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Best Way to Add Borders to Quilts

Best Way to Add Borders to Quilts

Old 04-09-2013, 07:16 AM
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Default Best Way to Add Borders to Quilts

When I add a border to a quilt, I just cut a strip of fabric longer than the quilt, sew it to the quilt and then cut off the excess. I know many people measure the quilt in a couple different places, take the average, and cut the border to that specification. Does it matter which way you do it? Is one a better method? (I don't want to say right or wrong!) Would love advice on which method produces a better quilt. Thanks
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:35 AM
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If you just cut sew then trim you will risk having wavy borders, possibly bad enough they will need re-done before quilting. The best practice (not the quilt police, just saying IMHO) is to measure the top, middle and bottom. Then average that to get the length for side borders. then after those borders are on, measure the left, middle then right side. Average this and you will have your top and bottom borders. (You can do top or sides first your choice). I also round down to the nearest 1/8th inch instead of up. I have never had a wavy border doing it this way. When I first started, I didn't know about this process, and had to redo a couple quilts because I would have had to pleat the borders to make them fit. Wouldn't have been the most pleasing look.

Last edited by knlsmith; 04-09-2013 at 07:41 AM. Reason: addtional info
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:38 AM
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I do it the way you do. I cut or tear my borders from the length of the fabric. I have tried many ways but usually go back to just sewing the border on and cutting to fit.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:44 AM
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Either I've been lucky and haven't had wavy results, or I don't know what, but I, too, just measure up the side, and across the (top or bottom) and multiply by 2. I've never really understood about measuring the center of vertical & horizontal; what if your quilt is skewed and it's got a swag in the middle and your measurement is now too short?

Would love to finally understand this.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:49 AM
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I don't know the math or reason why it works, it just does. I will say that my measurements are never more than an 1/8 in difference. I have OCD and sew very squarely. LOL It's a good thing in this respect to be that way I suppose. I bet someone will chime in with a great explanation.


Originally Posted by Teeler View Post
Either I've been lucky and haven't had wavy results, or I don't know what, but I, too, just measure up the side, and across the (top or bottom) and multiply by 2. I've never really understood about measuring the center of vertical & horizontal; what if your quilt is skewed and it's got a swag in the middle and your measurement is now too short?

Would love to finally understand this.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Raggiemom View Post
When I add a border to a quilt, I just cut a strip of fabric longer than the quilt, sew it to the quilt and then cut off the excess.
That's how I do it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:21 AM
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I used to do it that way, too, until I had waves the size of a Tsunami on one of my quilts. Never again. I measure thru the middle lengthwise and crosswise and use those measurements to cut my borders, then, pin in case I have to ease it in. Works for me.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:28 AM
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it helps to to square up your quilt in case it is a bit too long/short on one side or the middle, I cut mine long and mark where it should end, sometimes I still have to fudge a dab one way or the other. after I'm sure it's good then I cut it off
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:47 AM
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I have found the key to being able to sewing and trimming them to length is sewing with the border fabric on top of the quilt. If you sew with the border fabric next to the feed dogs it eases it in slightly and causes wavy borders.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:07 AM
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I measure the center of my quilt both ways,That gives you a more true measurement. One side of your quilt might not be the same on both sides. If you measure the center that gives you a truer measurement.
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