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Long border strips up or down?

Long border strips up or down?

Old 12-01-2019, 02:57 PM
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Default Long border strips up or down?

Should I be sewing long border strips on rows (or to edge of quilt top) with those strips facing up toward the needle or down toward the feed dogs? Edges of pieced blocks where seams meet are giving me headaches trying to keep them from folding the wrong way and getting stitched into bulky lumps. Should I be using a walking foot? What if I donít have a walking foot? Any advice from veteran sewists?
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:09 PM
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Well, I'm a pinner and I press open. If I have the choice between what to put under the needle, it is the side with the most seams and every leading seam is pinned. I pin low, they are never near my needle. I much prefer to have the unseamed side on the bottom even though the usual rule is the bigger piece on the bottom, smaller on the top.

Again, I pin and have no nesting to guide me.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:14 PM
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Sew them which ever way is easiest for you. If there are a lot of seams I like to put the seams up so I can control which direction the end up. But normally I find it easier to have the smaller border piece on top. Basically it's easier to have both sides facing up... so helpful right?! Do which ever require less frustration and seam ripping. There is no right or wrong.

I never use my walking foot personally. I find it annoying to change feet, so I don't bother. That said, walking feet attachments aren't super expensive and many people them, so it may be a good option for you. I'm sure others will weigh in on that one.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-01-2019 at 05:21 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:21 PM
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I stay stitch the quilt edge and the border edge first. Mark each one into quarters and pin, pin, pin. Sometimes I use the walking foot w/ the 1/4 inch foot.

You can use a dot of elmer's school glue or glue stick to hold those pesky seams in place.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:39 PM
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If I have a choice I put the smooth side down then I can see the piecing.
But if I don't have a choice then I use a thin line of Elmer's washable glue
and set the seam with the iron before sewing. I use a stiletto to push the
seam as I go if needed. Since I starch my fabric it usually behaves but I
still check to make sure it's going under the needle the right way.
You can put a pin ahead of each seam to remind you to stop, remove pin
and check. Sounds like a pain but you won't have any folded seam that
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:26 PM
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I sew borders on the top, seams toward machine. I look to make sure seams stay where they should.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:09 PM
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I prefer to sew with the border strip on top. I usually hold both layers at a slight angle above the machine surface. The seams are less likely to catch and turn under that way, plus I feel like i have more control and it seems to help both layers feed more consistently.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:24 PM
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The only way I've ever done it is to have the strips facing the needle.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:42 PM
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I sew the pieces with the most seams on top where I can watch that the seam allowances go the correct way.....however that is after the pieced part is well pinned to the border. If you just sew your pieced top to a long border strip, it will stretch and you will not fit your border. You can also ease the pieced top towards the needle as you sew with a straight pin to coax it to feed well.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:51 PM
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I mark borders to match the blocks before I pin them.

I think I usually put the side with the most pieces facing the feed dogs -
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