Monday, 26 September 2011

Sawtooth Quilt Block Borders

The sawtooth star is a perfect way to frame a quilt block and is not difficult to make.  It certainly gives something different to a sampler quilt if all the quilt blocks are framed with something other than plain sashing.  In the example shown I have made a 6” (finished size) quilt block to go in the middle.

The sawtooth border is made using four 6.1/2” by 3.1/2” rectangles in brown fabric and eight 3.1/2” squares in the red fabric. These are for the units on the sides known as flying geese units. You will also need four 3.1/2” brown squares for the corners.

With right sides together, place a red square on one end of the brown rectangle and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a seam along that line.

Trim the excess triangles (one in brown, one in red) about ¼” from the seam. Fold the other half of the red square over to fill the space left by trimming the triangles. In the right hand photo that means folding the red fabric up towards the top right corner.

Repeat with the other red square on the other side of the brown rectangle so that you have a flying geese unit as shown.  Make four of these.

You can now use these flying geese units to frame a 6” quilt block as shown. Sew one flying geese unit each to the top and bottom of the quilt block. Add a brown square to each end of the other two flying geese units and sew these extended units to the sides of the quilt block. You could add this border to any quilt block and it would give a theme to your quilt design even when every block is different.

That works fine for a 6” block and smaller, but what happens when you have a larger block to go in the middle? You could try making your flying geese units bigger but the whole unit would begin to look really unwieldy.

The answer is to slip in a few extra triangles. In the photo the central quilt block is 12” finished size. I made a lot of extra 3.1/2” half square triangle squares so that I could play around. That’s why the flying geese units are made using half square triangle units sewn together. That’s a perfectly acceptable way to make flying geese units, but it does give you an extra seam in the middle.

I have added an extra half square triangle on each end of each flying geese unit so that there are four half square triangles on each side. In each corner I have put a half square triangle square instead of a plain square and that gives a slightly circular look to the entire block.

As you can see, it is possible to put any 12” block or even a plain piece of fabric into the middle of this saw toothed edging. The possibilities are huge: photo blocks, memory blocks, autograph blocks can all be used instead of or as well as sampler blocks.

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Hope to see you again soon.

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