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Thread: Border Direction?

  1. #1
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    Border Direction?

    I have heard opposing views on this, but thought I'd ask again. Is it better for border fabric to be cut across the fabric, or long way? Either way, I'll have to piece it, and it's a busy design that won't show the seam much. On some quilts I've bought the yardage to have enough to go long way for the whole thing, but don't want to spend that much on this quilt. Seems to me there was discussion on the amount of stretch of the fabric going one way or the other. Tried searching and not finding answers.
    Thanks for your expertise.
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    Yep, you'll hear many views. I do mine across the fabric. I don't have a problem piecing a border, and once it's quilted you can't tell it's pieced anyways - unless it's a big print or geometric or something like that. I'd still do mine widthwise, not lengthwise if this was the case, too.

  3. #3
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    You will have more stretch going across the grain than down it. Cutting your borders down the selvage will give you less stretch. BUT, if you are careful in your sewing and quilting it shouldn't matter.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  4. #4
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I cut mine along the selvage for the same reason Dakotamaid mentioned.

  5. #5
    Super Member rusty quilter's Avatar
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    I cut mine crosswise because I generally have to piece it, and I don't like my left over fabric to have the selvage already cut. I get the lengthwise thing about now stretching, and agree, but it just seems easier for me to do it crosswise.

  6. #6
    amh
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    This could be a hot topic as everyone has their own way of doing it. I personally always use the width of fabric. Reason being that I often will use a totally different fabric for a border, and am not willing to purchase that much fabric for a border.

    Either way would work, BUT my advise would be: Whatever way you choose, use it consistently, for all sides of the border.

    amh
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  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I do mine crosswise. The bit of stretch is never a problem.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #8
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    I've just dealt with this issue in one quilt. The quilt from he!! btw! My border fabric was very directional. In order to have the borders work correctly I needed to do both lengthwise and crosswise grains/cuts. To be honest, I did not notice much difference in the stretch. This is LQS fabric...don't remember manufacturer. In fact, I tore the lengthwise pieces and have the least amount of 'waffling' on the edges of any other fabric I've done this with previously.

    And now tomorrow I will spend close to 2 hrs. on the road to pick up more backing fabric, as the pattern is about 1 yard off on that requirement!

  9. #9
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    I've done it both ways - it depends on the fabric, how much fabric, the design and on and on. I think it's another of those personal choices.

  10. #10
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it's a personal choice- do it how ever you want- some people would rather cut lengthwise when they would not have to piece it- if they do have to piece often they choose to cut the width- or if a directional fabric is reason for choice- there is no 'right or wrong' what ever works for you is just fine....don't stress over the little stuff; make your quilts the way you want to.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  11. #11
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    I use the length of the fabric if I have a border print. Other wise I use the width of the fabric.

  12. #12
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I do both...on the same quilt. I cut the side borders on the lengthwise grain and the top and bottom borders on the crosswise grain. My reason is this: once they're sewn on the quilt, the grain all runs the same way, lengthwise from top to bottom.

    What it means is the stretch is all going the same way; any fabric print is all going the same way; the light reflects off the warp and weft the same way which eliminates that subtle color difference that happens when the grain direction differs; and you never pull on the stretchy crosswise grain when you pull the quilt up under your chin on a cold night (or hang it on a wall).

    It's just something I started doing many years ago because it seemed to make sense to me.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  13. #13
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    I use the width of the fabric with no problems
    Sheena

  14. #14
    Senior Member Donnamarie's Avatar
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    The way I cut mine depends on the size of the quilt. Sometimes it makes more sense to cut it one way opposed to the other. I don't think there is a right or wrong, whatever works for you and your quilt.
    Donnamarie

  15. #15
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone. I knew it's a personal choice, but I was interested in the reasoning, especially as far as the stretch thing goes. I had a wall quilt a while back that was what I call "potato chipping," that is hanging in a wavy fashion, not flat, and someone told me it was because of the way I cut the borders. Of course other factors apply to that, too, such as the quilting. Anyway, you gave me some practical thoughts which I'll consider when I cut it. I really find cutting across to be easier, and usually cut the selvedge after I do that instead of cutting the whole selvedge down the yardage. I find that to be difficult and I throw out selvedge anyway. But I think I'll do that for this quilt. It's kind of an ugly quilt anyway, made from Blocks of the Month drawing at my guild. Mostly I want to use it to practice quilting on my Sweet 16. Then I'll give it away.

  16. #16
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    To eliminate "wavy borders" cutting the fab lengthwise is not the solution....whether cut lengthwise or crosswise it is how it is measured and sewn on that is the cause of wavy borders...and sometimes too, the piecing of the body of that top is wavy from less than careful sewing

  17. #17
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    I always cut the wof -- except when it's a 10" border, and then I hope to have enough length! Otherwise, I want to have all of my selvages on any remaining pieces. Hope this helps. Shayla

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    I do mine crosswise. The bit of stretch is never a problem.
    Me too!!!!!
    "In the crazy quilt of life, I'm glad you are in my block of friends."

  19. #19
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have done this both ways, prettymuch up to you.

  20. #20
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I do mine crosswise unless I have lots of that fabric.
    Suzanne
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  21. #21
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    The fabric/pattern may tell you which direction to choose. What I've been told is most important is to be consistent will all of the sides - and if there are multiple borders, all of the border fabrics.

    Cheers, K

  22. #22
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    I do both...on the same quilt. I cut the side borders on the lengthwise grain and the top and bottom borders on the crosswise grain. My reason is this: once they're sewn on the quilt, the grain all runs the same way, lengthwise from top to bottom.

    What it means is the stretch is all going the same way; any fabric print is all going the same way; the light reflects off the warp and weft the same way which eliminates that subtle color difference that happens when the grain direction differs; and you never pull on the stretchy crosswise grain when you pull the quilt up under your chin on a cold night (or hang it on a wall).

    It's just something I started doing many years ago because it seemed to make sense to me.
    Very interesting. It makes sense to me too and I will try to remember to do it this way from now on. I love all of the great thoughts shared on this board.

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