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Thread: What is correct way to sew borders?

  1. #1
    Super Member Mornigstar's Avatar
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    While at sewing group today I was asked to sew 3 borders around a small quilt panel. I sat down & did the job. Part way thru I realized I was not doing sides then top and bottoms. Then when all finished the lady in charge asked if I had measured each side before sewing ! DAH! that's when it hit me that I probably did it all wrong according to quilting methods.

    But, there was no rippling of the borders and all corners are square. So made me realize I should know more about the "correct" method. I just sat down and sewed --worked in my head as a long time sewer. Border strips were cut.

    I know it's wrong --anyone else ever do this.

  2. #2
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    There is no right or wrong way. Obviously what you did worked out great and solved the need.

  3. #3
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I agree! :thumbup:

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    ditto

  5. #5
    Junior Member Alexandra's Avatar
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    There is no rule which goes on first. If it is straight cut and not mitered and it's a large quilt I usually put the side borders on first to save fabic.

  6. #6
    Dee
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    No rules. Whatever works for you.

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    It depends on whether you're planning on using a longarmer, and whether you're doing something like entering the quilt in a show. For years, I've managed to put borders on by making long strips, then just sewing them on, trimming the strip so that it's even. That's worked well enough for me when I'm hand quilting, FMQ, or using a walking foot.

    Then I got a longarm. You really, really notice when the borders aren't accurate. And, good lord, the problems that occur when they aren't. The way to piece them if you're going to a longarmer is to measure various points along the quilt, parallel to the edge that you'll attach the border to. Average that measurement (so if it's 80, 81, and 82, use 81), and cut the strip to that length. Pin the ends, then fold in half and pin the middle, and, if necessary, fold an end to the middle and pin in the middle of that, and repeat with the other end. Then, as you're going, if your machine is stretching the top or the bottom fabric, you can make sure it matches up. Your borders will turn out perfectly, because you're evening it out as you go.

    It doesn't matter whether you put the top/bottom borders on first, or the sides - that makes no difference other than in the look.

  8. #8
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    I like ecmoore's way. I was doing the measurements for my borders, but forgot about the pinning part, which makes sense. I remember learning that at a quilting class, but of course couldn't find my notes, so only did it half-way on the quilt top I just finished. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. #9
    Super Member crafty_linda_b's Avatar
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    I was taught to measure across the center of the quilt...from side to side then top to bottom. Then pin it on the ends and center as ecmoore said...you might need to stretch the fabric to make it fit correctly. I prefer to do the sides first then the top and bottom just MHO..happy stitchin' crafty_linda_b

  10. #10
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    I have a handout on how to apply borders so they lay nice and flat. You can download from my website's Tips & Hints page - click on the "How to Apply Borders Handout" link here:

    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/learn.htm

  11. #11
    Super Member TacoMama's Avatar
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    Thanks AndiR!

  12. #12
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmoore
    It depends on whether you're planning on using a longarmer, and whether you're doing something like entering the quilt in a show. For years, I've managed to put borders on by making long strips, then just sewing them on, trimming the strip so that it's even. That's worked well enough for me when I'm hand quilting, FMQ, or using a walking foot.

    It doesn't matter whether you put the top/bottom borders on first, or the sides - that makes no difference other than in the look.
    This is how I do it. I never cut my borders before sewing them on. I have never been able to make them come out the right length. Doing it this way, I have never had a border be rippled or crooked.

  13. #13
    Super Member marytoddliz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    I have a handout on how to apply borders so they lay nice and flat. You can download from my website's Tips & Hints page - click on the "How to Apply Borders Handout" link here:

    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/learn.htm
    I added it to my favorites! Great Site!

    Since I am mostly a self taught quilter, taking the occassional class at a quilt shop, or learning word of mouth, it is nice to see this post and get others' opinions.

    Often times when I was just begining to quilt I would wrap the backing and hand stitch it as my borders. When someone asked me about it I was glad to learn a new way. But I still will "wrap the back" border on a gift quilt to one of my grand kids!

  14. #14
    BMP
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    I have a handout on how to apply borders so they lay nice and flat. You can download from my website's Tips & Hints page - click on the "How to Apply Borders Handout" link here:

    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com/learn.htm
    This is how I do them too !!! I have never had a problem since doing them this way.
    I do some LA quilting a few days a week at a friends shop and what a pain when the boarders are off, it does cause alot of problems.

  15. #15
    Senior Member qbquilts's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but the smart aleck in me immediately thought, "with a needle and thread." :-)

  16. #16
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    Thanks Andi!!!

  17. #17
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    This is how I also do it. It works great!
    Quote Originally Posted by crafty_linda_b
    I was taught to measure across the center of the quilt...from side to side then top to bottom. Then pin it on the ends and center as ecmoore said...you might need to stretch the fabric to make it fit correctly. I prefer to do the sides first then the top and bottom just MHO..happy stitchin' crafty_linda_b

  18. #18
    k3n
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    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
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    AndiR's way - plus, if it's for a wall hanging, it will hang better if you cut the horizontal borders WOF and the vertical ones LOF. Not always possible with directional prints but worth it otherwise.

    PS If I'm doing one of those skinny inner borders, I press both seams towards it as it makes it stand out a little. Otherwise in general I press towards the border like Andi says but this can change depending on how/if I plan to SITD. :-D

  19. #19
    Super Member Mornigstar's Avatar
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    Actually, I sewed all around on all 3 of them --but, understand the strips for the borders were cut already. They were wof so I joined when needed re length. Each plain border got wider. I cut at top or end of width so no miter ends.
    This was on a printed panel about 48"x60" but it will be longarmed as the group owns one.
    Surprisingly , came out with NO ripples but I did not stretch.
    these are charity quilts for canceer patients but we make them according to correct quilting methods.
    For some reason the method just slipped my mind.

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