What is the correct way to add borders?


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After reading and reading and researching, I am so confused. How are borders added correctly.

If the piecer is not a great piecer and does not square up the blocks as she/he goes along, how should the borders be measured and added, so they will not wave or the quilt top is bigger than the borders?

A) measure 3 time and take an average

B) measure down center (horizontal and vertical) and match in 5 spots. (2 ends, middle and middle from end and middle)

C) sew a long piece on and cut off extra (LOL - not) just kidding.

What is the correct way - ugh!!!!!!

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Measuring and averaging will give you a measurement that (if the measurements are off) will result in a top that will have one side eased (ruffled border) and the opposite side stretched (ruffled interior). It's an inescapable fact--this gives you a quilt that's square, but not flat.

Adding borders to the exact measurement of each side (if the measurements are off) will result in borders that are flat--and a quilt that's not square.

What to do? Measure every unit as you go, each row as you join, and do a final trim-up when you finish. Or--don't sweat it. Starch and steam it. Use a curvy stitching design. Take tuck or pleats if necessary. If the customer doesn't take a lot of care, handle what you can, photo-document if need be, and gently guide them if they're accepting of help.

I'm a crappy piecer, but enthusiastic! I fully empathize with the queens of the ruffled border--hate 'em but I deal with it!

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Linda is right the only real way to avoid ruffly borders is to measure as you go and correct your blocks if needed. I prefer to take the 3 measurements and go with that but if the inside is horribly out of square you will have problems. I'd rather deal with a square quilt as far as quilting it goes. Those quilts where the borders flare out and look like an hour glass really stress me out.

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I vote C! :P I know it's not the "proper" way of doing things, but I have to admit, that's exactly how I put borders on quite often. Especially if it's a narrow one. On the other hand, I'm very careful about keeping a 1/4" seam, so my squares and rows are usually pretty accurate. If the border is more than a couple inches wide, I measure in three places and average. Needless to say, I don't enter shows, but I have a lot of fun piecing!

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Borders cut parallel to the selvage edge can pose a challenge, too. They don't want to stretch,and if the quilt center is too full and the borders too short, that's another tough situation to quilt pantos on! I guess it is all a learning experience to figure out how to get the quilting accomplished in less than ideal situations. We should be able to write hair dye off as a "quilting tool" for these "gray hair" quilts :wacko:

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I have some really fun quilts ahead to do, but I am "making" myself finish some others before I start the new. That being said, I had the "opportunity" today of applying borders....In addition to what has been stated I am reminded that marking borders in fourths and likewise marking the border piece in fourths is another insurance marker. I think often because most quilters don't pin when they piece, they think they don't have to pin when they put on borders...it is very important, especially if you have borders cut on the crosswise grain instead of the lengthwise grain. Tomorrow...more borders :wacko:

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I have some really fun quilts ahead to do, but I am "making" myself finish some others before I start the new. That being said, I had the "opportunity" today of applying borders....In addition to what has been stated I am reminded that marking borders in fourths and likewise marking the border piece in fourths is another insurance marker. I think often because most quilters don't pin when they piece, they think they don't have to pin when they put on borders...it is very important, especially if you have borders cut on the crosswise grain instead of the lengthwise grain. Tomorrow...more borders :wacko:

I always pin my borders and mark the fourths on the border and quilt top then match them like Bonnie does. I also use my walking foot when applying borders. Since I only quilt for myself, I have no one except myself to blame if I have friendly borders! ;)

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Thanks for the kudos! This was pieced by a Guild member who also works at our LQS. I actually called her to ask how she wanted me to handle the ruffles. I was informed there weren't any ruffles! I emailed her the pictures and she said she knew her borders were a bit full, and asked me to....drum roll....." Just quilt it out." Knew you'd all like that line. :)

I decided on the piano keys. I pushed the fullness, using lots of pins, to every other space and stippled the space with all the extra fabric forming lots is tiny pleats or tucks. If you look at the picture again you will see what I am referring to. The piano keys were one inch apart.

This quilt was presented to the shop owner, Steve, at the Grand Opening Reception of his new shop. I knew I had to make this as good as possible as it would be hung in the shop " forever." Steve drives a Harley, which is why there is the Harley embroidered jacket patch in the center.

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Judith, it is a Circle Lord template that has both the wavy lines and straight lines to choose from. It is one to be used from the front of the machine so you can easily stitch in exactly the spot you want. I used the full circle in the whitish blocks and half circles in the black blocks around the emblem. I really like this template.

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Linnea, I didn't charge anything for the quilting because it was a gift for the shop owner where I meet most of my customers.  He knows I quilted it and the staff knew I didn't charge for it, so I am guessing that he "heard" that, too.  Of course, only the gal who pieced it knows about the "ruffle."  Oh, and all of my friends on the forum, too.  :)

 

Thanks, Charlotte.

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