Last year, we decided to try out a medallion round robin for Modern Irish Bee 2016. Seven of us came together for the challenge and slowly working through the quilts, I found myself on the last one. This is Mary's quilt and my turn was to add the final border to it!
I didn't quite get to it over the Christmas but it had been up on the wall looking down at me for the past month. Time to get on with it and get her done!
I wanted to pull the black from the earlier rounds framing the sections out as a colour to use but didn't want to deaden the gorgeous grey and white frame Cynthia had added. I pondered, I procrastinated, I avoided and eventually I thought, Triangles!
So I mocked it up on the computer to see how big the triangles would need to be, how many I would need and how many colours I could get from the quilt into the last border. I came up with black corners to frame it and to get them to look like this I needed an odd number of triangles on each side. The quilt measured 64" when I got it and I knew I'd need to make it a little bit bigger so the triangles would sit evenly across the length.
Geometry on triangles is a little bit time consuming. For equilateral triangles making them by cutting them from strips, you have to add 3/4" to your desired finished height. The height of an equilateral triangle is equal to the root of 3 divided by 2 and multiplied by the length of the side of the triangle. It can be head wrecking playing with the calculator trying out different sizes and calculating the finished width. Thankfully Yvonne's spreadsheet available on her blog Quilting Jet Girl or to download makes trying different sizes so much easier! So kind of Yvonne to put this together and share freely!
You just enter your numbers in the blue and it calculates it all for you! I played with odd numbers of triangles and messed about with the heights to see what I could get that was reasonable to work with and bigger than 64". I eventually settled on 6.75" strips giving a 6" finished height per side and using 21 triangles gave a pieced width of 69.28" from point to point which I rounded down to 69 1/4".
The white fabric border grew the quilt to the right size for the triangles and brought the quilt up from 64" to over 80"including the triangles.
The corners where 5 triangles come together at the white border was problematic. I thought about mitred corners but decided too many points coming together so, I made a template and tried that with an inset seam and it wasn't great. There was some trial and error with black fabric and in the end the remaining 3 seams were made by fudging it really!
I marked 1/4" in from the corner of the white inner border and sewed the triangles on right up to that marked point (middle image below). I added the second border piece on by sewing the triangles to the white
inside border again just to the 1/4" mark on the upper corner.
Pressing the seam and flipping the border over allowed the yellow triangle to lay nicely on the oversized black fabric. I was then able to turn the edge under a 1/4", press and glue in place with Roxanne's basting glue. Flipping the border back again so it lay right sides together on top of the black I sewed along the crease of the glued triangle right down to the 1/4" mark on the white border and closed up the corner completely. It sounds fiddly but I got better results this way and 1 very good corner and 2 not too bad ones! Final step was to square up and trim off. Don't tell the quilt police - I am fairly sure this is not the way to do it but it worked!
Done and dusted! Sorry for the odd photo angle. At 80" this is quite big now and hard to photograph indoors (raining outside at the minute!) It took all weekend to get this pieced and I am so glad its now finished and can be handed over to Mary this week! I hope she likes it!
Linking up to the Friday finishes.