out very carefully.




I then cut out sample strips at 1 1/4 inches and sewed them together using a 1/4 in seam allowance. I ended up doing this twice using scrap fabrics as I needed to adjust the seam allowance by one needle position to get an accurate measurement against the pattern. Here is my sample afte r cutting and some stitching.




So now I was ready to cut into the actual fabric. My dark teal is a Dutch Chintz so I really want to be precise and use as little fabric as possible and this is what worked.
I cut three WOF strips of the light at 1 1/4 inches and 4 strips of the dark. I then cut each strip in 1/2 horizontally into about 22 inches each. They were then sewn into three groups of 6 strips alternating light and dark. When after sewing each seam I cut the seam allowance down to 1/8 inch as you can see in this photo. The dark seam allowance is before trimming.




In order to deal with the color placement so that the corners would be the same, I marked light and dark on the pattern and decided that placing 2 darks together in the center. If you look at the pattern Esther has placed her light and darks slightly differently. Obviously what works for you just be aware that if you just alternate light and dark the corners will look different. After sewing the 22 in strips together I cut them horizontally into thirds and sewed them together. Then I need to add a dark to one end of each for my color placement. Hopefully this photo makes it clear.




I then sewed these 2 units together and ironed my freezer paper pattern on carefully aligning the points and seams.




Then traced around the pattern and cut out.








I also cut out those corner pieces and using my light box glues every thing in place. Yes, I glue with Roxanne's Glue baste and have not yet had any issues with it but I recognize that it is not everyone's choice.




And finally I am ready for stitching. I did play with different options for what direction to iron the seams and ended up pressing to one side in the direction I stitch. Since I am left handed that means the seams go to the right when looking at the right side as I sew from left to right. But once sewing the sample that was not the best option. Instead I ended up making sure that the seams always pointed in the direction of the diamond that was going up towards the point as I sewed. This is sorta confusing to write so hopefully I can take some photos and post them soon to show. I highly recommend making a sample and stitching it to make your own determination.




In total, including my sample pieces, this only took my about 4 hours and I can now just stitch. Not a bad afternoon's work!

21 comments:

Saskia said...

Your fast! I love to see your progress with this lovely quilt.

Bunny said...
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ANudge said...

Thank you so much, Heather - you have answered a lot of questions by this post. I had seen the other previous mentions of this method, but you answered my question about the colors in the corners, although it probably won't matter on mine as I'm making it scrappy. But at least I know how to deal with the light/dark placement.

Bunny said...
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Bunny said...

Great tutorial looks really nice. Just wondering how much seam allowance you added before you cut it out?
I always have trouble with knowing how much to leave.
Thanks Bunny

Cardygirl said...

Hi Heather, I have just spent a very pleasant 15 minutes catching up on your beautiful LE project. It is great that you are going through the process with us, I am enjoying the decision making and innovation. It looks great!

Donna~~ said...

Gosh Heather, I'm impressed. I don't know how I would have done that, but I'm sure it would have been in a more difficult, less accurate, and more frustrating way! It looks very lovely too!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

looks great - I'm impressed too :) I have added your blog to my list so I can look back and see how you did this when I am ready :)

sunny said...

I am in awe! I would never have the patience to go through all that. Sadly, that means I'll never have a quilt as beautiful as yours. But I can always admire yours!!

Judy Dietrich said...

Wow---I completely understand the process now. Having the strip sets laid out, really made me see the technique in action & how precise you need to be. Thanks for the pictures!! I really like the colors you are using. Have fun stitching. Judy

Auckje van der Leij said...

Hi Heather, I think that other person was me! You are such a better explainer in the way this border can be tackles than I am! It is a way to make this zig zag border very quickly. Yours looks great! Auckje

Auckje van der Leij said...

Error: that must must tackled!

Rachaeldaisy said...

How clever! thanks for taking the time to explain this method. It's great to see that beautiful teal again.

Oops-Lah said...

What a genius way to create the zig zag border! It looks lovely so far!

Plum Cox said...

I'm planning something similar as a way to do the borders - yours looks really lovely! Thanks for sharing your way so clearly!

quiltswithpersonality said...

Heather ....absolutely fabulous tutorial, I will be using this method. Thank you so much for documenting the process. You wonderful....Marie

Elaine said...

Thank you for sharing Heather :) I am still agonising over my fabric choices for the petal flowers!

Celia Gibson said...

Thanks for sharing how you did the zig zag border, i have learnt something.

Every Stitch said...

Wonderful to see how you worked this out to suit you - thanks for the clear instructions. I may yet tackle this quilt so it will be great to come back and see your progress. Looking beautiful!!
Hilda

Carrie P. said...

I am glad I scrolled through your posts that I missed. That is so neat how you figured out to do this with a little bit of inspiration from another person from the group. It is great that others share so you all can get ideas on how to do things if you are not comfortable with a certain technique.

Pamelyn B said...

Thank you so much for this idea. I tried it for the border on my LE and it worked great!
Pamelynspostings.blogspot.com