Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Seminole Piecing

As I mentioned yesterday, I elected to Seminole piece the border for my Hen Party quilt.  I did wonder, when I made the design, if I was biting off more than I could chew, but fortunately it has worked out very well!  The whole key is to slow down and be very deliberate in everything you do.

My border design called for 3" diamonds centred down a 6" strip.  The sides of the diamonds needed to be 2 1/8", so I cut the brown strips at 2 5/8".  In order for the cream edges to be wide enough, I cut the cream strips to 5 1/2".

I sewed the brown strip between two cream strips and ironed the seam allowances towards the centre.  This is an important step, because it makes it easy to match the corners later on.


Then I cross cut the long pieced strips into units that were also 2 5/8" wide.  Then I started to sew the units together in a stepped pattern.  Hopefully the photo makes it clear:


Each border has 17 diamonds.  When I turn the piece on it's side you can see where it's going:


To make sure the diamonds were centred in the final border, I lined up my ruler with the 3 1/4" line along the line where the diamond points meet.  I cut one side, and then turned it around and cut the other side the same way, so that I ended up with a 6 1/2" border strip:


To square off the ends, I added a 4 1/2" half square triangle:


This is bigger than needed, so when I'm ready to do the final assembly I'll trim the sides even and the end down to 1/4" from the point of the diamond.

It seems like a lot could go wrong with all the bias edges here, but the main thing was that all four sides would finish around the same length.  They did!  And I gave myself some wiggle room in the design, which I'll talk about when I get the whole top assembled.

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