Stacked Brick Quilt Border

This is a border I’m currently adding to my medallion quilt.  I couldn’t find a tutorial on it, or a name for it, so I just figured it out. Here’s what we’re making.

I’m demonstrating a border that is 3″ wide unfinished, 2.5″ finished. To begin, pick two colors; one that will run up the middle of the border, and one that will be on either side of the middle block.

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We will be cutting rectangles @ 2.5″wide x 2″ tall.  We need twice as many rectangles of the outside color as we do the middle block color.  Exactly how many depends on how long your borders are.

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Next, sew the rows together,  green/black/green in this case. You can string these along as you stitch, pressing seams as you go.

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Lay the borders as show below.  We’re starting to shape the way the border will look.

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As you sew the rows together, it will be very important that the seam on the left of each row ends up exactly at the mid point of the middle block (black in this case) in the row above it.  To ensure this happens, take a fabric marker and make a tiny dot at the midpoint of the middle block, along the bottom edge.  Do this at the bottom of every center block.

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Next, line up the left seam of the row below the dot, right sides together, with the dot above it. Hopefully, you can see the tiny white dot in this picture, lined up with the seam.

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Continue sewing as many rows together as it takes to get the desired border length, always matching seam to dot.  In this demo, we now have a unit of 5 rows sewn together.  Your border will likely have many more rows.  You’re ready to trim. Take your ruler, and line up the 1/4″ line of the ruler along the top right corners of the middle blocks (black).  We need to cut 1/4″ away from those corners, not on them.

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Note that on the top row, the 1/4″ line will actually fall 1/4″ down from the top edge of that particular row.  That’s to allow for your 1/4″ seam.

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OK, if it’s all lined up, you’re ready to trim.  But what if all those corners are not lined up; what if they are not all falling on that 1/4″ line along your ruler? Now what?  Now you need to measure each row.  Someone is not sitting at mid point of the row above it!  You need to find that devil and unsew/resew that seam.  With any luck at all, it’s just one row.  This is why that little white dot is so important.  The left seam and the white dot must line up.  It is a very good idea to stop sewing every 4 or 5 rows, and check your alignment of those corners.  It’s easier to correct on a smaller scale, I believe.  And of course, your original cutting and sewing of seams has to be accurate.

Ok, we’re all lined up.  The 1/4″ line is resting along those top right corners of the middle block. You are ready to trim along your ruler.

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Flip your border and line up the other side in the same manner, and trim again.

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That should do it!  This particular tutorial yielded us a border that is 8″ x 3″ unfinished.

Note the nice 1/4″ seam allowance you have there on the sides!  Try not to catch those points as you sew your border onto your pretty quilt.

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Enjoy!

Debbie

Some more info…. I can give you some more estimates relative to the length of these things.  Using rectangles that are 2.5″ high x 2.75″ wide for the center block, and 2.5″ high x 2.25″ wide for the 2 outer blocks, I can tell you that 20 strips will yield a border that is 3.5″ wide x  46″ long.  36 strips will yield a 3.5″ x 85″ border.   I did make the outer blocks a little less wide this go around as I thought there was a little bit more waste than necessary when I cut them all the same size.  The outer blocks can be slightly narrower, but the height must remain the same for all three in each strip.   Make a trial strip from scraps!

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