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Thread: How do you cut your borders?

  1. #1
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    That is the worse part for me, for some reason. I seem to have some mental block about putting borders on. I have two quilts ready to put the borders on and it's hard to make myself do it.

    I have a 4' long metal straight edge, a builders/carpenters tool, and a very large metal square that I use. I just have a thing with worrying about cutting long strips straight.

    The last border I cut I folded the 3 yards in half so it was 1 1/2 yard long, laid it on the floor, and marked the line with the two metal tools. I then slid my 24" mat under the fabric and rotary cut it using the 4' straight edge. When I got to the end of the mat I very carefully slid it further up the line to cut.

    How do you do yours?

  2. #2
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I am not sure I can picture what you describe.

    I cut my borders on the width of the fabric (44 inches), folded in half and piece them together if I need them longer. I never cut anything longer than 24 inches, my longest ruler. I usually avoid directional fabrics for my borders to prevent having to cut on the long side of the fabric. That can make my borders wavy.

    Maria

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately, can't help you there. Most of mine are without borders.

  4. #4
    Power Poster littlehud's Avatar
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    I fold mine, very similar to the way you do it, except I put one more fold than you do. I try to make sure I have folded it exactly right. I usually do not have a problem. I do hate cutting them, too.

  5. #5
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    For big quilts, I rip them lengthwise.

  6. #6
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maride
    I am not sure I can picture what you describe.

    I cut my borders on the width of the fabric (44 inches), folded in half and piece them together if I need them longer. I never cut anything longer than 24 inches, my longest ruler. I usually avoid directional fabrics for my borders to prevent having to cut on the long side of the fabric. That can make my borders wavy.

    Maria
    I do it this way too. I like making the borders tho.

  7. #7
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    I love quilts with borders, I love quilting borders, but I DESPISE cutting borders. I CANNOT cut a border without making a curvy thing if I cut more than an 18 inch length. If I fold my fabric more than one fold, here comes the dreaded curvy thing. What am I doing wrong? :evil:

  8. #8
    Super Member Katrine's Avatar
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    I do like Maride, cut widths, and join - with a diagonal seam.

  9. #9
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplemem
    I love quilts with borders, I love quilting borders, but I DESPISE cutting borders. I CANNOT cut a border without making a curvy thing if I cut more than an 18 inch length. If I fold my fabric more than one fold, here comes the dreaded curvy thing. What am I doing wrong? :evil:
    MJ...I get the same thing. I've learned to just live with it. Haven't figured out HOW to eliminate that as of yet.

    Oh, and ripping? Nope, can't do it. I tried on a few scraps, but the rips came out crooked. SOOO glad it was scrap stuff!

  10. #10
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    Whew! What a relief to know an experienced quilter does the same thing! It's ssooooooo good to know I'm not alone :shock:


  11. #11
    Super Member Pam Pollock's Avatar
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    I always cut my borders across the width of fabric. I piece my borders & I just use a straight seam so that I can center it on the quilt. It also makes it easier for me to figure out how much material I need for a border when I know I'll be cutting WOF. I do use a diagonal seam in my binding as I want it to be continous & not add bulk.

  12. #12
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplemem
    I love quilts with borders, I love quilting borders, but I DESPISE cutting borders. I CANNOT cut a border without making a curvy thing if I cut more than an 18 inch length. If I fold my fabric more than one fold, here comes the dreaded curvy thing. What am I doing wrong? :evil:
    I will try to explain how to get rid of the curvy thing. Please forgive me if I am not very clear. I like to teach by showing. There are too things you can do, but no matter what, it should never be done by cutting the width of the fabric. This is only a suggestion, and on the long run anyone will do what they feel more comfortable with. I am not a quilt police, just an instructor that loves teaching.

    When you cut on the length of the fabric you are exposing your bias. We always have on exposed bias when doing, for example, a square, but sew it right back and protect it from stretching. This isnstructions are on the width of the fabric.

    1. The easiest way it to determine how wide your border is going to be, add half an inch. Make a little cut across the salvage and rip. If you are cutting across the hole piece (44 inches) few of us are tall enough and no one has the arm lenght to cut it on one shot. Rip as much as you can and stand up. Don't let go of your fabric. Bring the fabric down and put your knee where tou stopped ripping and use your knee to continue ripping. Just put your knee on the Y and pull up. Your edges will be a little frayed, not too bad. Just press them and they will look perfect. Now cut the salvage across and sew your pieces together to make your borber. You can mitter them to make slanted seems or sew them straight and save fabric. Is up to you.

    I have to go to work now, but at my break I will post the other way, without ripping.

    Maria

  13. #13
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Please forgive my spelling mistakes on my first post. I was typing as I think and my main language is spanish. I didn't know I only have 20 minutes to do edits.

    The second wasy is to determine how wide again, your border is going to be. Fold the fabric salvage to salvage, wrong sides together and make sure that the bottom forms a straight line. If it does, the fabric you purchased was cut properly, but that is rarely the case. Usually it forms a pocket that looks crocket. In this case shift you fabric left or right until if lays flat. Lay it on the cutting board as it is. This instructions are for right handed, lefties, please switch it the other way. Lay your longest ruler on the right edge of the fabric, usually your 24 x 6 inches. Use the bottom of your fabric to line your ruler straight and cut on the right side of the ruler. Now your edge is straight. Don't lift your fabric, turn the cutting board around. Now lay your ruler along the left edge of the fabric. If your ruler is six inches and you want more than that, add another ruler on the left side. For example: if you want an 8 inches border, put another ruler, on the 2 inch mark against your now left border, and put your longer ruler next to it.

    Make sure they are straight and cut along the long ruler, on the right.

    If when you open the fabric it looks like a smile, you did not have your fabric straight on the first step. If you feel more comfortable, cut a small strip first and make sure it is not smiling. Cut as many strips as you wish lining up against the left border, because if you don't lift the fabric it will remain straight.

    Now you can cut the salvage across and sew your strips together to the desired lenght of the border as I explained before.

    This methods don't work very well if you have directional fabrics, specially stripes, because is very rare that the design is printed perfectly on the grain of the fabric. Usually they shift from the grain and you have to decide if you want your fabric to be straight or the design to be straight.
    This can make you think that you made a mistake, but in realty you didn't. Fabric manufacturers, specially cheap fabrics, don't keep in mind what you will be using them for. I save those fabrics for fusy cutting, when it really doesn't matter.

    By the way, I see my borders as frames and rarely ever use heavily printed fabrics on the borders. I tend to use a solid color, or a fabric that looks like wood. I like to hang my quilts and think of them as framed art.

    Please let me know if this is clear.

    Maria

  14. #14
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Maride -- your instructions were very clear. Thanks :wink:

  15. #15
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I do cut mine just like Maria described. I've never had a problem...until...this last quilt. I did it exactly the same way, but I have 1 side of the quilt that is just waving away at me. :( I don't know what I did wrong...hopefully it won't carry over into my next quilts :?

  16. #16
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Ripping on the crosswise grain (selvage to selvage) as suggested by Maride, will stretch the fabric edges and is not recommended by most professionals. Crosswise grain is much less stable than lengthwise grain. If your fabric is folded on the true straight of grain, you will not get a dogleg in your cut.

    Ripping on the lengthwise grain is accurate and is the easiest way to prepare long borders for quilts. Scared to try it? Try tearing off just the selvage to see how it works...and feels!

  17. #17
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    I have only done two quilts with borders longer than 40 inches and I ripped lengthwise and ironed and they were even. I have been (told this was a newbie thing) putting up ninepatch cornerstones and wide borders to add length. I have tried cutting the folded fabric WOF, but always get that "smile that makes me frown." Maribeth

  18. #18
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I rip all my long borders. They come out perfectly straight. You have to rip off a small piece first to get a straight edge (just like squaring up the edge if rotary cutting). Clip off the strings, spray starch and press. If you get crooked rips after the first rip, it's the fabric that is messed up not you. Always rip down the selvage edge.

  19. #19
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I'll try ripping off a selvedge first and see how it goes. That will be SOOOO much easier than trying to cut it.

  20. #20
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    It needs to tear on the regular weave, so go about a quarter inch or more inside the actual selvage (which is more tightly woven). Good luck!! :)

  21. #21
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I have torn through my border barrier!!! I took the 3 yards for one quilt border, made a little clip past the selvedge, and tore it off so cleanly! I did the same to the other selvedge, matched up the perfectly straight edges, tore it in half, then in half again.

    They are just perfect! I will clip off the strings, starch and iron as suggested. Now I need more brown thread for the long sewing to do.

    Thanks so much. :D

  22. #22
    Junior Member okie3's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the information. I love boarders on my quilts, but like everyone else I hate cutting or tearing them.

  23. #23
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Congratulations, pittsburgpam!! [img]http://www.pic4ever.com/images/greenstars.gif[/img]

  24. #24
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Wow Pam!!!! I'm impressed! I have to make myself do it....its just that its sooo pretty....do you think it felt any pain when you tore it? :lol:

  25. #25
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonpi
    For big quilts, I rip them lengthwise.
    Me, too, Moonpi! It's the truest straight you can get AND (bonus for me) I don't have to try to get down on the floor or up again. I can't imagine that sliding your cutting mat wouldn't make the fabric shift, Pam. I get wavy centers if I don't rip them, to frequently. :wink:

    I have a wood working metal square ruler I use, too! Love them tools and my husband bought it for me especially for my quilting. He got tired of having me say 'clean that thing' when I was using his. :lol:

    Sharon

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