Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
Uneven quilt uneven border HELP >

Uneven quilt uneven border HELP

Uneven quilt uneven border HELP

Old 11-29-2013, 03:38 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Marsh's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Glendale and Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 185
Default Uneven quilt uneven border HELP

So what do I do. First border is off up to a little over 1/4 inch in places. I was taught to now square up quilt top before adding borders, do it afterwards. So if I proceed with the last border and the square it-it is obviously going to be really short In places. I could take off the beginning border, square up the top and add border again. I just don't know what would be better visually. Any ideas for a soon to be wonky quilt?
Marsh is offline  
Old 11-29-2013, 03:46 PM
Super Member
carolaug's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Behind my sewing machine
Posts: 7,144

When you measure for the borders you measure/cut the strips down the middle of quilt. Then you make it fit when you sew it on the sides.
carolaug is offline  
Old 11-29-2013, 04:06 PM
Power Poster
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 12,930

How big is the quilt? 1/4" off in places probably won't matter on a larger quilt. Are you sure this is going to make a difference?

Typically you would want to square up your quilt before adding borders, measuring through the middle of the quilt and cutting your borders to fit that measurement. Usually you do this for the side borders first, then again for the top and bottom borders. If you have multiple borders, you go through this process for each border.

Did you measure through the middle of the quilt and cut the borders before sewing them on? If you did not, then you may want to remove the borders and start over. This is because the tendency is always to sew on more border than there is quilt top if you do not pre-cut your borders. Even with a single border, this results in wavy edges on your quilt. The wave effect gets even more pronounced with multiple borders.
Prism99 is offline  
Old 11-29-2013, 04:37 PM
Power Poster
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 39,324

If it is just 1/4 out of square, I wouldn't worry about it as long as it doesn't mess up the last border design?
Tartan is offline  
Old 11-29-2013, 04:40 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
Posts: 7,862

One thing I can tell you is this: Do not use a border that is shorter than the body of the quilt. If you do, the quilt inside the border will 'bowl' or 'cup' - that is, it will never lay flat.

How do I know? I bought an adorable childs quilt at a thrift store for $2. All the borders were between 1/4 and 1/2" too short for the quilt top. To fix it, I had to remove all the quilting, seperate the top, batting and bottom, take the borders off...then I discovered that the cornerstone blocks of the borders were cut between 1/4 and 1/2" too big. So I removed the cornerstones and re-sewed them to the borders, then put the borders back on the body of the quilt.

The borders were now long enough to fit the quilt, although the cornerstones were not matched to the corners of the quilt body. Then I re-sandwiched and re-quilted the quilt. Long story short, it was still cute and no longer 'bowled' in the middle.

I will never do that again, too much work for too little gain, although anything I do that teaches me something is worthwhile.
cathyvv is offline  
Old 11-29-2013, 05:26 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Marsh's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Glendale and Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 185

I did measure down the center, and used that length-but the top of the quilt was wonky to begin with.
Marsh is offline  
Old 11-30-2013, 01:47 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: east kilbride Scotland
Posts: 1,330

I went to a Jennie Raymen class and she advised squaring off before border and depending on your design if it had seams which would contract your edge to measure about 3" from the top/bottom and the same in from your edges and also a spaced out along your edge and cut your longest required. Also to pin at each edge and the match inwards to ease fabric in evenly. Hope this makes sense.
notmorecraft is offline  
Old 11-30-2013, 04:49 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Snowy Minnesota
Posts: 1,378

I have yet to make a quilt larger than crib size where I didn't find a difference of 1/4"-3/8" from one long side to the other. By measuring thru the middle of the quilt (as advised above), cutting the borders to that measurement, and then easing them onto the quilt, each one turned out beautifully.

FWIW, even tho I'm listed as a "senior member" of the QB, I'm only an advanced beginner, at best. I was lucky enough to have found the QB before I made my first quilt. What a blessing it has been to learn from people who know so much more than I do! Good luck!
sushi is offline  
Old 12-01-2013, 10:06 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: kansas
Posts: 6,355

I didn't used to be as careful with making sure borders squared before starting to long arm--now I am! I try to make sure that the quilt is square (not more than 1/4" and hopefully less) before I put on the borders. And remember that each border that you put onto an unsquare quilt, the more unsquare the end result. Acutally, I try to remember and take the time to square each block as I go, too.

One thing that' I'd suggest is that you let your long arm quilter know if there is any problems when you give it to her/him. Talk with them about your concerns so that can be considered when planning the design. A really wavy border may force the long armer to make a tuck(that would look like a straight seamed border)to prevent puckers.
quiltingshorttimer is offline  
Old 12-01-2013, 11:09 PM
Super Member
Farm Quilter's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Odessa, Washington
Posts: 1,872

You could also deliberately make the borders wonky - like 2" on left side going to 4.5" on the right side - then make the quilt square after all the borders are on. The borders will be different sizes all over the place so you would not be able to tell that there was an "oops" - it would look deliberate! You do want the end result to be square unto itself, but wonky blocks are in vogue, so why not wonky borders?? However, if you do have the quilt quilted by a longarm quilter, please tell them what happened and what you did to correct it - very important so they can do whatever they need to do from the beginning to make sure you end up with a flat quilt!!

Last edited by Farm Quilter; 12-01-2013 at 11:20 PM.
Farm Quilter is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
03-07-2020 12:46 AM
05-19-2019 03:14 PM
06-19-2012 12:35 PM
12-02-2011 05:29 PM
01-25-2011 01:12 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

FREE Quilting Newsletter

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.