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Mirror-Image Patches & Border Print Diamonds

In many quilt blocks, cutting identical patches and then sewing them together creates beautiful effects. (This tip has more on that technique.)

Sometimes, however, you need to sew a patch to its mirror-image. Fortunately, that’s easy to do!

In the Queen’s Crown block, the illusion of a border print frame is achieved by putting one patch right beside another that is its exact mirror image. If two patches will meet, using one regular and one mirror-image patch will allow the design to seem to reflect naturally around the corner.

Mark the design motif on your template and use it to cut the number of regular patches you need.

Then, just flip the template over and use it to cut your mirror-image patches, lining up your design motif markings with the matching motifs on your fabric.

Although the two diamond patches seem very similar in the block, their differences are more apparent here when pulled out of position. (The red lines indicate the sides that adjoin each other in the block.)

Border Print Diamonds

You can create spectacular effects using this technique in diamond-shaped patches. To create a border print diamond, you need four triangles: two are the same and two are exact mirror images.

Here’s how you do it.

1. Divide the diamond in half lengthwise and crosswise. Make a template from one of the four resulting triangles. Add the seam allowance to the outside and an arrow to show the lengthwise grain of fabric.

After dividing the diamond, make a template from one of the sections.

2. Position the template onto the fabric and draw a design motif from the fabric onto the template. Cut two identical triangles. These are the regular triangles.

3. Now, flip the template over and align the markings on the template with the fabric grain and the matching design motif on the fabric. Cut two of these triangles. These are the mirror-image (or reversed) triangles.

You will have two sets of mirror-image triangles that form an intricate-looking diamond when sewn together.

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