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Thread: Piano Keys for part of border

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Piano Keys for part of border

    My Christmas quilt measures 85" x 65". It is made of sixteen 15.5" square blocks (4 blocks x 4 blocks) and a top and bottom header that go with the fabric. I have wanted to do a piano keys border for a while, and want to do one for this quilt. As my bed measures 78" x 72", I don't know what width and height would look good. I'm assuming I will have to add another border, too. If I add 20" to the length, that would be 105"; adding 20" to each side would be a width of 105", but I can't have 20" long piano keys, can I?? So, how long and wide SHOULD the keys be, and what other kind of border can I use below or above the piano keys border? OR, is this not a good quilt to use them on???

    Any suggestions welcome!


  2. #2
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    England Alton Towers
    Blog Entries
    You could do a 10" border on the sides , not. 20" piano keys the put 10" keys on the outside if you want a square quilt.
    just a thought for you.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  3. #3
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Blog Entries
    It's hard to suggest borders without a photo of the quilt so far. To add that much size (20"), I personally would add another row of blocks all the way around, then a 5" piano key. There are no hard and fast rules for a piano key border, but I would say about half the size of the block is a usually the max size you would want to go, so in your case, around 7 or 8 inches. The piano key is normally the last border on the quilt. So you have about 12 inches to fill. You can do a series of smaller pieced borders for a medallion quilt look, or you can find a 12" block you like. I think 12" of plain fabric borders might be a bit too much, but maybe with interesting prints it might be OK. Need to audition it. If you do go with a pieced inner border, you can size your keys so the seams line up with the edges of the border blocks, or put a narrow stop border then your keys. One thing for sure is to put a row of stay stitching around 1/8" from the outer edge of your piano key border so it doesn't pull apart when being handled while quilting.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    As Dotto said you will be adding 10 inches to eqch side. Maybe add a 2 inch border then a 6 in piano key and another 2 in border. I would lay this out to see how it looks before adding them

  5. #5
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Southern California
    I would add another row of blocks to the quilt. You want your top to be at least as large as the top of your mattress if not larger. I never used a border larger than 8" when I made queen size quilts. As long as your quilt measurements are divisible by 2, that will make you piano keys a nice 2" finished size.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

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