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Thread: My borders are ruffley, what am I doing wrong?

  1. #1
    Member thorlori's Avatar
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    My borders are ruffley, what am I doing wrong?

    Hi, I just finished my quilt top and my borders are ruffley, bigger than the top. What am I doing wrong? I am not pulling the fabric tight or did I pin on the border, I just let it sew slowly, and it is very ruffley. Can anyone help me please?

  2. #2
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    You need to measure your quilt through the middle, then cut your borders to that measurement. Fold the quilt and border in half and in quarters, pin halves to halves, quarters to quarters, ends to ends, and then sew.

    When you simply sew a border on to a quilt without any measuring, there usually is some stretching so that excess border is sewn on to the quilt. This is what creates the ruffly border. If you were to measure your quilt edge and your border's outside edge, you would find that the border is longer than the quilt. This is even more likely to happen if you sew with the border underneath the quilt, because the feed dogs will feed extra fabric with every stitch. Sewing with the border on top and using a walking foot can help with this, but really there is no substitute for measuring the quilt through the middle and cutting the border to that length, then pinning before sewing.

  3. #3
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    Yes to everything Prism99 said. I have even measured top, bottom, and middle and averaged to get size for borders. Never has figured out why some patterns say cut x amount for the border when everyone sews a little different and their quilt may not be a cookie cutter size.

    mltquilt

  4. #4
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I totally agree with Prism99 and mltquilt. Once I started doing as they suggested, borders came out fine.

  5. #5
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    You need to measure your quilt through the middle, then cut your borders to that measurement. Fold the quilt and border in half and in quarters, pin halves to halves, quarters to quarters, ends to ends, and then sew.

    When you simply sew a border on to a quilt without any measuring, there usually is some stretching so that excess border is sewn on to the quilt. This is what creates the ruffly border. If you were to measure your quilt edge and your border's outside edge, you would find that the border is longer than the quilt. This is even more likely to happen if you sew with the border underneath the quilt, because the feed dogs will feed extra fabric with every stitch. Sewing with the border on top and using a walking foot can help with this, but really there is no substitute for measuring the quilt through the middle and cutting the border to that length, then pinning before sewing.
    yes this is the answer
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  6. #6
    Super Member yetta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mltquilt View Post
    Yes to everything Prism99 said. I have even measured top, bottom, and middle and averaged to get size for borders. Never has figured out why some patterns say cut x amount for the border when everyone sews a little different and their quilt may not be a cookie cutter size.

    mltquilt
    ditto........
    Proud Mother of Sarah Grey
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    http://www.etsy.com/shop/greysfabric?ref=seller_info

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Ruffly borders can also be a result of using cross cut fabric , rather than fabric that is cut parallel to the selvage edge
    (lenghtwise grain). Cross Grain cuts have alot more stretch to them , and its easy to stretch them while attaching and ironing. The border will look good at the sewn edge but when placed on a flat surface will just not lay flat. Batiks( most) are an exception they are very tightly woven and have very little stretch on the cross grain, but its very little in comparison to regular quilting cottons.
    It can be very tempting to use cross cut , particulary for a skinny border strip , but if its next to a lenghtwise grain ... it will look like it was eased and not laying quite as flat as the lenghtwise border.

  8. #8
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    The pattern I am working on now gave measurements to cut borders with, but mentioned that it was just an estimate and to measure the way it was explained above.

  9. #9
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    As everyone above mentioned, you need to measure and then cut the borders to that size. I have a handout on my website that you can print off to show you how to do this:

    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/learn.htm - click on "How to Apply Borders handout"
    Andi R
    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com
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    Proud owner of "Smart Alec" (A-1 with IntelliQuilter) and "Maggie" (the Prodigy)

  10. #10
    Super Member Sandee's Avatar
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    Every day I learn somethingnew on the board- & today was no exception! I've had border problems from time to time & NEVER knew why. Thanks for the advice from me, too!!

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