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Thread: narrow borders

  1. #1
    Junior Member Quiltlove's Avatar
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    narrow borders

    What is the trick to making a very narrow border between the quilt edge and the outside border? I can not seem to get the nice and even. I'm talking a 1/4 exposed border to divide the quilt from the border with a color accent. How do I get it to look nice?
    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

  2. #2
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    I have seen piping used to create that accent. It isn't too hard to do, but will need to find piping and then justmake sure you have your 1/4" seam accurate.

  3. #3
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I like to make a little flange and just put in in the seam between the border and the quilt. It's easy to get it even this way, and adds a little dimension to the quilt top. To do this I cut a 1" wide strip, fold it in half, lay along the raw edge and enclose it in my 1/4 inch seam. That leaves a 1/4 inch flange.
    Wendy

  4. #4
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    i make a narrow flange rather than pieced border. Easier to get even and serves the same purpose to divide.
    it is important to really slow down when sewing the narrow border with lots of pins in order to keep the seam line straight.
    Last edited by Holice; 11-28-2011 at 05:28 AM. Reason: to add

  5. #5
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    That's what I was thinking too, piping or a flange. A 1/4 in. border would be nearly impossible to do!
    Thimble and Thread

  6. #6
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    A narrow, even, perfectly straight strip is quite easy if you use the last seam line sewn as the next seam's sewing guide. (quilt top is yellow, narrow inner border is tan, and wide outer border is green)

    With right sides together, sew the first seam of the strip to the adjacent fabric in the usual way; place right sides together and sew 1/4 inch from the right edge..

    Press the seam towards the quilt top (you need to be able to see it clearly). Next, place the outer border fabric so that it lies face up underneath the narrow one and pin. The backside of the quilt top will be facing you and what was the bottom will now be on the top. Line your " presser foot up with its left edge against the seam you just made in step one. Use that seam line as your guide all the way down the strip (forget about the seam allowance). Your goal is a perfect seam-to-seam distance, not a perfect seam allowance.

    Finished backside.

    Finished front after trimming.

    This is easy, accurate, and very effective in a variety of applications. You can go as narrow as 1/8 inch very precisely or as wide as your sewing guide (that's the bar thingie that came with your machine for grid quilting) allows.

    This is something I learned from Joen Wolfrom's books and I've used it in several quilts. It works beautifully and is very, very easy!
    Last edited by ghostrider; 11-28-2011 at 06:04 AM.
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    I make what is called a 'flange' border....done by jinny beyer as a 'zinger'.... cut 1 inch wide, sew all strips together and then fold in half. do not press at this point. now match the raw edges to your quilt raw edge, stacking all edges together. use a 1/4 inch foot, but sew just beyond the 1/4 inch measurement (scant 1/4).... now apply the next border and turn the entire thing over so that you can see the previous stitching and this time stay ON the 1/4 inch mark. that's why you flipped it...so you can see the first stitch line and stay inside, toward the quilt with your 1/4 inch mark... can you sew all 4 layers together at once? certainly, but i have found the difference in accuracy to be worth doing it this way. it is easy to waver away from that straight line when you can't see the little 1/2 inch folded flange...if you can see it, it will be straight. How to treat the corners?..... the flange corners are so small that they really don't show so i sew each border on separately and just overlap, clipping off after finishing each side ... it will not show that they are not really joined. and they are small enough not to hurt anything... the raw edges are secure so they're fine. Machine quilting? if you are going to machine quilt your quilt, the flanges can present a bit of a problem to someone using a pantograph where they are not watching the top of the quilt all the time. So I have started setting my machine to a very large stitch length, then loosen the top tension by 1 number, use a contrasting thread (this is where I get out the old spools...baste with rotten thread if possible.... ) and topstitch the edge of the flange...now it will go thru the longarm/FMQ process perfectly and you only have to pick out the edge stitch when it comes back from the quilter. then you will have a tiny bit of 3D effect, the color relief you were looking for and it will be straight and easy to do... I put them in most of my quilts as I love the textural difference they make. It was one of my favorite things i learned from Jinny Beyer's Color Confidence for Quiltersby Jinny Beyer(Oct 1992)... one of the best quilt books around for colorplay and how to achieve it...for my money...i have had it since it came out new and it is still one of the books i refer back to periodically just for a refresher...

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I do alot of narrow borders. My two biggest tips ... STARCH and a 1/4 inch foot. I use starch concentrate full strenght , and immerse the fabric in the starch , hang dry , press, then cut the strips. I would not attempt a narrow boarder with out my starch! It REALLY makes a difference.
    If you can not get the concentrate , use spray , but allow it to dry , then spray again, dry, then press and cut.

  9. #9
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Great question and looks like a lot of great answers. I too have avoided this narrow border because of accuracy. Ghostrider - yours is one I'm going to try.
    Joyce

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  10. #10
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Since I don't like flanges [I think they are 'dust catchers'] and piping doesn't work as well visually on some quilts .... I Best Press all material. Then using my 1/4" flange foot add the narrow piece to the outer border. That way the borders can be added to the quilt as one piece ... again, I use my 1/4" flange foot.

    I have loved the results this way. Easier to put all borders together then treat as one and join to the center portion of the quilt.

    ali
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  11. #11
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    Great ideas, Everyone, and thank you. These will be very helpful to me as I finish quilts for DGS and DGD.
    Betsy in MA

  12. #12
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    Harriet Hargrave has instructions for this for a block in one of the quilts in Quilter's Academy Sophomore year. Unfortunately, my book is at home, so I can't access it at the moment.

    I think for a quilt border versus a block, you will have to be very precise in the 1/4 inch seam.

    Cheers, K

  13. #13
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    Here is a blog post from Patchnblock who has made the quilt - showing the care with which the border is done: http://patchnblock.blogspot.com/2011...ck-blocks.html

    The technique is the one described above by Ghostrider.

    Cheers, K

  14. #14
    Super Member granny_59's Avatar
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    What kind of sewingfoot is Patchnblock using?? I have never seen one like that.

    Granny

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by granny_59 View Post
    What kind of sewingfoot is Patchnblock using?? I have never seen one like that.

    Granny
    All you need is a standard " foot. The left edge of the foot follows the last seam line resulting in the new seam line being exactly a quarter inch away. Instead of keeping the right edge of the foot on the raw edges of the fabric, you keep the left edge of the foot up against the last seam. Couldn't be simpler.

    Flanges and piping are beautiful and I've used them several times, but they do require some thought so as not to stitch them down with machine quilting. You cannot use a panto and have an inner flange, for example.
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  16. #16
    Junior Member sampson001's Avatar
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    What about using a 1/4" flange, have just done this on a quilt I am making and it looks very affective.

  17. #17
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    Lots of suggestions - ghostrider's makes a lot of sense if one wants a pieced border

  18. #18
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good ideas. I've never tried a narrow border or flange because I don't think I could maintain a straight seam allowance.

  19. #19
    Member pamelainsa's Avatar
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    I used this the other day and it worked beautifully!

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutoria...ge-t77821.html

  20. #20
    Super Member blondeslave's Avatar
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    What a neat idea!
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  21. #21
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    I am going to have to do one on a quilt I am doing for my son, for some reason I didnt think about the inner boarder when I bought the fabric and now I dont have enough to to it so I was thinking of making a flanged one to offset the quitl from the outer wider boarder.....Thanks for the instructions !!!

  22. #22
    Junior Member Quiltlove's Avatar
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    This looks interesting. I think I will give this a try. Thank you so much for your help.
    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

  23. #23
    Junior Member Quiltlove's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the flange idea and the time to explain how it is done. It is something that I will definitely try in the future, however, for the quilt that I am doing, I would prefer to not have a 3D effect for the little 1/4" border.
    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

  24. #24
    Member overallquilter's Avatar
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    I have used the Piping Hot Binding tool in the border instead of the binding, it added punch to the panel I made for a quick gift without spending lots of time on it.
    http://overallquilter.com

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by azwendyg View Post
    I like to make a little flange and just put in in the seam between the border and the quilt. It's easy to get it even this way, and adds a little dimension to the quilt top. To do this I cut a 1" wide strip, fold it in half, lay along the raw edge and enclose it in my 1/4 inch seam. That leaves a 1/4 inch flange.
    Ditto for me.

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