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Thread: help with slightly wavy borders

  1. #1
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    help with slightly wavy borders

    when i added the border to this quilt, it was super ruffly. i unsewed and let it and me stew for awhile. finally, i added the border again. this time it is ever so slightly ruffled. it will stay this way. i plan on having it quilted professionally with a long-arm machine. my question is this: how will the slight ruffles affect the outcome of the quilting process? can the ruffling be eased in? i know that the quilter will have to keep an eye on it, and it will probably cost a little bit more for this added bit of attention. ok, you long-armers, give me the low-down. thank you in advance.

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  2. #2
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I never have wavy borders. I'm not the best quilter by far, but for some reason (knock on wood) my borders always lay flat. I don't know what I do 'right' to make them lay flat. I know I don't measure my quilt in the middle. Never have. I don't measure it anywhere. I just make sure I have enough border (always a few inches extra) to go from one end to the other and sew it. And I never have wavy borders. My LAer told my LQS owner that she is very impressed with my sewing. I was shocked because I don't do the things that everyone else does - like measure the middle of the quilt and make your borders that size. But it works for me and I'm not changing.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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    You must be my quilting twin!

  4. #4
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I never have wavy borders. I'm not the best quilter by far, but for some reason (knock on wood) my borders always lay flat. I don't know what I do 'right' to make them lay flat. I know I don't measure my quilt in the middle. Never have. I don't measure it anywhere. I just make sure I have enough border (always a few inches extra) to go from one end to the other and sew it. And I never have wavy borders. My LAer told my LQS owner that she is very impressed with my sewing. I was shocked because I don't do the things that everyone else does - like measure the middle of the quilt and make your borders that size. But it works for me and I'm not changing.
    i measured the first time...albeit incorrectly. so, i said forget about measuring it, and this is the result. i wonder if it is the nature of the beast (batik).

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Measuring is a good thing. However I've never been really comfortable with the direction to measure in the center, top, bottom, and average. All three should measure the same (or very, very close to the same). If they don't, there's another problem going on. It seems to me that the first priority should be to fix that problem.

    As far as what to expect with a longarmer, that really depends on how bad the ruffling is (it doesn't look that bad in your picture) and how experienced the longarmer is. It could be that the finished quilt won't lie flat, or that it won't be completely square, but while it's in use that won't really matter. The problem is more likely to show up when you lay the quilt out to be photographed, or when it's hung in a show. If you block the quilt (possibly necessary every time it's washed) you may be able to force it to be flat and square.

    Your quilt is very, very pretty. I would encourage you to take the borders off again, measure carefully, trim to size, and sew them on again without ruffles. I think the quilt deserves that. And you shouldn't give up on yourself by accepting something that you know can be fixed. You might try using a walking foot when sewing on the borders, definitely pin in lots of places, and (if necessary) place the fabric that needs to be eased against the feed dogs. But if you really don't want to take the borders off yet again (and I can understand your frustration) then just ask the longarmer whether she thinks the ruffles can be quilted out, and whether she has experience in doing that. And ask yourself if it's okay with you if the quilt's edges don't lie flat. (Probably no one will ever notice, unless you show them.)

  6. #6
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    The first time I attempted borders, I had to take them off 7 times! because of waves. I was ready to give up until a friend as me if I was pinning them to the top before sewing them on (which I was not). I pinned them on every 3-4
    inches and finally they came out perfect. I don't measure through the center either and always cut an inch or so extra but the pinning seems to work for me.

  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    these are suggestions for future quilts since you have already decided to not change this one.

    you didn't mention whether or not you used a walking foot.
    if you didn't, i highly recommend you use one for future borders.
    they are also very helpful when attaching binding.

    i never cut my border strips across the width of the fabric. (weft/woof)
    i cut up the length of the fabric. (warp)

    this will sometimes mean additional piecing to get borders the length i need, but it's well worth the effort.

    the woof/weft stretches.
    the warp does not.

    little saying to help me remember:
    the fabric's warp will not [warp].
    I Quilt, I Nap, I Quilt Some More ... Aaaaah, The Good Life!

    I also have an eddres you can use if you need to contact me with questions or suggestions that relate to our community: patricej@quiltingboard.com

  8. #8
    BMP
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    As a LA'er point of view, I would take them off and do the measuring and resew them. It makes it very hard to do quilts that have boarders that are wavy, and it will be out of square for sure. You might have to trim alot of the boarder after the quilting to get it square therefore they will not be the same width on all sides. I have never gotten wavy boarders when I measure in the center and then carefully pin at each end and middle then pin very closely inbetween those points. When we get a quilt in thats like that we always attach a sheet of instructions on how to properly do boarders for the customer to use later !!! Sometimes there have been some that are so bad that tucks have been done to ease in the boarder.....Its worth the time to re-do them and get used to doing them properly in the future you will be happier with the final product....

  9. #9
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I use a method that Bonnie Hunter suggests on Quiltville:

    http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/...der-hints.html

    Instead of measuring the quilt then measuring the borders, you lay the quilt out, lay the border fabric out on top of it (middle), smooth the fabric out and cut it. Measuring tapes can stretch as well as fabric stetching. When I am doing borders longer than the bed or table I am working on, I smooth out as much as I can and pin, then move the quilt and do the rest. I mark both the quilt and border into 1/4s and line them up at those points. I use lots of pins, every few inches at least. I never have wavy borders using her method. I don't usually use the walking foot to attach, but it could be helpful. Whenever I can, I cut my borders by length of fabric (don't care for them pieced).

  10. #10
    BMP
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    I use a method that Bonnie Hunter suggests on Quiltville:

    http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/...der-hints.html

    Instead of measuring the quilt then measuring the borders, you lay the quilt out, lay the border fabric out on top of it (middle), smooth the fabric out and cut it. Measuring tapes can stretch as well as fabric stetching. When I am doing borders longer than the bed or table I am working on, I smooth out as much as I can and pin, then move the quilt and do the rest. I mark both the quilt and border into 1/4s and line them up at those points. I use lots of pins, every few inches at least. I never have wavy borders using her method. I don't usually use the walking foot to attach, but it could be helpful. Whenever I can, I cut my borders by length of fabric (don't care for them pieced).
    Thats the exact method I use and never a wavy boarder !!! I do however piece mine if needed but never end to end I miter my joints

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