Free Motion Mastery in a Month: Quilted Borders & Finish

This marks the conclusion of my adventures with RaNae Merrill's Free-Motion Mastery in a Month.  And for those keeping track:'s taken me two months to finish!  But hey!  Better late than never!!  So what was the hold up?!?  Borders!

RaNae instructed us to use solid fabrics for our borders and to stitch motifs inspired by our inspiration fabric.  I was able to fill an entire page in my sketchbook with designs and motifs inspired by my fabric, but kept getting stuck when it was time to put them together in a cohesive design that would ultimately frame my 9 patch blocks.  This is probably why I rarely add borders to any of my I never know how best to quilt them!
Floral Corner Designs (Left) and Border Designs (Right)
After much procrastination, I decided to start small by tackling the corner block designs first.  I had sketched a floral design that would fit nicely.  I began with the yellow center designs and then added the red petals.  To help the petals pop, I stitched the background with a dense stippling in a matching light blue.  Now that they were complete, I returned my focus to the large borders (I was able to get two border lengths from each panel).  Several feather motifs had been considered, but failed to really interest me.  Running out of ideas, I decided to pull out some 1" blue painter's tape and subdivide the borders into striped sections that were 1", 3" and 5" wide.  As I was outline stitching these areas, filler designs and motifs were swirling in my head.  I began by filling in the 1" sections with figure eights in a matching blue Aurifil thread.  Large daisy designs inspired by the nesting doll print surrounded by more dense stippling were stitched into two of the large 5" sections.  Another large floral all over design filled in the remaining 5" sections.  One of the designs provided by RaNae made for the perfect stem and leaf design to fill in all the 3" sections!  
Detail Image of the Glorious Quilted Textures in the Blocks, Sashing and Borders
Once the borders were stitched, they were added to the inner design using thin strips of solid yellow.  While I found the assembly process to be a bit awkward and cumbersome at times, I do like how it creates a completely reversible quilt!  Here is a shot of the back of the quilt featuring another Russian Doll print and brighter green in the sashing strips.
Reverse Side of Quilt
Look at all that wonderful quilted texture!!  I just love how the light hits and creates so much depth!  I keep finding myself running my hands over the surface of the quilt.  I greatly enjoyed learning new quilting designs as well as learning how to combine them into original designs.  Last but not least, it has been two months since I've used my Bernina Stitch Regulator!  I find that I am stitching fairly consistent stitches and having less skipped stitches as a result!

Many thanks to RaNae Merrill and all the other quilters that participated in this online laboratory!  This little beauty is heading out to RaNae in New York City to be photographed and hopefully included in RaNae's newest book.
"Russian Doll Delight" finished 50"x50"


  1. Such wonderful quilting designs, Mel. As you said, solid borders highlight them and also make it harder to finish. I'm glad you worked through this so well. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Ann...I had a lot of fun incorporating so many wonderful quilted textures and designs into this quilt...including the border (once I finalized the design). I will be sure to bring it for show and tell once I get it back from NYC so you can see and touch!!

  2. Wow! I'll be back to peruse your archived posts so I can see more!

    1. Thank you for visiting KaHolly...and coming back to check out other fun posts!!


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