Do you get stuck for interesting ideas for quilt borders? The church window quilt block makes a great border that isn’t too difficult to make and gives a lovely finish to a quilt. It is usually shown as a square with a triangle at each end, but I have made it here as a pair of half square triangles with two squares for each block. The finished width of the border is 6″.
The church windows quilt block is the basis of Lucy Boston’s patchwork. She was a children’s author who made patchwork almost entirely from the one block. Her Patchwork of the Crosses is still regarded as one of the masterpieces of English quilting. It contains fifty six blocks so cleveryly designed that they all look completely different even though they all come from the same shape.
For this quilt border I have used bright colours with a black background to make the colours zing (technical term that!).
Each block is made using two 2.1/2″ squares in either yellow or red and one 2.7/8″ square each in black and either yellow or red. The blocks are 4″ finished size so you will need to check that your quilt length is a multiple of four to be able to make the border blocks in this size.
Making the church windows quilt block
Make half square triangles with the 2.7/8″ squares. Place a black square right sides together with a coloured square and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units from each pair of squares.
As a guide, if your quilt is 48″ long, you will need twelve church windows quilt blocks for the first two edges, so you will need twenty four plain squares and twenty four half square triangles for one edge.
Lay the squares out in fours with two plain squares diagonally opposite each other and two half square triangles diagonally opposite each other.
Sew the squares together in pairs and then sew all the pairs together until you have the required length.
You could use these blocks as they stand for a quilt border, but if you want to emphasise the stained glass effect, you could add a 1.1/2″ strip of black on the top and bottom of the strip – this is quite effective, but remember that it will make a difference to the measurements for your quilt border.
The photo at the top shows the border with black edging.
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