So far you should have little strips of three blocks each, all in random color combinations. You should have a pieced three with a border in the tree background fabric around the edge so it measures 20.5” square. You also have some outer borders and small corner squares you cut in week one.
Time to put these pieces together.
STEP 1: Divide Strips into Rows
Your three color strips were stacked up in their sets of three during week one. Grab that stack. As you can see in the image above, we need to divide these strips into four inner scrappy border sets. I just started with the top of my stack separating them into four rows. This ensured that each of the “like” color combinations ended up in a different row. That means the first three rows have a like combination scrappy strip, then row four starts a new combination scrappy strip. After row four I started back at row one. So the second color combination ended up in rows four, one and two. Keep going from here.
As you can see in the image above, two of rows, the right and left inner scrappy border need 10 strips each. The top and bottom inner scrappy borders need 16 strips each. I made some extra strips in the beginning to play around with color combinations…those are just thrown on the side. You can ignore those.
After you get your strips divided out, move them around and turn them as necessary to ensure that like colors or fabrics have some distance between them.
STEP 2: Clip the Rows Together
The basic concept is to match your seams and sew your rows together to create the borders. If you have done this before, then you may have a “favorite” way to keep your strips in order. With my ADHD, I find it VERY helpful to clip them all together before I ever go to the sewing machine.
In the image above, I am clipping each one to the strip. The image above shows me clipping the first strip to the second. The image just below, shows that I folded the two clipped strips over onto the third strip and clipped it next.
The image just below shows what one border edge looks like all clipped together.
STEP 3: Head to the Sewing Machine
NOTE: Once I get to the sewing machine, I do remove the clips one row at a time and PIN the seams together correctly so that when I sew them, my corners line up. Again, if you have a favorite way, go for it. This just helps me stay in order if I get easily distracted…which I often do! You can see that they are pinned in the image just below.
STEP 4: Press Seams Open
In the image below, I have just finished sewing all the strips together to complete the border and now it is time to press all my seams open. I do use Best Press for quilt tops with small pieces like this. It allows me to get nice crisp seams. Repeat by sewing all four borders together and pressing seams open.
STEP 5: Sew Right and Left Borders to Tree
Next, we need to sew the right and left borders (the ones with ten rows of combination strips) to the sides of the tree. Pin along the edges to secure the border in place and match seams where appropriate. When sewing the border to the tree I place it under the foot so that the scrappy border is on top.
STEP 6: Press Seams Open
After the side borders are sewn, press the seams open.
STEP 7: Sew the Top and Bottom Borders On
Matching seams, sew to the top and bottom borders (the ones with sixteen rows of combination strips) to the just completed section of tree with the right and left borders. Press seams open.
STEP 8: Sew Small 2.5” Squares to Their Border Strips
Gather your four outer border strips and small corner pieces cut in week one. On two of the longer 32.5” x 2.5” pieces sew the small 2.5” squares to either end. Press the seams open.
STEP 9: Sew Two Outer Border Strips On
The two remaining longer 32.5” x 2.5” strips are the first two borders to sew on. I sewed mine to the top and bottom of the completed section of tree and inner scrappy border.
Press the seams open.
STEP 10: Sew the Remaining Two Outer Borders On
Sew the two longer outer strips with the smaller 2.5” squares on either end to the remaining two sides of the mini quilt. Match seams and pin. Sew and then press seams open.
Okay, so next week, Week 4, is our week to quilt. I certainly can’t stop you if you want to be an over achiever and start quilting now, but next Wednesday, I will post some quilting ideas. See you there!
Remember to post photos on IG using @jitterywings so I can see your awesome creations!