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# Thread: The Math is Making Me Crazy! Help!

1. ## The Math is Making Me Crazy! Help!

I don't know why the math is such a struggle for me, but it is.

I am trying to add borders to this quilt. Because the borders are so wide, I can't afford to make the borders "wavy". (My LA gets very cranky).

The body width is 69 1/2 inches. I've added 8 1/2 inches borders to each side. Now I'm ready to measure and cut the other 2 sides of my square quilt.

How long do I make the new borders? My instinct is to add 69 1/2" plus 17" minus 1/2". Is that right?

Please help!

Thanks!

2. I think that would be correct, but I'd probably cut longer and trim.

3. It's the finished width of the body (69) + finished width of the 2 added borders (8+8) + 1/2" x #seams (0) + 1/2"
69 + 16 + 1/2 = 85 1/2"

4. 85 1/2" it is. Girlfriend, you need to subtract 1" (2 seams each 1/2"), not just 1/2".

5. Originally Posted by petthefabric
It's the finished width of the body (69) + finished width of the 2 added borders (8+8) + 1/2" x #seams (0) + 1/2"
69 + 16 + 1/2 = 85 1/2"
Thank you Petthefabric! I came up with the same number, but differently. 69 1/2" plus 17" and I'm figuring minus the seams, which there are 4, so that would be 1 inch. = 85.5.

You figured the finished width, and finished borders, but why do you add "1/2 " x # of seams, = 1/2"?

Are you a math major? Do I need to take Geometry? LOL. I'm really trying to wrap my head around this, so I don't have to struggle so much every time I add borders.

6. Originally Posted by irishrose
85 1/2" it is. Girlfriend, you need to subtract 1" (2 seams each 1/2"), not just 1/2".
OK I get that now. Thank you Irishrose!

7. I'm very good at math. Not bragging, it is what it is. The +1/2" is to make the finished measurements back to the unfinished cut size (outside seam allowances where the binding goes).

There aren't any seams to make (ie piecing the border) if cut all in one piece (length of fabric). Or you can piece it then cut the length, you don't need to figure the seams. Note: when I need to piece borders, I try to match the pattern and seam on the diaganol to minimize the appearance of the seam.

8. um, couldnt ya just use a tape measure and measure the side, add an inch to trim after the fact... no math needed

9. Originally Posted by CarolynMT
um, couldnt ya just use a tape measure and measure the side, add an inch to trim after the fact... no math needed
This is a good idea too.

10. Pet the fabric is right, but I just sew and cut, being lazy. If everything is pressed before you start and you don't allow any stretching, that works just fine.

11. IMHO it is better to cut the border exactly the right size, then pin it well. If you add an inch, then you might use it up and then the border will be wavy. I like waves, but not in my quilt!! )

12. Measuring is the way to go!

I measure 3 times, average it out, cut the borders to THAT measurement, apply the borders by pinning the center of border to center of top. Pin ends to ends. Ease the rest in - pinning as I go.
Sew. Press open.
Repeat steps.

If the description doesn't make sense....check out this youtube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkQjYVAgUGo

As a longarm quilter, I can tell who's applied borders correctly and who just sewed on fabric and cut the ends off.
I can tell because the borders WAVE at me!

Nan

13. I agree cut the exact measurement to prevent waves..ask me how I know.

14. Originally Posted by SavedByGrace
I think that would be correct, but I'd probably cut longer and trim.
That's what I'd do----just 4 or 5 inches longer would give you more than enough wiggle room

15. I was taught to measure down the centre of the quilt to get the correct size and stop waves . Am I wrong?

16. Originally Posted by DOTTYMO
I was taught to measure down the centre of the quilt to get the correct size and stop waves . Am I wrong?
That is the best way to avoid waves.

17. I use Bonnie Hunter's suggestion of not using a measuring tape at all (measuring tapes can stretch).

I fold my quilt in half. Along the folded edge, I lay my 2 pieces of pressed border fabric for that side with one clean cut edge against one end of the quilt. Then I smooth out the fabric all the way to the other edge and cut even with the other edge - be careful not to stretch. If the quilt is larger than the surface I am doing this on, I will pin every so often so it doesn't shift. Then fold both the top and the border pieces to mark the quarter points, pin, matching the quarter points and sew. I pin every 6-8" or so (my preference). Press the seam and fold the quilt in the other direction and repeat. It's much easier than trying to calculate measurements and comes out perfect every time. I have made many quilts this way and never have wavy borders to deal with.

Here is a link to her border hints:
http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/...der-hints.html

18. I will say, I usually miter my borders, so I always have 5-10ins on each side left over for the mitering. But I do measure from the center out, and pin from the center out. Have cut it close a few times, and a couple times even cut it less than close that is how I ended up with scalloped borders, lol it can hide the "opps" in not cutting long enough for the miters

19. Originally Posted by DOTTYMO
I was taught to measure down the centre of the quilt to get the correct size and stop waves . Am I wrong?
Me also. AND it was just recently suggested to me to lay both pieces of border fabric (cut to width) on top of one another down the center of the quilt lining up top edge and then cutting to the correct length at the bottom edge so you get both borders exactly the same.

I always start pinning in the center; then the ends; then taking those half sections and just keep halving those sections to ease/stretch as necessary. By continually halving those unpinned sections, you are evenly distributing any ease or stretch through the entire length (or width) of your quilt.

20. This is the way I was taught. IF you cut even an inch extra for 'wiggle room' you may get a wavy border. Cut the border exactly to the average of the 3 measurements and ease if you have to.
Originally Posted by quiltinghere
Measuring is the way to go!

I measure 3 times, average it out, cut the borders to THAT measurement, apply the borders by pinning the center of border to center of top. Pin ends to ends. Ease the rest in - pinning as I go.
Sew. Press open.
Repeat steps.

If the description doesn't make sense....check out this youtube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkQjYVAgUGo

As a longarm quilter, I can tell who's applied borders correctly and who just sewed on fabric and cut the ends off.
I can tell because the borders WAVE at me!

Nan

21. Originally Posted by quiltinghere
Measuring is the way to go!

I measure 3 times, average it out, cut the borders to THAT measurement, apply the borders by pinning the center of border to center of top. Pin ends to ends. Ease the rest in - pinning as I go.
Sew. Press open.
Repeat steps.

If the description doesn't make sense....check out this youtube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkQjYVAgUGo

As a longarm quilter, I can tell who's applied borders correctly and who just sewed on fabric and cut the ends off.
I can tell because the borders WAVE at me!

Nan
This is what I do as well. The pieces you cut and the pieces you sew can be xxx # of inches, but in the long run.... you need to measure top, middle, bottom and average out, it's amazing how there can be such a difference in widths.

22. Remeasure through the center from border to border, then each end border to border. Choose the measurement that is the closest average. You may have to ease or stretch to get them to fit.

23. ## This pattern

Originally Posted by Girlfriend
I don't know why the math is such a struggle for me, but it is.

I am trying to add borders to this quilt. Because the borders are so wide, I can't afford to make the borders "wavy". (My LA gets very cranky).

The body width is 69 1/2 inches. I've added 8 1/2 inches borders to each side. Now I'm ready to measure and cut the other 2 sides of my square quilt.

How long do I make the new borders? My instinct is to add 69 1/2" plus 17" minus 1/2". Is that right?

Please help!

Thanks!

I just finished a top like this, 'Scrappy Mountain', I placed my blocks different, did not add sashing. Love the pattern and I really like your second triangle border, good job.
Barbara

24. Originally Posted by quiltinghere
Measuring is the way to go!

I measure 3 times, average it out, cut the borders to THAT measurement, apply the borders by pinning the center of border to center of top. Pin ends to ends. Ease the rest in - pinning as I go.
Sew. Press open.
Repeat steps.

If the description doesn't make sense....check out this youtube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkQjYVAgUGo

As a longarm quilter, I can tell who's applied borders correctly and who just sewed on fabric and cut the ends off.
I can tell because the borders WAVE at me!

Nan
What she said!! This is how I was taught in my beginning quilting class years ago and it works every time!!

25. Oh, except I press the seams toward the border, not open. If you press open, there is a chance the batting will "leak" through the seam at some point.

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