April 17, 2023: Vine Tutorial

Greetings dear readers! After my last post showing the vine I’m making for the donation quilt, a reader wondered how I’m making those vines so I’ve decided to do a tutorial since others may be interested as well. For this project, the vine doesn’t need to be perfectly symmetrical – “organic” (like in nature!🙂) is fine. (If you want a vine with perfectly even undulations, e.g. for competition, you may need to draw it out on paper first.)
First, prepare your border strip(s). I like to add an extra inch and a half on both ends because there can be shrinkage with appliqué and I fold the extra under (the extra will eventually be cut off):

Fold the strip in half and iron a crease at the fold. Fold in half again and iron creases at the fold; then fold in half a third time and iron again. What you’ve done is divided the border strip into 8 roughly equal sections:

Here’s the back side of the strip so you can see the creases better when you open it up:

On the right side, I’ve marked the creases with a Frixion pen so you can see them better:

Prepare your vine. My vines for this project are 3/8 inch wide so I cut BIAS strips 7/8 inch wide:

You need bias (rather than straight of grain) strips because you want to “curve” the vine. Sew your strips together and make sure your vine is long enough – the length of the border plus several extra inches. I use a Clover bias tape maker and, because I want a 3/8 inch wide vine, I need the #9 size tape maker. After sewing the strips together, cut your vine seam allowances narrow so they will go through the tape maker easily:

Fold the fabric together at the tip to get it started and then feed it into the tape maker, ironing it down as you go; I dab the strip with water as I go so that it holds its folds better:

Now you are ready to pin the vine to the border strip. Turn under the vine tip about 3/8 inch and pin or glue it. Start in one corner about 1 1/4 inches in and shape the vine – just by eyeing how it looks! – so that it reaches its peak and depth at every other crease, about 1 1/4 inch from the edge:

Pin as you go, shaping the gentle curve as you go:

Once it’s pinned, I like to look at it on the design wall to make sure I’m happy with it. Curves can be adjusted, smoothed, redone as needed.

My next step is to glue it down before sewing it down – it’s nice and flat and I don’t need to sew over pins. I love White School glue (given to me by Barb Vedder at “Fun With Barb” – see link on rt side) with a narrow tip applicator – you just need little dots. You can glue a bit at a time , unpinning and carefully lifting the vine as you go, but you have to be careful to keep the curving in place. I find it easier to mark along one edge of the pinned vine with a Frixion pen so I know exactly where to glue the vine:

After gluing, ironing it down creates a strong hold and then I stitch both edges and tips down by machine. The next couple photos show the vine stitching and the blanket stitch I use for appliquéing the fused “raw edge” leaves down.

I’m arranging 2 leaves in each curved area and here’s how the project is looking with 2 borders ready:

I plan to design some type of flower for the 4 corners. I hope the vine tutorial was helpful to some of you! It’s pretty easy and sometimes a vine border can add so much extra interest to an otherwise somewhat bland quilt!

I’ll end today’s post with a couple Earthly Delights:

I got good news this weekend – 2 of my quilts, “Golden Glow” and “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space “ will be showing at the Vermont Quilt Festival this June! Looking forward to an in-person festival this year for the first time since the pandemic!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

34 thoughts on “April 17, 2023: Vine Tutorial

  1. Merrie Star April 17, 2023 / 7:57 pm

    This is a very helpful tutorial that you have shared. I think I can do this now never having done much elaborate applique on quilts before. I also LOVE your work, the Japanese design influences, color choices and your very fine craftmanship. Thank you!

    • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:25 pm

      Thank you so much Merrie!

  2. Fauntie Phillips April 17, 2023 / 8:42 pm

    Gladi, I have followed you for quite some time and love to hear your thought process as you go about making a quilt. I just love this tutorial and will try it out on a quilt that is just waiting for a border. Thank you for being so generous!

    • Susan Belyea April 17, 2023 / 9:17 pm

      You are so kind to share this border tutorial on this blog. I appreciate it so much. Thank you. Also congratulations on your entrys into the quilt show. I know you will do well as all of your quilts are beautiful! Susan

      • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:26 pm

        Thank you Susan!

    • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:26 pm

      Thank you Fauntie! Good luck with your project and I hope the tutorial helps!

  3. pamdempsey April 17, 2023 / 9:23 pm

    Love the vine and leaves appliqué tutorial! Do you prefer this or hand appliqué? It really adds so much to the quilt 🤗

    • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:32 pm

      Thanks Pam! I really like the look of the smooth edges of turned edge hand appliqué and I do find hand appliqué relaxing most of the time. Fused and machine stitched appliqué is incredibly faster to do, however. I like both processes and I think there’s a time and place for either one depending on the project and what you want out of it.

  4. acityquilter April 17, 2023 / 10:15 pm

    lots of good tips…thanks for showing…and congrats on the VQF too…my maine trip got postponed but coming earlier in august to get away from nasty heat down here..

    • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:34 pm

      Thank you Grace! Best wishes for full resolution of your health issues and a happy settling in to your new place!

  5. Marie Tymrak April 17, 2023 / 10:19 pm

    You have inspired me, again. Now which of my unfinished tops will gain a vine & leaves appliqué border?? Like the other readers, I send congrats on the quilt show entries & appreciation for the springtime photos in New England.

    • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:35 pm

      Thank you Marie! I really hope you try the vine borders and please let me know how it goes!

  6. Rainy Stevens April 17, 2023 / 11:28 pm

    Gladi, I just love and so admire your work!

    • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:36 pm

      Thank you so much Rainy! You know we have a mutual admiration society going 😊. I should be able to return your stencils soon.

  7. Rainy Stevens April 17, 2023 / 11:30 pm

    Gladi, I just love and so admire your work! Also, your colors are wonderful!

  8. Kyle April 17, 2023 / 11:41 pm

    Your work is always so lovely. That’s why it’s been chosen for Vermont Quilt Festival! Congratulations!

    • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:36 pm

      Thank you Kyle!

  9. lyrehc2013 April 18, 2023 / 12:36 pm

    Thank you for the detailed explanation. I’ve never added a vine border before, but have always admired them. The graceful curves are such a nice touch. I have a few tops that could benefit from a vine border, so I may try it.

    And congratulations on getting into the VQF! I live about 7 hours away and am really hoping to go this year.

    • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you Cheryl! I hope you do try a vine border and please let me know how it goes. Hope you do make it to the Vermont show!

  10. Jean April 18, 2023 / 6:17 pm

    Love this! Thank you for sharing this method with us.

    • gladiporsche April 18, 2023 / 7:38 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  11. Cynthia @ wabi sabi quilts April 18, 2023 / 8:27 pm

    Thank you for the vine tutorial Gladi, and congratulations on having two quilts at VQF. I’m going to try to attend one of the days this year and I will be on the look out for your quilts!

    • gladiporsche April 21, 2023 / 1:19 am

      Thanks so much Cynthia! I’ll be on the lookout for you at the show if you can make it.

  12. Nann April 19, 2023 / 1:47 am

    You’ve demystified the process tremendously, Gladi — thanks! And what exciting news about your show entries!

    • gladiporsche April 21, 2023 / 1:20 am

      Thanks Nann! I’m really glad for the feedback that the tutorial was easy to understand.

  13. barbvedder April 20, 2023 / 11:17 am

    I’m so happy to hear that the glue is working for you.
    Congratulations on gett 2 quilts into VQF! Hopefully I’ll see you there.
    My Chrome quilt will be there too.

    • gladiporsche April 21, 2023 / 1:22 am

      Thanks Barb – the glue was a great gift!😊. I’m so happy your chrome quilt is in the show and I’ll be able to see it! And hoping to see you too, of course!

  14. Robin April 20, 2023 / 8:51 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial. I love seeing how other people do things. It always gives me some good hints and ways to improve my craftsmanship.

    • gladiporsche April 21, 2023 / 1:23 am

      Thanks, Robin, for reading and commenting!

  15. Marie April 21, 2023 / 5:05 pm

    Thank you so much, this is really great. I had assumed that you had hand stitched the stem but obviously you can do a really nice job of it by machine as well. Now to find a project to use it on ;D

    • gladiporsche April 25, 2023 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you Marie!

  16. marissthequilter April 21, 2023 / 8:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing your expertise and for the very clear instructions on how to make a perfect vinel

    • gladiporsche April 25, 2023 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks for reading!!

  17. Nancy April 30, 2023 / 2:16 am

    Thanks so much for this tutorial, Gladi. It is very helpful. I was interested to see that you stitched the vines by machine. Perhaps that’s more common than I know but this is the first time I’ve seen it done this way. I’ll have to give it a try.

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