I promised that I would share how to stitch the border design I used in D’s quilt. You know, the one I messed up but ended up liking better than the one I had originally planned. 🙂

Ruler work on Borders of quilt

It’s a fun design and pretty easy to do. Note that it will take four passes on each border to complete the design. I know that sounds a bit intimidating, but it really isn’t because it works up so quickly. I also want to point out that anyone can create this border no matter what machine is being used – domestic, sit-down, or longarm on a frame. As long as you have a ruler foot and a straight ruler you are good to go. So let’s go!

Step 1 – Mark your border. Yes, you will need to make some registration marks. It takes a few minutes but it’s worth the time. To begin I measured the length of the border. I then determined the best number to divide that length into so I would have equal spaces. For example, if my border is 50″ long, I know that I can mark every 5″ and end up with 10 even spaces. If I want the design to be really elongated then I could mark every 10″ and have 5 equally sized spaces. For D’s quilt, I wanted smaller spaces so I marked every 4-1/2″.

Registration Marks for Funky Border
The top of this graphic is the outer edge of the border. Registration marks are made 1/2″ from the edge.

I used chalk to mark lines every 4-1/2″. I then made three marks evenly spaced between the seam of the border and the outer edge. You can see that the marks on the outer edge don’t go all the way to the edge of the border. I marked 1/2″ on the inside so I would have room for the binding and the design would not be cut off. If you are quilting this on an inner border you would mark to both seam line edges.

Step 2 – Stitch the first pass as shown. It doesn’t matter whether you start on the left or the right side. I always start stitching from left to right. I guess because I’m right handed, maybe? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. Start with whichever end you’re comfortable with.

Remember – your stitch line will be 1/4″ away from the edge of the ruler because of the ruler foot. So, when placing the ruler you will want to put the ruler 1/4″ away from the mark and not right against it (see pic below).

How to stitch funky border design
Step 2 – Stitch first pass

Step 3 – Now you can reverse direction and stitch the second pass (shown in red).

Stitching funky border design
Step 3 – Stitch the second pass

Step 4 – Now you get to do it all again, reverse direction and stitch the third pass (Shown in red). By now you’re feeling comfortable and confident and I hope you are seeing how it is going to look.

Stitching the funky border design
Step 4 – Stitch the third pass

Step 5- And finally, you can reverse direction and stitch the fourth pass (shown in red). Yay!

Stitching the funky border design
Step 5 – Stitch the fourth and final pass

This is what the final design looks like:

Stitching the funky border design
Final quilted design

You can make this design your own by putting your own spin on it. Like, what would it look like if you added matchstick quilting along the two outside edges of the design? Or filled in the diamond shapes, large and small, with pebbles or swirls or figure 8’s? Or echoed the two inner or two outer lines…or maybe all four of them? Ooh, what if we used a slightly curved ruler for all the lines instead of a straight one??

See, the possibilities are endless. Just writing this has me excited to jump on the machine and stitch out some different variations!

If you try this I would love to see your quilt, so let me know. And I would love to see or hear about any variations you come up with. Now go! Go forth and quilt – Be Fearless!! 🙂