MACHINE QUILTING – HOW TO QUILT ROPE BORDERS



Machine quilted rope border

Machine quilted rope border

 

Machine quilted rope or cable borders on your quilt are traditional designs that always look superb but are not as difficult to quilt as they might appear to be.  They do take practice, though, so be prepared to have several attempts on sample blocks before you try this on a quilt.

 

 

I have written a separate article about how to design a rope border if, like me, you find that plastic templates are never the right size.  You can find this article on machine quilted rope borders design.

Quilting the rope border

Machine quilted rope border

Machine quilted rope border

 

So I am assuming here that you have drawn your rope quilting design onto the fabric and now just want to quilt it without having to keep stopping and starting as the braids go under and over each other.  It is possible (and will give you a neater finish) to sew a complete braid continuously.

 

use a darning foot for larger quilts

Use a darning foot for larger quilts

 

I have found that I can use a walking foot for a lap quilt, but for a larger quilt I think that it would be necessary to use a darning foot because you are sewing back and forth and pushing a large quilt through your machine every time you changed direction would be very time consuming.

 

 

Quilting the middle line of the rope border

Quilting the middle line of the rope border

There is a video as well but I will explain here how to quilt each individual line.  Begin on the left hand side of the smallest oval and sew the top curve of that oval – you will be sewing the third line from the top.  Follow this line which curves down to form the bottom line.  When that line begins to curve up again, it comes to a stop where it would go under the next braid of the rope border.  At this stage sew the few stitches up the second from bottom line and quilt that line.  You are now moving from right to left.  Again you will come to the point where that line stops to go under a braid, so sew the few stitches up to get to the top line.  Quilting from left to right now, stitch along that top line which curves down to form the bottom of the smallest oval.  Travel stitch (stitching over the line line that you have just stitched) back along the bottom curve of the smallest oval till you get to the central line of the rope border.  You are now in position to begin quilting the top curve of the smallest oval so you are beginning the process all over again.

Quilting the cornerstones of a rope border

The first braid section on the cornerstone

The first braid section on the cornerstone

Normally you would quilt the corners of the rope border at the same time as the lengths of the borders, but I have added these on later in the hope that it would be clearer.  Working from the left rop border, the quilting line below the line of the smallest oval is extended on as the outside of the loop in the cornerstone (rather a thin loop, I agree!).  This line joins on to the right hand small oval on the rope border – beneath the corner in the photo.  The middle line from the right hand rope border is extended as the middle line of the loop in the cornerstone and joins with the middle line of the left hand braid beneath the corner.  The outer line of the braid on the left hand border is extended as the inner loop in the cornerstone and joins up with the outer loop of the braid on the next border.

The completed machine quilted cornerstone

The completed machine quilted cornerstone

 

The second braid of the rope border is joined in a gentle curve more or less across the diagonal of the cornerstone.  This joins the top braid on the rope border to the left of the cornerstone with the right hand braid on the rope border beneath the cornerstone.

 

 

Here’s the video:

 


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