Simple yet effective free-pieced border for baby quilt

Yesterday on QUILTsocial, I showed you the AMAZING pivot feature and width control feature on THE Dream Machine 2 that allows you to machine applique with ease!

Today, I’ll use a fun free-piecing technique to make a striped border for our sea creature baby quilt and assemble all of the parts together.

THE Dream Machine 2

The first step is to trim the appliqued and embroidered blocks to 6½” x 8″ using a rotary cutter and ruler.

Trimming the blocks

Green sashing

Next, cut and sew green sashing fabric as follows:

1. Cut two strips that are 3″ x WOF (width of fabric). From these, cut eight strips that are 3″ x 8″.

Sew one 3″ x 8″ strip to the right side of each of the appliqued rectangles. Sew three of these units together to make two rows. Sew one 3″ x 8″ strip to the left side of each of these rows.

Adding sashing strips

2. Cut four strips that are 1½” x WOF.

Measure the width of the rows made in step 1 and cut these four strips this exact length. Sew one to the top and bottom of each of the rows.

Adding top and bottom sashing

White sashing

Cut white sashing fabric into four strips that are 2″ x WOF. I’ve cut each of these the exact length as the pieced rows and now will use THE Dream Machine 2 to sew one to the top and bottom of each of the rows.

White sashing strips

Free-pieced blue border

For my free-pieced border, I’m using an assortment of blue ColorWorks solid fabrics from Northcott. I love this assortment because it makes me think of the ocean in Greece when I was on my honeymoon!

Blue ColorWorks solid fabrics

First cut six rectangles from each color that are roughly 4″ x 7″. Cut each rectangle in half from top to bottom on an angle. Try to vary the angle slightly for each rectangle.

Cut rectangles on an angle

Arrange them in a row, so that it runs somewhat straight. Because of all of the different angles, you won’t be able to make it perfect, so don’t worry! We have some wiggle room!

The nice thing about the ColorWorks solids is that they have no right or wrong side, so you can flip them over if you need a certain angle to keep your row running straight.

Arranging the angled strips

Now sew the angled strips together to make one long row.

Sometimes you’ll find that a seam between two wedge shapes needs to be wider at one end than the other to make sure that the row ends up fairly straight. That’s OK – just trim off the excess seam fabric before you press.

Sewing the strips together

Here’s my finished row. As you can see, it definitely isn’t straight!

The finished row

Trim one edge of the row so that it’s straight and then cut two narrow border strips that are about 2½” wide along the length of this pieced strip.

Don’t worry if your strip is curvier and you can’t cut your rows 2½” wide, just make sure that they are straight and cut them as wide as you can, making sure that the two narrow borders are the same width.

The narrow border strips

Sew these two borders end to end and then cut it into three sections that are all the same width as the appliqued rows and sew one to the top of each of your appliqued row and one to the bottom of the bottom row. Now sew the two large sections together.

The outer borders

Now cut your white outer border (same fabric as the white sashing) into four strips that are 4″ x WOF.

Measure the length of the quilt and cut two borders this exact length. Sew them to the left and right side of the quilt. Press.

Measure the width of the quilt and cut the remaining two borders this exact length. Sew them to the top and bottom of the quilt. Press.

The outside border

Here’s the finished quilt top! Isn’t it cute?

The finished top

The binding

Cut your binding fabric into four strips that are 2½” x WOF. Sew these together end to end with a mitred join and them press in half lengthwise.

Pro-TIP Make your binding as soon as you finish making your quilt top and store them together until the quilt top has been quilted. This way you won’t accidentally use that fabric for another project!

The binding

Thanks for hanging out with me this week on QUILTsocial and I hope you like the sea creatures baby quilt! I’m super sad that I now have to return the ScanNCut2 – I could think of a million things to use it for. Maybe I’ll have to get myself a little birthday present!

I’ve got one month left to play with THE Dream Machine 2 – see you in June!

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: 2 features on THIS sewing machine make machine applique a breeze!

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1 comment

Lori Morton June 6, 2018 - 9:13 pm
Thank you for all this info!! This baby quilt is AWESOME!! Love how you did these borders..and plan to try soon :)
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