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Thread: LAers - How do I deal with rippling borders?

  1. #1
    Super Member Pam S's Avatar
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    LAers - How do I deal with rippling borders?

    I have had my LA for about 8 months and before that I quilted with a domestic on a frame for about 4 years. Don't have a business but I have a lady for whom I have quilted several quilts - both on that DSM and the LA. She's old enough to be my mother so I really don't want to tell her she's not applying her borders correctly but i have a lot of trouble with the borders on her larger quilts rippling. My own quilts don't do that.
    I have just loaded one of her quilts, a beautiful, perfectly pieced King size, on the frame and already I can tell that the top border is wavy just trying to baste along the top edge. She obviously spent a lot of time on this quilt, it's huge, all her points are perfect and I don't want it to look bad. Is it better to quilt those borders heavily to draw up some of the excess or quilt it lightly and just try to ease the waviness in? She always tells me to do whatever I want but doesn't usually like heavy quilting. What would you do?

  2. #2
    Super Member sak658's Avatar
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    We get in a lot of tops with the same problem...working on one today..has so much rippling on the border till there is no way to work it out...We try to explain the problem to them...but they just don't seem to understand...they think we can do miracles...but a rippling border is not good...What do you tell them to do for this not to happen...any advice would be so helpful...

  3. #3
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    I would call her and tell her the problem. Offer her options: a) you to remove the borders and correct the problem at $x per hour. b) she can take the quilt home and correct the problem and bring it back. c). Alert her to the problem and let her know some pleats or tucks may need to be made as you quilt. This way the choice is hers and the result won't be a "surprise" that reflects badly on you. It's never too late for us "old girls" to learn a few new tricks. Just be polite and have a friendly tone.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

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    In the long arm circle, we call those happy quilts, all the borders waving at each other. Since her piecing is so excellent, I would ask her to remove the borders. Show her, or give her a picture handout, of how to measure through the center of the quilt and make the border fit the quilt. Always sew the borders on with the quilt on the machine bed so the feed dogs can help feed any quilt fullness into the seam.

    You can sometimes steam out some of the fullness, but if it is as bad as you say, they need to be removed and cut to fit and reapplied.

    Lu in TN

  5. #5
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    I have seen some fullness fixed by doing bead board design in the borders. Can you do the bead board and if there is enough fullness, can you run a line of stitching to disguise a dart? The other option is to call her and ask how she would like to proceed.

  6. #6
    Super Member Pollytink's Avatar
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    I don't have a LA but just did a baby quilt on my DSM and was worried I was going to end up with wavy borders. It turned out ok but what DO you do to avoid this happening? TIA!

  7. #7
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    As quiltinglubas2cn said. Measure across and down the centre of the quilt. Then place onto the quilt by diving border and quilt into sections half quarter etc depending on the length of quilt.
    Remember to measure one way after border on 2 sides done. Ps if you forget put a square in the corner then it is part of your design.
    This way lets you spread out waves.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pollytink View Post
    I don't have a LA but just did a baby quilt on my DSM and was worried I was going to end up with wavy borders. It turned out ok but what DO you do to avoid this happening? TIA!
    You have to measure the quilt through the centre both ways - length and width, cut your borders to that measurement, mark the quilt and the border in quarters and match these points and pin then either ease in the fullness of the quilt (if it is longer than the border) or ease in the border (if it is longer than the quilt) and pin, pin, pin and sew. Hope this makes sense.

  9. #9
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    this is probably the best option, telling her that you don't want to ruin all her beautiful work.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  10. #10
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    Tell her all the ways (suggested above) to fix the problem and ask her which one she wants. If she is not aware of the problem, she will keep making the same mistake time after time.

    Let her know that machine quilting on a frame is different from hand quilting or tying a quilt and a lot less forgiving.

    Also, if she redoes the borders, she needs to put the longer (border or pieced top) on the bottom so the feed dogs will help.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK View Post
    this is probably the best option, telling her that you don't want to ruin all her beautiful work.
    This is very good advice. In all the supervisor/management classes I had to take over the years. They always said to complement before criticize that way they would be more open to suggestions for improvement.

  12. #12
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Does she come to your house to drop off & pick up? If so i would invite her over for tea and show her the quilt on the frame. Easier to show than explain.
    Having said that, I don't quilt for a business, but do quilts for friends and family. I've done several for someone who should know better, but has given me tops in the past with wavy borders. Somewhere on the board I read that quilting a piano key will take the fullness out. this worked for me. It's a bit of work because it's not a continuous design and you have to measure. I start in the center, and stitch the first 'key' down, matching centers of top and backing. Then the edges then half way between those quilting lines, each time measuring the centers of top area and backing. Basically you are doing an easing in process. I continue until the keys are about an inch apart. Another down side to this process is that I have to turn the quilt as you really can't do the sides this way (well, I can't anyway). Might not be the solution for this quilt, but it's a good technique to know.

    Of course there's always the amazing quilters. Look at this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPHsBYa36W0
    Last edited by PaperPrincess; 03-06-2013 at 05:50 AM.
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  13. #13
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebeljane View Post
    You have to measure the quilt through the centre both ways - length and width, cut your borders to that measurement, mark the quilt and the border in quarters and match these points and pin then either ease in the fullness of the quilt (if it is longer than the border) or ease in the border (if it is longer than the quilt) and pin, pin, pin and sew. Hope this makes sense.
    This is what I do as well. Depending on how badly it looks and how much you like her - I might be tempted to do it myself. I do not usually do work for friends but recently I had the exact same problem. I used an old clothing trick to evenly ease in the fullness. Loosen your tension then stitch a running stitch just inside the outer edge (about 3/16") then gently tug on the bobbin thread and run your fingers up the stitch line gently to just tighten the stitches (not enough pressure to gather the fabric however). Works great for small amounts of fullness and bias edges. Also works on individual blocks.
    Betty

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  14. #14
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    When I have fullness, I place 1 can of vegetables on either side of my longarm needle. (Green beans are what I usually use, but that doesn't really matter.) The needle will not hit the cans as they roll as you quilt. I have been able to ease in a great deal of fullness this way, but not always all of it. If I have to take a tuck, I try to line it up with a seam in the body of the quilt and it seems less noticeable. I know what you mean about not wanting to tell an older lady that she is doing something incorrectly. I quilt for a 88 year old and she does beautiful embroidery, but her borders are almost always wavy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    I would call her and tell her the problem. Offer her options: a) you to remove the borders and correct the problem at $x per hour. b) she can take the quilt home and correct the problem and bring it back. c). Alert her to the problem and let her know some pleats or tucks may need to be made as you quilt. This way the choice is hers and the result won't be a "surprise" that reflects badly on you. It's never too late for us "old girls" to learn a few new tricks. Just be polite and have a friendly tone.
    You really do need to mention it to her especially since her other piecing is wonderful. Maybe you can say how you just saw this on youtube or a friend had pointed it out on one of yours and you want to give it a try. I would have her come over and see the fullness on your frame - you just don't see that when you are ironing.

  16. #16
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I can feel your pain on this one. I have 2 little sweethearts that have me do their quilting. Yes, their borders wave like there is no tomorrow. I use beadboard or piano key on the borders. I cut another piece of batting and place it under the borders of the quilt and then quilt. I do not baste the edge until after the quilting so that I can manipulate the fabric. If there is just a bit of wave to the borders, I do not add the additional batt but do beadboard about 1 inch apart. This usually will take care of the waves. When using the additional batt then I beadboard about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch apart. Good luck and hope this helps.
    Crashnquilt


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  17. #17
    Super Member Pam S's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the helpful ideas. I watched that great video mentioned by PaperPrincess and, thankfully, these borders aren't anywhere near that wavy. What she did on that quilt was amazing. There are 3 borders: 2, 4 and 6" so I really don't want to tear all of them off (but that's probably what it needs) and because she's such a sweetheart I don't want to call her up to come get it and redo the whole thing so I think I will go with the piano key/beadboarding idea. Wish me luck and I'll let you all know how it turns out. I like Crashnquilt's idea of an additional piece of batting too. Not sure if I need it this time, but I'll remember it for next time.

  18. #18
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    Pam, I am also a senior citizen and would like to know, if someone is doing my quilting, that there are problem. She may not realize that there is a problem, and can't fix it if she doesn't know about it. Offer to fix it for her at a price, ask her if she would like to fix it, or let her know that if nothing is done there may be pleats and tucks in the borders. If she is not sure how to fix it, maybe you could give her a little bit of instructions. Make this an enjoyable experience for you and her.

  19. #19
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    We have the same issue with our guild when we do group projects. The members know the right way to put on a border, but the "start at one end and sew" method is faster and they seem they don't want to bother doing it the right way when it is not for them, and they don't have to machine quilt it. They know the right way, but yet they still do it the "quick" way. It is so frustrating.

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