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Thread: Wavy Borders

  1. #1

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    Help! I am regressing in my quilting skills!!

    I've been quilting for decades and I am suddenly having reoccurring problems with adding borders.

    When the quilt top is ready for its borders to be sewn on, the top is flat. But when I sew the first 3" border on, it doesn't lay flat anymore! It's driving me nuts!

    I know about the measuring down the center of the quilt to determine the length of the borders. This has always worked for me. But now it's failing. Does anyone have any tricks??

    Thanks in advance for your insights.

  2. #2
    Power Poster
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    Maybe measure in three places? Center - a foot from the left - and a foot from the right?

    And average the numbers if they are different.

  3. #3
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Maybe its your tension pulling on the fabric, you might try shortening your stitches also. Thinner fabrics wave alot, is it thin? PIN PIN PIN, learned this the hard way, and starch starch starch. Theres been times when I cant get a border not to wave so I end up tucking it.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    When I quilted for others, I found the problem with wavy borders to be that the border was longer. I would also suggest that you measure the outside of the border to see what that measurement is. Then you can compare with what it should have been. Did you cut the border on the straight of grain of the fabric?? Good Luck !! :mrgreen:

  5. #5
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I got this tip from Quiltville:

    Lay your quilt out. Lay the border fabric on top in the center (either vertically or horizontally, whichever you are doing first). Smooth the fabric out, then cut it the same size. I pin at a few intervals along the way so it doesn't move, then bring my cutter and small cutting mat over and trim the strips. Match the ends and center points and pin before you sew. Press your border seams and repeat for the other borders.

    The reason she does it this way is because measuring tapes can stretch, but if you smooth the fabric out the same as the quilt, it doesn't. I have done many quilts this way and never have problems with wavy borders. Give it a try!

  6. #6
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    I cut mine lenght wise grain and have fewer/no problems. If I cut cross wise grain I ALWAYS have problems.

  7. #7
    Super Member bebe's Avatar
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    great tip Katier!!!!!

  8. #8
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Here is the Quiltville link of border hints:

    http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/...der-hints.html

  9. #9

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    Me too - always cut lengthwise grain and I measure the center of the quilt with a tape measure. Then, I cut a length of border a couple of inches longer than that measurement (across the center of the quilt) and then use the border to measure itself by laying it across the center of the quilt and then cut the exact measurement. I hope I said that clear enough??? Anyway, that technique I saw on a program featuring Jinny Beyer and it sure works for me. Oh, and I use tons of pins, both ends first, then the middle and everywhere in between. And if you still have a wavy border, then hang it high and keep it moving :)...

  10. #10
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    Thanks I didn't get it at first. The pictures helped. Her Nureyev corners look easy too!!

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the suggestion- I've not heard this one, but sounds very promising!!! I'm about to unsew the borders and will try it!!
    Fingers crossed!

  12. #12

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    Thanks!!!

  13. #13

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    Thanks! I'll try that!!!

  14. #14

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    Thanks - I'll double check the measurements!!

  15. #15

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    Thanks- so great to get these unique ideas!! I'll be trying this tomorrow might
    Thanks!!!

  16. #16
    Super Member coachmatthewsvhs's Avatar
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    I cut my boarders longer than I need.... pin a lot!!!, then sew, iron, lay flat and trim to quilt....... no measurements really

  17. #17
    Vat
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    Sounds like you need to starch and press. I seem to never have that problem and I think it is because I starch every single piece of fabric before cutting.

  18. #18
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    I've had some success with matching the border to the quilt at a corner, then pressing the border on top of the quilt and pinning before sewing.

  19. #19
    Senior Member vickimc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    Maybe measure in three places? Center - a foot from the left - and a foot from the right?

    And average the numbers if they are different.
    this is the way I do it. and it works good for me.

  20. #20
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    I measure in 3 places and then pin in 1/4's so if I need to stretch a little it is even along each edge.
    Sue

  21. #21
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Have you started a habit of ironing it so that either one, or both sides are stretching out of shape? I would do the 'usual' of measuring across the middle and cutting the piece to that length. Then pin it to the quilt at both ends and make sure the rest of it is eased in either by pinning first, or easing in as you sew. All the best with a solution.

  22. #22
    Member tlstick's Avatar
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    I don't know if this helps or not to what you are talking about as I am new but I always start sewing my boarders on in the middle to the end flip repeat again from that middle to the next end. I also,don't know if it is right but I cut my boarders a little, maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch longer, trim when done.

  23. #23
    Senior Member janeknapp's Avatar
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    I cut the border on the length of grain which prevents stretching.

    I fold the border in half and mark with a pin and then mark the quarter lengths. i do the same with the quilt top. Then I match pins and make sure the fabric is pinned together between the half and quarter marks.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Bren's Avatar
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    I always cut my borders lengthwise rather than across the width and sew them on using a walking foot; no problems so far.

  25. #25
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I cut my borders from the length of the fabric and use a walking foot when I sew them on. I pin a lot too.
    If your machine is a Pfaff with IDT, you have a built in walking foot.
    Sharon W.

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