Saturday, May 3, 2014

Quilting a figure 8 in a border

I continue to quilt my Piccadilly to the Nines. There is a striped border on either side of the hourglass blocks and today I quilted the inner border. I decided to go with a figure 8 motif and rather than the planned gold thread I again used my green variegated Fantastico thread from Superior.

I am particularly fond of the figure 8 design in borders. I like the way it flattens the fabric and the design that shows on the back is pleasing to the eye (well my eye at least)! In the picture below the figure 8 is quilted in the horizontal border and it is nice and flat. The vertical border is unquilted and it has a little "puff" to it.

Figure 8s are quite easy to quilt  and thought I would share with you how I do it in case you would like to try it out. The first thing I like to do is to mark a line along the center of the border strip with a fabric safe marker. The border in Piccadilly to the Nines is striped so I was able to use the gold stripe that was in the middle. My corners are mitered so I started at the outer corner of the miter.

I will start my quilting at the dot that is near the outer corner and I make the bottom half of the 8.

I stitch small 8's that grow in size until I get close to the top edge of the border.

From this point on I will stitch 8's that fill the space. I stitch the loop making sure to cross my stitching just above the middle line for the upper loop and just below the middle line for the lower loop.

HELPFUL TIP: I like to keep my hands relatively close to my work so I can control the loops and curves so this means I need to stop and reposition frequently. I always stop in the same spot so when I am ready to start quilting again I know direction to go! Pick the spot that works the best for you; for me it is just past the top loop of the 8 headed toward the middle point in the border.

Here you can see I've stopped with the needle down. I'll smooth my quilt and reposition my hands so that I can start quilting again.

I stitch in this way until I am almost at the opposite end of the border strip.

I make the 8's gradually smaller to fill the space and the last loop I stitch is always the bottom half of the 8 so that I can join it up with the other side.  You can see how the corner will look when it is stitched.

I used the figure 8's to fill in the center row of elongated hexagons in my Mom's Anna quilt.

The next step is to quilt the outer striped border and it is the final border. I find quilting that area can be challenging, especially when I get close to the raw edge of the border but I've got some ideas about how to manage it so it goes smoothly. I'll try them out tomorrow and let you know what I did and how it worked!

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. Just Beautiful Karen! Great job on the quilting.

  2. You're getting through thhis quilt!! It looks great!!! Do you stitch in the ditch as well? - that's what always slows me down?

  3. Your quilting is looking great Karen! That variegated thread is really blending in nicely.

  4. Love the 8 pattern - it looks beautiful and especially in your thread choice.

  5. You make it look so easy...:) Love your quilt.

  6. How neat you go around the corner. Thanks for the tut!

  7. Love your figure eights....I also appreciate the mini tutorial...THANKS!

  8. Thanks for the tutorial, it's so helpful to see how you produce these lovely patterns.

  9. More great tips, especially about stopping in the same place. I'll be giving your tips a try on my next quilt.