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Thread: Help with adding Borders, Please.

  1. #1
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    I want to add three borders to my quilt top. The first border is 2", the second is only 3/4", followed by 2-1/2" border on the outside edge.

    Should I sew the first two, or all three, borders strips together first, then add them to the quilt as one pieced border? Or add them to the top one at a time? Does it make any difference?

    Thanks for your suggestions.

  2. #2
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    Either way would be acceptable. If you sew all 3 together first, you would definitely want to miter the corners. If you put them on individually, you would have the option of overlapping or mitering the corners.

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    It's easiest to add each border individually. Otherwise you can miscalculate length (don't ask me how I know that :oops: ). A lot. Plus, you don't have to miter the corners. Mitering corners can be quite difficult unless you have practiced it some.

    When adding borders individually, first measure through the middle of the quilt in the *long* direction, cut your borders that length, and add them to the quilt. Then measure through the middle of the quilt in the *short* direction, cut borders to that length, and add them. This is the easiest and most efficient way to do it. Also, if you are cutting your borders along the lengthwise grain (along the selvedge edge) as many of us do, this will minimize the yardage needed for the border.

  4. #4
    Senior Member daisyboo9's Avatar
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    being new to quilting myself I find it easier to add boarders one at a time. I also love multiple boarders. I haven't mitered any corners yet but plan to with the next quilt. I tend to sew and cut off extra on each side if you know what I mean, that way I don't have any problems with wrong measurements that way.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for the information, I think I'll do it one at a time then. I don't know why, but I was concerned with making the narrow, 3/4" border.

    I'm a bit concerned with messing this top up. It is my first Paper Pieced quilt (I've done a few blocks before) and I really like how the colors came out. I hope that I can get the top finished soon.




  6. #6
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daisyboo9
    being new to quilting myself I find it easier to add boarders one at a time. I also love multiple boarders. I haven't mitered any corners yet but plan to with the next quilt. I tend to sew and cut off extra on each side if you know what I mean, that way I don't have any problems with wrong measurements that way.
    I understand about the measurements, but the problem with doing it the way you describe is that there is a huge tendency to add more border than there is quilt. You can minimize this problem by sewing with the border fabric next to the feed dogs and by using a walking foot.

    The advantage of measuring through the middle of the quilt and cutting the borders to exactly that length is that you don't end up with any ripples or "wonkiness" in the border. For example, if the left side of the quilt is an inch longer than the right side, you will have "matched" both sides of the quilt to the intermediate measurement (so that on one side the quilt will be eased in a half inch, while on the other side the border will be eased in half an inch). When you add the other sides the same way, you end up with a border that is square even if your quilt wasn't quite square when you started.

    If your quilt isn't square to start with, and you just add fabric to each side, you will end up with a ruffled or wonky border. It isn't so bad when the border is narrow; the wider the border, the more exaggerated the wonkiness becomes.


  7. #7
    Senior Member daisyboo9's Avatar
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    thanks for the explanation I haven't experienced the wonkiness yet, and hopefully I never will ( I know I am living in a fantasy world) but I need to improve my method so I will try what you have suggested.
    Thanks again

  8. #8
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    On the 3/4 inch border, if you have enough fabric, cut it wider than you need. Once you sew it on, then you can trim it down. It makes it easier to maneuver.

    I learned this in a class when we were dealing with 1/4 inch black borders. She had us cut it 1 inch wide and trim after sewing. Made life easier!

  9. #9
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I would add them one at a time. It just seems to work better for me that way.

  10. #10
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Another way to do your border if you want to sew all your strips together would be to add cornerstones. If you tried adding the borders all together you'd end up with kind of a funny chopped off strip in the corner... can't describe what I mean, but just take some coloured crayons and do a little demo for yourself to get my drift :shock:

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