Nancy was right. I’ve practiced to the point where I really enjoy free motion quilting and so I’d rather do some fancy quilting in a border than fancy piecing:
But, as I’ve been told, not everyone feels about free mo as I do. So, what do you do if you want to add a little more zip than straight line quilting? Years ago I learned a slick way to do simple cable borders. The marking is easy. The machine guided stitching is easy. The cables will fit your border. And, since you’re along the outside edge, it can easily be done on a large, bed quilt!
1. Cut out a piece of freezer paper the size of the border area you want to fill along one side and without including the corners. This strip will work for all 4 sides on a square quilt. For a rectangular quilt you’ll need to cut 2 freezer paper strips, one for the width and one for the length.
2. Fold a strip in half, quarters, etc. until you get to a size that would make a nice single cable (my sample was folded quite a few times and will make a chubby cable). If you’re doing a length and a width, try to get both to about the same folded up size (close is good enough). You may need to do thirds instead of halves when folding one of the strips to get them even.
3. Make a mark 1/2″ from the bottom on the left of the front fold and 1/2″ from the top on the right. Draw an “S” to attach them.
4. Cut along the line through all the folded layers.
5. Open and press the shiny side of one of the strips onto one border along the inside edge (set the matching strip aside).
6. Stitch along the curved edge of the paper, being careful not to stitch through it. Remove the paper.
7. Press the same freezer paper strip over the stitched border, but along the raw edge this time (be sure to leave space for the binding).
8. Stitch once again, remove the paper, repeat for remaining borders and then use your imagination to connect the lines in the corners.
Please give it a try and let me know what you think :).