This blog post will walk you through how to use the Boundary tool in the BERNINA Q-matic Longarm Quilting Automation System. When using Boundary, you don’t have to worry if your blocks are not exact squares. With this function, you can change the size and shape of your block design to fit right into your block even if it is not perfect.
I am going to make placemats with blocks that are purposely not so perfect. This will be to show you how amazing the function works. It will make you look great when the block is placed and stitched, even if your block is not so perfect.
Materials to Make Two Placemats:
- 2 squares 12.5” x 12.5” (I used white fabric with black dots.)
- 4 rectangles 4.5” x 12.5” (I used yellow fabric.)
- 4 strips 1” x 12.5” (I also used the yellow fabric here.)
- Fabric for the backing that is about 3 inches larger on all four side than both placemats when placed side by side
- A piece of batting that is the same size as backing
Other items needed:
- Sewing machine
- BERNINA Q 20/Q 24 Longarm Quilting Machine on Frame
- BERNINA Q-matic Longarm Quilting Automation System
- BERNINA Needle Point Laser (optional Longarm quilting accessory)
Let’s make the placemats:
Cut the 12.5 inch square in half at a slight angle across the block.
• Stitch one of the 1 inch strips into the angle you just cut.
• Make a cut the other direction.
Stitch in another 1 inch strip into the cut. Repeat to complete two sets.
• Stitch 4.5 inch rectangles on opposite sides of each square.
• Trim each rectangle to 12.5 inches by 18.5 inches.
• Mark a line on the outside edge of each placemat to mark where you will be stitching your binding using a temporary marking tool so that the marks can be removed later. (I used a blue water erasable pencil.)
• This mark will help when placing your designs.
• Baste both placemats side by side onto backing and batting that is loaded onto frame.
• Use the BERNINA Stitch Regulator (BSR) mode number 3 with 4 Stitches per inch (SPI).
• Always clean and oil your machine before starting each day.
• Test your stitch on the side with the extra batting and backing you have.
• Open the Q-matic software and add these designs to Design Center:
o Laura Block
o Looped Flowers_Square
o Swirls Paisley_Square 1
o Swirls Paisley_Square 2
• Place all four block designs on the Quilt Area.
• Arrange designs on screen. Resize all block designs to be a 6 inch square.
• Add Elina2 on each side, resized to 4 inches by 12 inches.
• Some of the designs will need to be resized with Maintain Ratio unchecked so that you can enter the inches for both width and height.
• Group all of the designs using the Connect tool in Tool Center.
• When all are grouped, use Duplicate to create another placemat design just like the first one.
• Ungroup both using Unconnect so that you can place each design one at a time
• Since we are going to use the side rectangles like borders, we are going to start with the square blocks.
• Select one of the block design.
• Open the Boundary tool.
• Select the Sewhead and leave Morph to Fit selected.
• Move the machine around the block clockwise or counter clockwise marking the corners.
• Place the four points you want the design to fit into.
• If you like the way it looks, confirm with the check mark in the green box.
• Open Sew Options.
• In Sew Options, you now see that the Tie On/Tie Off can be turned on and off, and the stitch length as well as the length of the tie on/off stitching can be changed. We are going to leave these things as they are.
• First, we are going to Dequeue All because the full layout on screen is blue and that means queued.
• Queue only the block design you placed; it will now be the only one blue.
• Start the stitching.
• The design will be grey when it is finished stitching.
• Repeat the process of selecting the design, placing the design with Boundary and stitching the design until all designs are stitched.
• Repeat for other placemat layout.
• You will notice that the designs will move on screen, and that some of them may look like they are overlapping.
• Don’t worry if this happens since there is always some movement or shrinkage when you quilt. It will all work out.
• Look at how great the blocks fit into the “not so square” blocks.
Trim the batting and backing, and remove the blue line marked earlier.
• Bind the placemats using your favorite method, and you are all finished.
• We used a small project to practice placing with Boundary. Now you are ready for a larger project. I hope you enjoy this form of placement for designs with Q-matic!