Hopefully the light isn't a train at the end of the tunnel! The two side borders are stitched, embroidered, soaked, pressed and ready to apply. Only the top border stands between me and getting this quilt assembled and ready for quilting.
I am waiting until all four borders are stitched before attaching to the body of the quilt.
I spent some time over the weekend picking out the fabric bits for that final top border. My "little bits" boxes make this process a little easier.
I have two bits boxes for each color, one 4 x 6 inch size and a larger one that is 5 x 7 (boxes are photo boxes by Iris, available at JoAnn's).
When I first set up the bits boxes, I cut a rectangle, sloppily by hand with scissors, from favorite fabrics roughly 5 x 7. Then every time I cut out a piece, the rectangle in the larger box gets smaller and little scraps start filling the smaller box.
This works well for me and saves time. Larger applique pieces like apples, pears, wedding rings are cut from the larger piece in the bigger box, then the scraps (like the center of a wedding ring motif) get put away in the smaller box.
I know it sounds fussy and tedious, but over time I have a good system. The smaller bits are good for grapes, berries, individual petals, leaves, etc.
They are quickly and easily sorted through and manipulated with my large beading tweezers. This really helps me and my post cat bite, post surgery, dumb, swollen, crooked index finger that is quite useless at picking through and gripping little fumbly things (tweezers purchased from Amazon.com).
Then I had a long session of trimming and gluing the scant edges under with a good DVD to watch. There were 321 pieces in this top border alone! It will measure somewhere around 56-inches long.
I build some of the units, like the more complicated flowers, right over the pattern, before attaching them to the border fabric using my light box (I remove the freezer paper pattern pieces before attaching).
I love my vintage pattern weights, but sometimes a larger, weighty surface is needed to secure pieces until the glue baste is dry. I use a very small plexi-glass ruler to cover motif area...
...then I pile the heavy little weights on top until things are flat and secure...kind of looks like a clump of grapes.
Here is a look at the same thing, without the distracting glare of the light box.
The pattern weights and a straight line drawn with a washable, blue Clover pen keep my 56-inch long vellum pattern properly aligned with my fabric border strip over my light box and I can scoot things from side to side as I work over the lit surface.
Cupcakes with no calories! I really like using cupcake papers to sort applique bits awaiting glue basting. I can lift them out of a cupcake pan and they are light weight and easy to work with on my work surface.
Again, use of my beading tweezers to apply pieces makes handling the fussy pieces MUCH easier as I glue baste into place.
And here is the final top border...all ready to start stitching! I am watching the episodes of "Series of Unfortunate Events" on Netflix and "Victoria" on PBS. It makes all that hand stitching ever so pleasant!