Spring Quilt-a-Long: Borders and Layering

Good Morning, Quilters!

By the end of today we will have a pieced quilt top and a quilt sandwich, ready for (my favorite part) quilting!

Yesterday, we completed the HST triangles and stitched all the rows together.

Today:  Borders and Layering the Quilt Sandwich


The Spring Sampler has top and bottom borders only–of course, YOU should be your own designer!

Measuring and Cutting the Borders:


My sisters are both excellent quilters and they do not like my method…Use the method that works best for you…

(If it’s my method be sure to comment–so my sisters see who is always right.

If you like their method better–HUSH!  We don’t want them to start a competitive blog…)

MY SISTERS’ METHOD  Measure across the middle, measure across each edge–find the average and cut the border the average width.


I use a no-mark border method for all of my quilt borders–from very large to very small.

In my not-always-humble opinion, or maybe it’s just me…taking three measurements can induce error.

Press the top well.

Lay it out on a table–very straight.  (If the quilt is large, fold it in half lengthwise and fold the border in half lengthwise)

Align the border on a horizontal line in the middle of the quilt.  It must very straight.

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy

Trim the sides even with the edges of the quilt top.

That’s it!  Perfect border size!

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy

Place the border on the quilt top, right sides together.  Pin the edges, then the middle and ease the border onto the quilt top.

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy


When I auditioned the border fabric, it seemed perfect…but once it was stitched in place, I wasn’t so sure…

I hate when that happens…

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy

Maybe it was too wide…

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy

Even folded over to a narrower width, it wasn’t singing to me.

Darn it!

I unstitched it and added a solid border.

The solid border looks a little boring now, but once we add the magic of machine quilting…

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy


Cut the backing fabric 2-3 inches larger than the quilt top.  (More if it’s a large quilt).

Prep the backing by pressing well with a little spray starch or sizing.  This will help the quilt slide while machine quilting.

Secure it–right side down–to a table top.  Use tape or clamps.

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy

Cut the batting the same size as the backing.

I used Warm and Natural (The Warm Company) cotton batting for my first Spring Sampler and am trying Warm and Plush for this one.  Warm and Plush is described as “the warmest natural quilt batting”–“Perfect for loved ones that can never seem to get warm”–yep, that’s me!!

It will be interesting to see how they compare.

I did not pre-soak either one. (Another day’s comparison.)

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy

Layer the batting on top of the backing.

Place the quilt top in the center.

Baste the quilt top with pins or spray.

I used Sulky KK2000-It’s odorless, clear and non-toxic.  I felt comfortable using it indoors.  KK 2000 is a temporary spray–it only lasts a few days…but I have found it helps hold things together for a lot longer when I’m quilting a small project.

Spray the back of the batting. Smooth it over the backing.

Spray the top of the batting.  Layer your quilt on top and smooth.

Do not press the quilt top–Ironing removes the adhesive.

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy


Our blank canvas is ready to quilt!!!

Spring Quilt-a-Long, Lori Kennedy

We will start next Tuesday.

Be ready.

Have YOUR quilt sandwich prepared!

Speaking of prepared sandwiches…

Here’s What Gaby’s cooking!  Looks delicious!

And my daughter made these Moroccan Chicken Skewers said they were fabulous, too!

I must be hungry again…maybe I should eat a better breakfast?


PS… All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

Quilting with Annie Smith-Applique

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

Good Morning, Quilters!

One of the perks of being a BERNINA Ambassador is attending a yearly “Reunion” at BERNINA’s HQ in Illinois.  We learned all kinds of new things and got to try all the latest sewing machine models.  But–the best part–meeting other BERNINA Ambassadors who have a wide range of interests:  quilting, embroidery, home decoration, clothing construction….


At my first Reunion, I met the very talented quilter, Annie Smith.  Annie has many quilting skills and started the first-ever podcast for quilters.  Check out her website, Annies Quilting Stash–(be sure you’ve already done your daily dose of exercise, because you will be lost in her site for hours!)

One of Annie’s skills is machine appliqué.  I convinced her to let me quilt one of her blocks as a demo for YOU, gentle readers of The Inbox Jaunt. 

This was the step-by-step process–perhaps it will give you some guidance for your next project.


STEP ONEHang the quilt where you can look at it frequently.  This really helps you visually absorb the pattern.  Your sub-conscience can work on it too! (I get some of my best ideas during the night.)

STEP TWO-Avoid this step if possible–Worry that you will ruin the block with your machine quilting….AND it’s not even YOUR own block you will be ruining…This lingers and no work will be accomplished until…

STEP THREE-Set a Deadline-This poor block languished for weeks until I made a deadline.  This works most of the time for me…

STEP FOUR-Perform a leading task–A leading task is some easy, mundane task that will not cause permanent damage to the quilt…choosing thread is a great one…you get to play with thread and color….These tasks really help draw you in and get things rolling…

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

STEP FOUR-Start stabilizing or outlining the motifs.  This is just another “leading task”–it’s not creative, and no damage to the gorgeous appliqué block with this step. I like to outline each motif using a closely matched thread.  I stitch on the background fabric–not the edge of the appliqué itself.  This helps the appliqué pop up a little.

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

(You can see the placement of the gold stitches around the gold appliqué in the photo below.)

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

STEP FIVE-Begin adding motifs around the appliqué. This is when quilting becomes DANGEROUS-especially when you are working on an award-winning quilter’s block!  Your heart is racing…you’re sure you are ruining it…oh dear, dear, dear!

The upside–you will keep your deadline…and that is the only upside at this point.

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

STEP SIX-Echo stitching and layering in more details.

Okay, okay…things are starting to look okay…not an epic fail…


STEP SEVEN-Turn on music.  This is starting to be fun…I think she might like it….

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

Phew!  I like it!

STEP EIGHT-Mail it back and cross your fingers that YOUR vision was HER vision….

Annie Smith, Applique, Machine Quilting

STEP NINE-Phone call from Annie–she loves it!

Will I collaborate with her on a larger piece for show???


What could I say?  When’s the deadline?

Happy Applique/Quilting!


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!