Friday, 21 November 2014

LE: Working On My Border Blocks

I'm working on another border today. I'm making LE out of turn (according to the pattern); so pattern wise this would be Part 12.
I just love these blocks and like all the blocks before and all the blocks to come, there is so much expression in the details. Today I'm focusing on the crosses which rest on a circle. Taking my cue from what I think are guardian angels 'guarding' these blocks, I assume they are crucifixes and that these blocks are an expression of spirituality or superstition of the maker. Of course, without some information regarding the life of the maker, we can only guess and those guardian angles might yet be candlesticks and these crosses just crosses... who knows?

I think we all personalise and create narratives that appeal to us based on the visuals available. Certainly, within the Yahoo BOM Group, I have seen many different interpretations of these borders are each and every one express the maker, and that's all any of us can hope for anyway - for the quilt to end up expressing us whilst paying homage to another. It's a very special process.
Before reaching this stage, I spent several days doing the prep work - yes, I'm talking prep again! Printing out all the pieces, cutting out all the pieces, lining them up alongside the selected fabric - if I posted all these details you'd completely lose interest, its a fairly dull routine of organisation which I have shown in earlier LE posts. All I can say about the preparation required is that it's a good idea to somehow try to enjoy all the 'build up' work because it makes the piecing together work fall into place so beautifully. One needs the other. If you start from the scratch point with every block, you will soon lose the will the finish - its just to much to take on in one step. Break it down and make each step neat, precise and ready to move on with. 
I snip between the cross, making a 'Y' shape at each corner of the curve
I use some Quilt Stitch glue at the corner of the fabric
and then saturate the middle fabric with Elmer's Disappearing Purple Glue
Using a manicure stick, I like to twirl it at the 'Y' cut of the corners, and this twirling motion moves the fabric very nicely to curl over the edge, it creates a very neat finish
like this
and repeat all the way around
This gives you a better idea of what I mean by twirling - the wetness of the glue and the motion of the twirl pushes out the fabric with little effort in your part 
and now the the tips are folded over, you use the tip of your manicure stick to stamp down the remaining edges all the way around the shape. The reason I twirl before stamping is that if you try to stamp the 'Y' cut corner, it can tug or buckle, creating a tiny but annoying crease; using the give in the fabric grain to turn for you, makes your shape smooth and its much faster and easier to actually do than it is to blog about - so don't be put off by the length of this post, it will come together quicker in real life after a few attempts. 
all turned and time for more glue
now I put down my background fabric and 'press' it into place with my fingers
Now I turn it over and using my manicure stick tip, I press in at the corners to really fix it down and ensure that everything is smooth and no bunching is evident. Now I will just mention that this shape is purposefully naive; it isn't supposed to be symmetrical or straight, it is supposed to look hand drawn like this. 
When I'm happy with the front, I add some more glue to the seam allowance and start tucking it in around the circle, like below. 
All done 
Now I dab a tiny circle of basting glue around this finished piece, ready to be put down in position
like this
and now I'm ready to create the next piece and they will remain in position until I'm ready for a few gentle weeks of hand sewing them into permanent position. 

After this border is complete I will be taking a pause from LE for a few weeks and working on some other projects as I am finding it so intensive, I need a short break to pace myself. I know many people have had periods of stopping and starting and stopping again and in my opinion - this shouldn't be seen as a negative thing - this is a quilt like no other and only a very select few (and I am not included in that number) have the stamina to start and finish it in one swoop! Narelle Birchall did and my goodness, am I in awe of her energy to have completed this quilt in time with the BOM release - it's a staggering feat! But for me, I need a LE holiday and I find that having just entered the birthday and holiday 'season' in my own household, my mind isn't focused on this as a priority (in terms of progress) for the next few weeks. 


  1. Thank you for a very educational and informative post Esther. I have one question though, where you show the glue dotted on the back of the circle it looks like you've already stitched the little cross part to the darker blue underneath, which make sense to me. Is that correct?

    1. This is a new reply because I misread your comment. Yes, I hand stitched the front fabric to the blue background on the inner tucked in seam of the cross before putting it down.

  2. Great tutorial. Thanks so much.

  3. Dear Esther thanks so so much for the tutorial. I was procrastinating over those crosses but now it has given me a direction to think about, I can not use the glue but it sure has given me food for thought now. Glenda PS it was great having so many photos stepping us through this stage it was worth all you time you spent doing it for us.

  4. Esther you always make things look so easy. Amazing tutorial. I will also one day get back to my LE.
    Hugs Bunny

    1. Oh Bunny I'm about to take a breather too :)

  5. As for breaks from Love Entwined, I'm taking one myself to make a five-year overdue wedding quilt for my son and his bride, and a baby quilt for their second child, a granddaughter this time around.

  6. You always make it look so easy, Esther. Once all my holiday company is gone (and I'll miss them), I'll be able to get back to my LE. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Thank you for posting the link to this on Facebook. I was looking at the photos yesterday, trying to figure out how you did it, and your description definitely helps! Your tutorials are amazing.....8)


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