I taught my Seminole Sampler workshop a few weeks ago and after lunch Carmen showed me a photo of a recent quilt she’d made. It had a twisted ribbon border and she said it was such a pain to piece she only bordered it top and bottom.
I too attempted to use this border on a quilt years ago, and I gave up. But, as I looked at Carmen’s quilt, it occurred to me that I might be able to Seminole piece it. I was right! And it is much easier than it looks!
To begin, let me share what I call a simple Seminole border. It looks like a row of squares on point.
This may seem complicated, but the trick is strip piecing. Here’s the step-by-steps from my handout (with instructions in the caption):
Making the twisted ribbon border is fundamentally the same process, with one simple change. Here’s the quilt that resulted from this experiment:
And here’s how it’s done:
Choose 3 fabrics: a light background, a pretty ribbon fabric, and a fabric for the “back” of the ribbon. This border can be done many sizes, but to make a sample I used 2 1/2″ strips.
Cut: 2 light background strips, 1 ribbon strip and 1 back of ribbon strip.
Sew: a background strip to each side of the “back of ribbon” strip and press towards the dark.
Cross-cut pieces at 2 1/2″ (or whatever your original strip width was)
Measure these pieces (mine measured 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″), and cross-cut as many pieces from the ribbon fabric strip at this measurement as you are able. Lay out the seminole border, alternating the pieced units with the “ribbon” rectangles:
I hope you can see that the layout is the same as for the simple Seminole above, the only difference is that every other unit is a full piece of the “ribbon” fabric.
So how do you know how far to jog the top strip down when you sew the pairs together without seams to match up? Simply offset the end of the “ribbon” unit by 1/4″:
Flip the “ribbon” unit on top of the pieced unit and stitch into pairs:
To line up the pairs for stitching offset the lower end of the “ribbon” unit by 1/4″:
Flip and sew once again. To make “foursies”:
Continue in this manner until all the pairs are connected into a border strip. Then trim off the triangles on each side of the strip, 1/4″ from both sides of the “back of ribbon” squares (mine are the black squares):
Make sure your strip is a consistent width when you trim the second side.
Also, be careful with these trimmed strips because the long edges are all bias. I find it best to sew them to the quilt right away. If that’s not an option, stay stitching the long edges would be wise.
To square off the strip, cut squares from the background fabric (mine were 3″), then cut them in half diagonally:
Sew one to the end of each border strip:
Next week I’ll share how to make these borders fit on your quilt!!!
Leaving you with a smile!
I try not to include pics of my grandkids too often, but this week I just couldn’t resist. For those of you not in southeastern Wisconsin – it’s been a very unusual Autumn here. We had a blizzard on Halloween! And less than a week later we got hit with another 4″ of snow! The kids loved it. Trey and I made a snowman after school last Wednesday (he’s in 4K) and there were plenty of leaves stuck in the snow:
Then we got the great idea to swap heads with the pumpkin he helped me carve:
He breaks me up!