What happens to your quilt design when you just cannot get the borders to be the size you need them to be for adding pieced border blocks? Example: You want to add 5″ border blocks. The top and bottom, as well as the side borders, just before the pieced border would have to end up being a multiple of 5.
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OK! It’s been a while since I mentioned my books so . . now we can get on with the blog post! 🙂
There are probably multiple ways to do it but when working with Electric Quilt, this is how I do it.
This is Addie’s layout. The pieced border, #4, is made up of 5″ finished blocks. I would need border #3 to be a multiple of 5 for this to work out. Sometimes I can easily get them to work out and sometimes I can only get one, and sometimes I can’t get either of them to work out.
In this case, there’s a blank square in between the pieced squares. I can make those blank squares all the same size, but a bit larger or smaller (and then they wouldn’t really be squares but let’s not get technical!), or I can just make the two end blocks different.
For Addie’s quilt, I’m going to make all the blank squares the same size. Here’s how I figured it. If you want to throw your hands up and say “I hate math” . . that’s your choice, but it’s really easy and just a few simple steps.
- The side borders need to be 78″ finished.
- 78 divided by 5 (because I’m using 5″ blocks) = 15.6.
- I need an odd number of blocks so I will use 15 blocks on each side border.
- That means I’ll have 8 plain blocks and 7 pieced blocks.
- The pieced blocks are going to be 5″ x 5″. No way to easily fudge on those.
- 7 pieced 5″ blocks = 35″.
- 78 minus 35 = 43.
- Those 8 remaining blocks must equal 43″.
- 43 divided by 8 = 5.375 (or 5-3/8″).
- Add the 1/4″ seam allowance for both sides = 1/2 inch = 4/8.
- 5-3/8″ + 4/8″ seam allowance = 5-7/8″.
- I will cut the plain blocks 5-1/2″ x 5-7/8″.
- 8 blocks that finish at 5.375 = 43″.
- 7 blocks that finish at 5″ = 35″.
- 35 + 43 = 78.
Pretty easy, wouldn’t you say? Maybe it takes more than just a few steps but really, it took me longer to write that out than it takes to do the math. 🙂