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Thread: Let's Talk about Borders!

  1. #1
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Let's Talk about Borders!


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    This was my original post. "Another empty post for me. Can anyone see what the discussion is about?" After hitting "Post Quick Reply" there was nothing there. I am in edit mode now. What's going on?

    And when I tried to copy and reply to IceBlossom, the board said what I was trying to save was a duplicate of a post I had already posted, but it wasn't. It looks like it is the "Post Quick Reply" instruction that is confused.
    Last edited by Barb in Louisiana; 11-20-2018 at 07:37 AM.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  3. #3
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    Board is being wonky. Make your post and copy it. Then hit Post Quick Reply. Next, edit the post and paste in the copied stuff.

    Good luck, I'm sure this will be a good discussion!

    Edit 2:

    I love borders, I feel they are important. I will do edge-to-edge quilts on occasion, but my first quilt book was the Ruby McKim book (from the Kansas City Star patterns) and she had this line about borders something like -- if you have a bull in a pasture, do you want the fence stronger than the bull or the other way around?

    One of the things I really like to do is bring my design into the border typically using partial blocks. I used to think that a 6" border was "strong enough" for a bed sized quilt but have moved that up to 8" or more.
    Last edited by Iceblossom; 11-20-2018 at 07:37 AM.

  4. #4
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I will often put big wide plain borders on to have a canvas for some inspiring quilting.

    Like these:
    https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictures-f5/agave-garden-big-reveal-t270708.html

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...g-t275921.html

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...k-t178249.html

    But I also like pieced borders.
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 11-20-2018 at 10:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Let's Talk about Borders!

    I've been watching Youtube videos on doing a border so that you don't have any waves. Several are similar with taking measurements but a couple, like Donna Jordan do not measure at all.
    Since I've had trouble with wavy borders I was wondering how you do yours.
    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Oops, you were talking how to attach borders. I used to do the measure the middle of the quilt and cut my border measurement to that. Then I realized why measure? So I lay my quilt out and lay my border fabric, already cut to the width I want and pieced if needed, over it in the middle (not along the edge). Line up one edge of the border with edge of my quilt then smooth it out and mark the border fabric for cutting even with the opposite edge of the quilt top. I then cut two borders to that size (Usually I do sides first). Attach them to the quilt and do the same for top and bottom.

    If I have cornerstones, I measure. If it is pieced I also measure and figure out the piecing that needs to be done to come up to that measurement.

  7. #7
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    ​Measure your borders. I tried one a couple of weeks ago with just being careful without measuring. I ended up having to take the borders off, measure the center of my top and pinned the side borders on and eased in the extra fabric.

  8. #8
    Super Member jillmc's Avatar
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    Great idea, Feline! Just lay the border fabric on the middle of the quilt and cut to size! Why do I always miss the obvious?!
    Thanks, Feline!

  9. #9
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    I measure and go with the smallest measurement. Also, I use the lengthwise grain of the fabric if possible.

  10. #10
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    My other question that I forgot to post is: Length or width? Everyone seems to do it differently.

  11. #11
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    ​Measure your borders. I tried one a couple of weeks ago with just being careful without measuring. I ended up having to take the borders off, measure the center of my top and pinned the side borders on and eased in the extra fabric.
    Tartan- which is your method for measuring? Tks
    Most of the tutorials say to measure near the top, bottom, and then center and take the average of the 3.

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    If my quilt is measureing square to start with, I often just cut and sew and then trim the ends. If the quilt is not as square as I'd like, then I'll cut the borders the same and ease them in so that the sides are now the same length.

    I will measure afterwards and rarely have any problems doing this, but I use to sew professionally, and when you sew 8 hours a day for several years, you get very good at knowing how to hold the fabric so it feeds correctly without pinning.

    If I have a top that is divided into sections (like 12" blocks) I'll often lay the border on my mat and mark it every 12", but I am doing that more to make sure all the blocks stay 12" than to get the border correct.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have always cut mine just a bit longer than the quilt top and just sew. I've been lucky that mostly they come out just fine.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

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    Since my top was about 70 inches wide, I took one measurement in the center. I took that measurement to my fabric and put a pin in at the correct length. I then cut my 2 side borders to that length BUT added 1/2 inch extra just in case I needed a little extra. I folded the border in half and put in a pin. I then folded the top in half and put in a pin. I matched the top and bottom (extra 1/2 inch hanging off) and matched the center pins. This allowed me to equally distribute the fabric on both halves and I added more pins to ease in the extra as I sewed. Both sides came out perfectly and I trimmed off my extra 1/2 inch.

  15. #15
    Super Member Darcyshannon's Avatar
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    You can use the borders to help square a quilt. The middle measurement is used a lot but you can do averages. The idea is that pin and help ease or stretch a bit (pieced fabric can grow) and with the borders the same on each side will even your quilt. The same for the top and bottom.

    Sometimes with smaller quilts or ones that are more casual, you can just add a border strip, sew and cut off. However, on longer quilts, doing this can create an 1” or more difference per side.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    Oops, you were talking how to attach borders. I used to do the measure the middle of the quilt and cut my border measurement to that. Then I realized why measure? So I lay my quilt out and lay my border fabric, already cut to the width I want and pieced if needed, over it in the middle (not along the edge). Line up one edge of the border with edge of my quilt then smooth it out and mark the border fabric for cutting even with the opposite edge of the quilt top. I then cut two borders to that size (Usually I do sides first). Attach them to the quilt and do the same for top and bottom.

    If I have cornerstones, I measure. If it is pieced I also measure and figure out the piecing that needs to be done to come up to that measurement.
    This is about what I do. Use the border to measure with.
    Another Phyllis
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  17. #17
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SusieQOH View Post
    Tartan- which is your method for measuring? Tks
    Most of the tutorials say to measure near the top, bottom, and then center and take the average of the 3.
    I never measure like the above. I measure through the center using the border to measure with. Cut both side borders this size. Then I measure the same way with the top and bottom border pieces. I lightly smooth border with my hand.
    Another Phyllis
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  18. #18
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    I don't typically measure if I'm using one fabric but I usually have a good idea of what the quilt was supposed to turn out to be and how much yardage I need. Whenever possible I prefer to cut along the length of the fabric for a solid piece, "measuring" it along the bed of the quilt and then adding a couple of inches, but sometimes I don't have enough length for that so I will piece it if needed, that's usually cross grain. I prefer to miter my corners if I can. When I use corner stones, I still only rough measure and then trim the extra length along the edge line of the quilt, so typically I'll put the top on first, cut to the edges. Then piece the cornerstones to the length, put that on the one side, trim off the bottom. Then it's the bottom corner stone to the bottom piece, trim to the edge again. Finally the last side, starting with the cornerstone again and trimming down (keeping the seam line in mind), and fitting in that last corner. Sounds more complicated than it is.

    I do a lot of pinning, both with piecing my blocks and putting on my borders, about every 2", far enough down that the pins don't go to/under the foot but enough that it holds my pieces securely, I had more problems with wavy/extra/stretched fabrics when I tried to go pinless. Your mileage may vary but I believe a lot of my success is in a lot of pinning and a lot of pressing.

  19. #19
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    This is about what I do. Use the border to measure with.
    Jingle, I am pretty sure it was a post by you several years ago who inspired me to stop futzing around with a measuring tape and use the middle of the quilt itself. It works like a charm and saves time.

  20. #20
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Thanks so much, everyone!

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