Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:
Designing an Applique Border

I began designing an applique border for a guild raffle quilt. Another member & I are planning the next raffle quilt for our biennial quilt show. We've decided to make a simple nine patch with alternating plain squares. The Applique Club has been asked to make borders for the quilt, so I have gotten involved. The pizzazz in the quilt will come from the small inner and outer borders.

Since the quilt show is in the spring, we are looking for bright, crayon colored blocks that members will be asked to make. The light fabric is purchased, providing continuity throughout the quilt top. Several ideas came to mind for the applique shapes - vines with flowers, hearts, birds. I planned an initial design to present at the show committee meeting and everyone liked the idea of flowers and the bluebirds I had drawn. Springy colors and designs were suggested from my original darker shades, additional ideas came to mind. The final draft of the applique design has tulips, stylized roses, leaves and berries, two bluebirds with a tulip between them and a heart beneath them. The quilt top should be fresh and colorful, just like a spring garden in bloom. My fellow guild member and I are excited about the final results.

The plan is to have four guild members take borders to work on at home or in a small group. Therefore, the design will only run along the sides of the quilt, and not turn the corners. Here are line drawings of my design. The two photos connect together and they create only one half of the image, as the other half will be a mirror image. The border will be twelve inches wide and is drawn full size onto freezer paper, which will be used for a placement guide. The central design motif is the three flowers, which will not repeat. This design will run along the side borders, while the top and bottom borders will have the bluebirds as the central image and mirror only the stylized rose and tulips.


Next, I will need to prepare templates and guidelines for the Applique Club members to use while stitching their borders. How exciting that after just two years with our guild club, we are beginning to do more than just make our own projects. I am honored that our group was asked to participate in this guild project.

Happy Designing!

Published Sat, May 18 2013 9:01 PM by Pamela


# re: Designing an Applique Border@ Monday, March 17, 2014 6:52 AM

Pretty. I am in process of doing my 1st applique on my 1st quilt on the backing. Nervous but excited. Love your design.