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Thread: borders problem

  1. #1
    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I put a narrow (1in) border on a Hidden Wells quilt, but then when I came to layer the quilt I found that the border wouldn't lie flat. I suspect that because the edges of the quilt are all on the bias they may have stretched. I've taken the border off, which maybe was a mistake, as it will have stretched the quilt edges even more :( but it's done now, and I'd appreciate some advice on how to proceed. I thought I might use lots of starch to stabilise things a bit. But how should I measure the new borders, given that the length and width across the middle of the quilt might no longer be the same as the edges. And what about cutting them: on the grain or against? Do I need to make the border a bit wider - might its narrowness have contributed to the problem? Any help would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Super Member Lilrain's Avatar
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    Since you have taken that narrow border off, lay the qult top on your ironing board and with steam in your iron, hold it steaming just above that stretched fabric edge. It may help . Don't press it, just hold the steam above it. Let it dry. then carefully stay stitch along that edge if it has returned to where it was before. Being very careful not to stretch it at all. Support the bulk of the quilt on the table, so it won't be pulling away from where you are stay stitching. An awarding winner quilter was teaching a class on watercolor quilts. We made them in sections,and I was shocked when my sections did not line up. the teacher showed me how to stem it, and wow, it worked for me. Hope it does for you too

  3. #3
    Senior Member quilticing's Avatar
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    That sounds like a good idea. If that doesn't help, do a stay stitch and working in sections, pull a thread up with a pin every 1/2" or so, working on a flat surface. Just pull a little to tighten the edge. Blocking (get it wet, skootch it flat, let dry) might work, too.

  4. #4
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    The steam idea is the way to go.

    For measuring the border, take 3 measurements across the quilt. & top to bottom.

    Ex.

    Across measures 36,,, 35-1/2, & 36-1/4. Add these = 107.75 3= 3
    5.92.
    Round that # off to 35.875", cut the top & bottom that length.


    Repeat this for the length.
    I usually put the top & bottom borders llast, but in this situation the quilt needs too be supported on the sides, so I would add the sides last.




    When steaming the quilt, bring the fabric to that measurement, pin securely to the border when you stay stitch.

    Be sure to cut the borders on straight of grain, to support the edges, or you will end up with a wavy quilt.

  5. #5
    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    Thankyou all very much for all this helpful advice. I only joined this forum yesterday, and I've already learned a lot :) . I'll try the steaming method: wish me luck!

  6. #6
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    I have had it work without steam, just spray a fine mist of water and it will often start to pull back up on itself. Otherwise, go for the steam. Just hold the iron above the fabric.

    If you get it to shrink back, I would starch it so it doesn't stretch so easily next time.

  7. #7
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Don't just cut a big long strip, sew it to the edge and cut off the excess! You need to measure the quilt to determine the length of your border, cut, then ease the edge of the quilt into the border length.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    I find borders to be one of the things MANY quilters have trouble with. As PaperPrincess says, you can't just sew a strip on and cut off the excess (which is exactly how I did it when I first started quilting LOL!). I've created a handout on how to add borders so they lie flat, you can download a copy from my website here:

    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/learn.htm

  9. #9
    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    I've created a handout on how to add borders so they lie flat, you can download a copy from my website here:

    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/learn.htm
    Thanks Andi. That's a nice clear handout. I'm pleased to say that I already do most of what you suggest (I don't cut a long strip then trim it- I was well-taught!) but it was useful to check my method.

  10. #10
    Super Member OneMoreQuilt's Avatar
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    Welcome from Illinois and good luck with your border.

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