Border Report #4 and Skinny Stems

It has been a while since my last report about the appliqué on the borders of my quilt about time. In the first border report, we talked about the design parameters of adding interest while maintaining unity. In the second one, we saw how this played out by using vines as a repeating element. The third report explained how I am creating the illusion that the appliqué twists over and under the outside edge. Now, we’ll return to the vines and learn how to stitch very skinny stems.

Before the next vine could go on, a number of shapes had to be applied first – three that go below the vine…

Border Patches 15-17

… and one that goes above the vine. Actually, that one shape was divided into two patches to make it easier to appliqué. To read more about this technique, check out the post Divide and Conquer Appliqué.

Border Patches 18-19

The vine itself measures about 1/8″ of an inch across.

Border Patches 15-20

So how can we appliqué a shape that is smaller than its seam allowance? Here’s how.

Cut out the shape with a regular, scant (3/16″) seam allowance and stitch down one side – preferably an inside curve.

Skinny stems first side

Lift up the patch to expose the first seam allowance …

Skinny stems first seam allowance

… and trim.

Skinny stems trim first seam allowance

To stitch the second side, fold the seam allowance in half as you needle-turn.

Skinny stems second side

Now you know why people often ask me if my appliqué is stuffed!

Skinny stems completed 2

At this point, the border is 36% complete with 20 patches (that repeat 16 times!). I was mistaken in thinking that there are 45 patches in the border – there are actually 55 for a total of 880. My goal is to complete the borders this summer. Think I can do it?


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