How To Make a Piano Key Border
Start with one long strip, and place another strip on it, right sides together. They do not need to be the same length. Begin sewing with a 1/4" seam. When you get to the end of the top strip (assuming it is shorter) just put another strip on and keep sewing.
You may continue adding strips to the top or bottom as needed, or cut off whichever strip is longer (then use that piece to help fill up another strip).
After sewing quite a few sets (it is hard to determine ahead how much you will actually need), cut them into sections that are the width of the border you want.
I cut this border 4.5" because that is the cut size for the rectangles in the block pattern. One of my best guidelines is when you need to figure a size for something in the border, use a unit from the block.
Now that you have a bunch of little strip pairs, you can figure how many are needed for each side of the quilt. Just sew them together with wild abandon (according to how much you really need to be in control...). Remember, this is scrappy!
Finally, and very important, is to run a line of stay stitching along what will be the outside edge. (Of course, I learned this the hard way!). That will keep the many seams from opening up before you get the quilt done, and keep the edges from stretching.
You can see the stitching in the picture below. It will get covered when you put on the binding.
If you like to have lots of control/ order/ etc. , I might suggest making dark & light strip sets, which do look like piano keys, especially in black & whites! A great border for a musical quilt, of course.For those working with jelly rolls, you might even like to position all the colors so they progress through the color wheel order, or maybe shade the values from light to dark and back again, making a wave-like effect.
And whatever did happen to that crazy striped fabric that would have scared the groundhog back into his burrow? (Feb. 2)
It did become the binding on my latest-but-still-needs-more-quilting creation, "Roxanne's Honeymoon"!
What do you think...some big roses quilted into those plain black setting triangles? With pink thread? Ooo-la-la!