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Thread: I hate borders!

  1. #1
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    I'm still pretty new to quilting. Each time I've made a quilt (nothing bigger than a lap quilt) my cutting and piecing gets better which probably explains my problems before. Now I'm trying to finish a baby quilt. Side borders ok as both sides measured the same. Problem with the top and bottom as the bottom measured 1/4 inch more than the top and thru the middle. Used a walking foot (which was a suggestion I had seen on the board before) and put the bordre fabric on top and the quilt on the bottom so that the fabric could be eased into the border. Still the border was too short. Ripped it out and cut the border long enought to fit. I was trying to do it how it's recommended to prevent waves, etc. Was 1/4 inch too much to ease? Besides being more accurate (my goal) should I have done something else?

  2. #2
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    I have been quilting for years and always just sewed my borders on. I'm a self taught quilter. It always worked out really well but I was hand qulting. Now that I am using a mid arm, it is an issue. I am interested in hearing more about this too.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    If you are going to ease it in, you need to fold the border in half,crease and fold atleast 3 more times. Pin the center crease to the center of the quilt. Pin the other creased spots to the appropriate areas of the quilt.

    Then you do the "easing in" in each of these sections. So being off 1/4" really isn't much, when divided over all of these pinned areas. :D:D:D

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I find that if I pin it alot, it helps me ease it in better. I probably pin every 4-6 inches or so. Start by pinning the middle, the ends, then in between those.

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    I did pin the half and quarter marks and then in between. I tried to ease in during the last quarter and that may have been too much to ease in.

  6. #6
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    If you are going to ease it in, you need to fold the border in half,crease and fold atleast 3 more times. Pin the center crease to the center of the quilt. Pin the other creased spots to the appropriate areas of the quilt.

    Then you do the "easing in" in each of these sections. So being off 1/4" really isn't much, when divided over all of these pinned areas. :D:D:D
    There's another trick if you're doing a small quilt. After you pin the border and the top together put it on the ironing board and steam press the seam before you sew. You can get out a lot of stretch this way. I've done it on a larger quilt when pinning and the border seemed to be way, way too short.

  7. #7
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    Sometimes I steam it after I pin and it will shrink up a bit, then I sew. Cotton is so fantastic because you can really shrink or stretch it as you need to.

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    How exactly do you ease fabric? I hear that but not sure how one gets the extra fabric "in" without creating a tuck or pleat. I tried holding the fabric up at an angle as I've read this helps to ease in fabric but didn't see that it helped.

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    WRT ironing, I can see the possibility of stretching the fabric by pulling it as you steam (thanks for that idea) but how do you shrink the fabric?

  10. #10
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    The steam will shrink cotton. Don't iron it or press it, just hold the iron close and steam it. You can work it with your fingers. It just takes some time and practice, I guess.
    Quote Originally Posted by indymta
    WRT ironing, I can see the possibility of stretching the fabric by pulling it as you steam (thanks for that idea) but how do you shrink the fabric?

  11. #11
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I hate borders too and multiple ones are even worse. I measure through the middle of my quilt and cut my border this measurement less 1/2". I then starch it well and pin in really well making sure to pin it in matched sections (at least halves and quarters). This seems to control the ripple and the wave although some fabrics are worse than others to stretch. The starch and slightly shorter length does definately help.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbie
    I hate borders too and multiple ones are even worse. I measure through the middle of my quilt and cut my border this measurement less 1/2". I then starch it well and pin in really well making sure to pin it in matched sections (at least halves and quarters). This seems to control the ripple and the wave although some fabrics are worse than others to stretch. The starch and slightly shorter length does definately help.
    why do you decrease it by one half? That would make the border shorter than the quilt.

  13. #13
    Super Member aorlflood's Avatar
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    If you are trying to "ease" in the excess, don't use your walking foot. The walking foot makes sure that the fabric doesn't get moved so there is no "easing". If you want to ease in the excess, then use your regular foot and put the longer piece on the bottom. The regular foot will push the top fabric just slightly causing it to lengthen slightly.

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    That makes sense about the walking foot. My sides were ok and the walking foot kept the fabric from stretching but I didn't think about it preventing the opposite. This site is sooo helpful.
    Light bulb moment!

  15. #15
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i pin the centers, the ends and maybe in between. helps a lot.

  16. #16
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    I've run into this before too, so when I measure, I round up when I cut the border. Then when I'm done, I can just trim off any extra that hangs over. I know my way is probably far from what the experts do, but it keeps me from coming up too short!

  17. #17
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I have eased in more then 1/4". You simply distribute it over the entire length of the border. Pin #1 goes in the center. Pin #2 and #3 go in at each end. Then you pin pin pin distributing the fullness over the entire half of the quilt. I have eased in up to 1/2" with no pleats, puckers or tucks. And yes a square quilt makes a huge difference in LA quilting.

  18. #18
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    Thanks so much for all your help. I'm now going to tackle the outer borders and see if I can put this information to work.

  19. #19
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    If you are going to ease it in, you need to fold the border in half,crease and fold atleast 3 more times. Pin the center crease to the center of the quilt. Pin the other creased spots to the appropriate areas of the quilt.

    Then you do the "easing in" in each of these sections. So being off 1/4" really isn't much, when divided over all of these pinned areas. :D:D:D
    also always put the bigger piece on the bottom smaller piece on top

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