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Thread: What is correct way to sew borders?

  1. #1
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    While at sewing group today I was asked to sew 3 borders around a small quilt panel. I sat down & did the job. Part way thru I realized I was not doing sides then top and bottoms. Then when all finished the lady in charge asked if I had measured each side before sewing ! DAH! that's when it hit me that I probably did it all wrong according to quilting methods.

    But, there was no rippling of the borders and all corners are square. So made me realize I should know more about the "correct" method. I just sat down and sewed --worked in my head as a long time sewer. Border strips were cut.

    I know it's wrong --anyone else ever do this.

  2. #2
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    There is no right or wrong way. Obviously what you did worked out great and solved the need.

  3. #3
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I agree! :thumbup:

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    ditto

  5. #5
    Junior Member Alexandra's Avatar
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    There is no rule which goes on first. If it is straight cut and not mitered and it's a large quilt I usually put the side borders on first to save fabic.

  6. #6
    Dee
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    Super Member Dee's Avatar
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    No rules. Whatever works for you.

  7. #7
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    It depends on whether you're planning on using a longarmer, and whether you're doing something like entering the quilt in a show. For years, I've managed to put borders on by making long strips, then just sewing them on, trimming the strip so that it's even. That's worked well enough for me when I'm hand quilting, FMQ, or using a walking foot.

    Then I got a longarm. You really, really notice when the borders aren't accurate. And, good lord, the problems that occur when they aren't. The way to piece them if you're going to a longarmer is to measure various points along the quilt, parallel to the edge that you'll attach the border to. Average that measurement (so if it's 80, 81, and 82, use 81), and cut the strip to that length. Pin the ends, then fold in half and pin the middle, and, if necessary, fold an end to the middle and pin in the middle of that, and repeat with the other end. Then, as you're going, if your machine is stretching the top or the bottom fabric, you can make sure it matches up. Your borders will turn out perfectly, because you're evening it out as you go.

    It doesn't matter whether you put the top/bottom borders on first, or the sides - that makes no difference other than in the look.

  8. #8
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    I like ecmoore's way. I was doing the measurements for my borders, but forgot about the pinning part, which makes sense. I remember learning that at a quilting class, but of course couldn't find my notes, so only did it half-way on the quilt top I just finished. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. #9
    Super Member crafty_linda_b's Avatar
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    I was taught to measure across the center of the quilt...from side to side then top to bottom. Then pin it on the ends and center as ecmoore said...you might need to stretch the fabric to make it fit correctly. I prefer to do the sides first then the top and bottom just MHO..happy stitchin' crafty_linda_b

  10. #10
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    I have a handout on how to apply borders so they lay nice and flat. You can download from my website's Tips & Hints page - click on the "How to Apply Borders Handout" link here:

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

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