I have finally finished all the blocks for the farm girl vintage quilt I have worked on for the past year. I will show once its complete in another post. For this quilt I didn’t feel like going with the standard background. of prairie points or flying geese whatever you want to call them.
I am talking about the red points the arrows point to.
So I decided to make my ribbon border, out of quarter square triangles. Only I didn’t want to put them out one by one because I am going to need to make over a hundred and ain’t nobody got time for that.
So I figured out how to make them in bulk. I thought I would share what I figured out so you wont need to reinvent the wheel. I highly suggest making one practice piece first. You will need 30 min + to make this and 4 fabrics.
To do this I got out some practice fabric. I wanted to make my ribbon border so that I could use the ribbon to transition the inner border white color to the outer border yellow color. This means on one side of the ribbon I wanted yellow to show as the background and on the other side of the ribbon I wanted white to show as the background.
This is a photo of my main ribbon colors dark pink with swirls (A), and the back side of the ribbon (the twisted part) will be light pink with white stars (B). For this to would you need to make sure you know which colors you are using for which part or you are going to get confused write it down with a fabric swatch next to it if you have to.
For the inner background (think facing the center of the quilt) I want the white with the words love written on it (C). For the outer background (facing the edges of the quilt) I wanted yellow with flowers (D). If you want the same background on either side just ignore the steps with the yellow fabric and it will turn out.
Now a little note on sizing so far I have made 3/4 inch and 2 inch COMPLETED quarter square triangles (this means size after being sewn together. Individual sizes are 1 and a quarter inch and 2 and a half inches.
To make these first you are going to need to cut out strips of one of your background fabrics and your ribbon backside. As shown in the picture. Each cut strip will be as long as you want and 1/4 of an inch larger than you want the COMPLETED quarter square triangles to be. So if you want 2 inches square sewn you are going to want to make 2 and a half inch squares and 2 and a quarter inch strips. Got all that? I know it’s a mouthful but all fabrics will need to cut to this same measurement so once you got the measurement you are good to go no more measuring. Plan on cutting out half as many strips from your background colors as you would for your ribbon colors. You will not need your main ribbon color (A) until later so you can cut those and put them aside for now.
So once you finish you should have one giant square of alternating ribbon backside (B) strips and inner background (C) strips and a giant square of ribbon backside (B) strips and outer background (D) strips. Cutting and sewing enough strips together so that you have a square is somewhat important because you will cut these square perpendicular to the strips. So if you only put two together you end up with very short strips you have to sew together and that is a waste of time. Cut both giant squares the same way.
The result should look like the picture. I know it doesn’t look like much now but it’s coming. Get out the main ribbon color (A) strips you have put aside and sew one on either side of the alternating colored strips. Here is a picture of what one of the strip sets should look like.
You can create more layers if you want but unless you have a very accurate 1/4 inch sewing line when making these strips I do not suggest as the lower squares may or may not line up and that is a waste of fabric.
Now it is important to note when you are cutting these always cut starting from the same side of the strips. For example this image shows two strips one starts with white and one starts with pink. After sewing these into blocks such that they were alternating I noticed that the resulting quarter square triangles were facing different directions. Meaning the ribbon would twist in the opposite direction when assembled. If this is something you want then go for it. By all means do this on purpose. I however did not want this for what I was doing. so I made a note to always have my sets assembled so they were in the same direction.
Now that your pieces are assembled its time to cut down first cut across the strip at a 45 degree angle such that the cut line went across the opposing corners of the ribbon background fabric as shown in the picture.
This is what your sub strips should now look like.
Note picture has example of one sub strip containing background fabric C and one example from the sub strip containing background fabric D.
Now that you should have a stack of these we are going to cut them again. This time 45 degrees along the background fabric in the opposite direction like the little blue lines show in the picture.
Here is a picture of what your quarter square triangle pieces should look like. Note how the ribbon background is always to the left and the background fabrics are always to the right.
To assemble into a ribbon border like up the pieces such that the inner and outer borders are facing the inner and outer borders on your quilt. They should alternate as in the image. Images have examples of the 2 inch and the 3/4 inch sizes.
So what do you think was this more helpful or confusing?
If you want to know how to assemble these once you have some cut out and more tips head over to ribbon tutorial part 2