This week we come to the end of Jubilee. We’ll be stitching the outside borders and the corner blocks.
In many kinds of quilts, the border is further embellished by having the corners done in yet another quilt block pattern. The corners of Jubilee use different threads to make a basic Nine Patch block. The compound stitch used here creates the square patches while the different threads give the color variation.
Corner blocks are a nice tradition and they work well for needlepoint borders. One of the biggest advantages of them for the stitcher is that they make counting easy. When the border stitch does not meet at the corners, it does not have to be an even count. They also make it easier to use wide borders because they break up the solid nature of the border, keeping it from overwhelming the center of the design. Many painted canvases with complex borders use this idea to enliven the piece. Finally, they allow another opportunity for pattern and design.
For the corner blocks use:
- Watercolours Amethyst (1 strand)
- Shadow-dyed Spring II, 312S
- Cresta d’Oro C21
All the corner cross stitches are done in the metallic, while the main squares are stitched in either Watercolours or Spring II. Watercolours is used for the four corners and the center, while Spring II is used for the other squares.
The diagram for the block is below. The thick, solid lines are Watercolours, while the hollow lines are Spring II and the thin lines are Cresta d’Oro.
The inner border uses the same dark Splendor Silk (S881) used for the sashing (borders between blocks), stitched in a diamond pattern. Amish quilts often have wide borders of dark colors which are intricately quilted. The diamond pattern both mimics this kind of quilting and echoes many of the shapes already found in the piece.
The diamonds are made up of straight stitches of different lengths as is seen in the diagram bwlow. Use four strands of Splendor, stripped and recombined. Because the stitches are long, use a laying tool for best results. Work one side of the inner border at a time. Once a side and corner block are complete, add the narrow outer border.
Begin in the middle of each side with the longest stitch of one of the diamond-shaped blocks. Work this stitch in a row until the area is even with the end of the quilt. Then add the corner block. This sets the pattern for the border and centers it. Fill this half of the border and then repeat the process for the other end of this side.
The direction of the stitches should always point to the main portion of the quilt. This means that the top and bottom border will have vertical stitches and the right and left borders will have horizontal stitches.
When the wide inner border and corner blocks are complete on each side, stitch the outer border which is like the binding on a real quilt. Binding holds the layers of a quilt together and finishes the edge. Sometimes it is the same fabric as the backing and sometimes it is a color which harmonizes or contrasts nicely with the colors in the quilt. Binding is generally narrow and unobtrusive — it is the color which makes a difference.
The outer border is done in hot pink Cotton Plus and uses the Gobelin Stitch. The corners are mitered as in the diagram above. The bright pink looks great against the deep color of the inner border.
Follow the Entire Series
- Materials List
- Choosing Colors and Stitching Sashing
- Spool Block
- Dolley Madison Star
- Winged Square
- Morning Star
- Air Castle
- Star Cross
- Greek Cross
- Borders and Corners
Watch next week for a new project!