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Thread: confused about measuring borders

  1. #51
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    Thanks andir for your on-line instructions. And the tip about not having to use a tape measure. Sooooo much easier that way and less frustration than measuring multiple times b/c you forgot what you measured the first time.
    TwandasMom

  2. #52
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mme3924 View Post
    This is a really great post. And now I have a dumb question (realizing there are no dumb questions): How do you measure your quilts, as in, what do you use? On the floor with a tape measure? On the floor with acrylic rulers end to end? On the floor with a metal carpenter's ruler? It seems to me tape measures are not all that accurate and I know a metal carpenter's ruler can give a wrong reading, since it has no "give" to lay against the fabric. But I don't know of any other long rulers.

    Anyone?
    You are correct, tape measures can be inaccurate but if you use the same tape to measure both then it doesn't matter does it? It is still the same measurement, even if it is inaccurate. As long as the border measures the same as the center of the quilt the number you use is just that, a number. So I use an old fashioned tape measure.

    For me, I find it much easier to fold my quilt in half and measure that, then double the measurement. Or I will often prepare my border and fold it in half and cut at that half measurement with the zero being on the fold. Andi's trick is also quite reliable of not using a tape measure but the quilt itself to cut your border to the correct size. (as long as you use the center of the quilt.

    I usually measure the center twice to ensure I get the same measurement both times. I avoid doing it on the floor simply because I am getting old and creaky. LOL. My sewing room is a guest bedroom so I often use the bed but if the quilt is smaller I use my ironing board or cutting table. I find working with half the quilt easier then wrestling with the whole thing all spread out.

  3. #53
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    I learned in a quilting class to measure the borders from the middle of the quilt. Then mark at half & quarter points on both the quilt edge & border & pin, easing it all in place & sew. Works like a charm. (Remember to cut the borders for 2 sides, sew them on then measure in the middle for the other two sides. Ask me why I'm reminding you. lol

  4. #54
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misseva View Post
    Thanks andir for your on-line instructions. And the tip about not having to use a tape measure. Sooooo much easier that way and less frustration than measuring multiple times b/c you forgot what you measured the first time.
    ROLF!!! I can so relate - I forget in the short distance it takes to walk to my table to jot down the measurement!!
    Dawn

  5. #55
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    Thanks for your response. Yes, I've used the quilt itself to measure for borders (always in the middle) but then I don't usually measure the border to see how long it is, I just cut another the same length. So I often don't actually know the number it measures. And I don't usually measure middle and both sides. I'm having trouble with the borders on the quilt I'm currently making so I did take those three measurements today, both width and length.

    On the floor is hard for me, too. For the record, I do use a tape measure...if not the border fabric....but I wondered if this is what others do, too. I hadn't thought of folding the quilt in half, dumb me!

  6. #56
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    I measure my quilt before cutting my borders also, and then I use a walking foot to sew them on. They always come out the same length.

  7. #57
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Everyone always says to measure from the middle and use that measurement for the border. That is the only way I DID end with wavy borders. I have found that the wavy border is the result of the edge of the quilt being a different measurement than the center. So if you are trying to " work in" a border that's longer or shorter than the edge you are sewing it to, its going to end up looking like it doesnt fit - and will end up wavy. I always pin the borders on, leaving an inch or two at each end to trim off. I don't have any problems with wavy borders . Just be sure that when you are feeding the fabric as you sew it, you don't put ANY pressure on it -either trying to pull it under the foot of pull it back as it goes under the foot. I hold it very, very loosely and let it go gently under the foot . Should be fine!
    Last edited by quiltmom04; 07-28-2012 at 06:20 AM.

  8. #58
    Junior Member linynp's Avatar
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    Guess which newbie has wavy boarders because she didn't recall correct mearsuring and didn't see this post

  9. #59
    Senior Member petpainter's Avatar
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    I am a new quilter and did a McKenna Ryan 12 pattern applique quilt...lots of work. When putting the borders on, I just cut a long strip of the border fabric longer than the side and sewed it on. Well, there was NOTHING I could do to get the wave out but to remove the strip and measure it to the same as the other side to square it up. I will ALWAYS do it as AndiR recommends from now on. It was perfect after redoing it and has nothing to do with the quilt police...it just needs to be the same to lay flat. I suppose the larger sizes make the bigger difference. Thanks for the tips!!!

  10. #60
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    To measure my quilts to make sure they are square I use place my quilt on top of my cutting mat (36 x 24) that is on my cutting table.
    I measure the middle both directions first and then all the sides.
    I've not had issues with my own quilts doing it that way. But I have had issues with customer quilts that I longarm and have that extra that I have to tuck in somehow, and to adjust the longarm pattern as I often use designs that are from the computer I have with my longarm. It makes it difficult to get them perfect if the quilt is not squared. I try to measure my customer's quilts before I load them to see if I may have issues as I quilt and make adjustments as I go.
    So far I've had good luck in 'fixing' them. And they all look great when they are done.

    QuiltingGrannie
    Quilter's Pantry

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR View Post
    Often the edges of the quilt have stretched a bit while you are working on your top. If you add a border the way you suggested, you are adding a little more length each time you add a border. I once had a customer quilt where she had SEVEN 1-1/2" borders. By the time she finished adding them all, the edges of her quilt measured almost 5 inches more than the center portion!! She did not want to re-do them, so it made it VERY difficult for me to quilt the borders and get them to lay flat.

    I have a handout on applying borders on my website that you can print out for reference. It's located on the Tips & Hints page. Once you see how nice and flat your quilt is if you measure borders when applying them, you will be happy to take the few extra minutes it takes to do it.

    Andi
    Thank you AndiR for the handout. Very informative.
    Anne

  12. #62
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Thank you AndiR for the neat and precise handout.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  13. #63
    Junior Member kcferrel's Avatar
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    Exclamation Great resource

    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR View Post
    Often the edges of the quilt have stretched a bit while you are working on your top. If you add a border the way you suggested, you are adding a little more length each time you add a border. I once had a customer quilt where she had SEVEN 1-1/2" borders. By the time she finished adding them all, the edges of her quilt measured almost 5 inches more than the center portion!! She did not want to re-do them, so it made it VERY difficult for me to quilt the borders and get them to lay flat.

    I have a handout on applying borders on my website that you can print out for reference. It's located on the Tips & Hints page. Once you see how nice and flat your quilt is if you measure borders when applying them, you will be happy to take the few extra minutes it takes to do it.

    Andi
    Andi:
    Thank you for the information about how to add the border, very nicely done and explains with visuals, I am fairly new to quilting and I just added strips to the outside..... my next border with be done correctly?

  14. #64
    Senior Member Shrink42020's Avatar
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    Wow! This is the first time that I have really understood this concept! Thanks so much!
    Sondra

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