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Anyone else out there that has had a run of quilts with full borders. It's been so bad that on 2 quilts I finally had to take tucks. Steam, steam and steam some more but still can't get them to lay flat enough. I start to take it personal as if it's me. Help - what does everyone else do?

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Bobbie I don't think its your quilting. I have come to expect them and then when I get one that has good borders I wonder what I did wrong LOL. I have my own borders that have problems once on the quilting machine and I made extra precautions and knew they were perfect before quilting. I think that as all things this day and age the material is not the quality it once was even the better material.


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I find I have more problems if I leave the borders for last. The stitching within the body of the quilt many times draws the fabric up and the fullness increases.

When I know I have bad borders, I stabilize both the outside edge with pins or basting stitches and SID the border seam to stabilize the area and stitch that first border before anything else. Curvy overalls or piano keys are the kindest solutions to the fullness. I make sure to maintain the width of the top and continue quilting in the next stitching field. I stitch the border areas on the sides first and then the interior.

Control fullness that is present in each stitching field as you advance, without pushing any fullness farther down the quilt. If you start with the worst border at the top, hopefully the bottom border will be easier to keep flat.

I use starch and steam for really bad borders--at intake I try to recognize the bad areas and I let my customer know I will charge a nominal amount to treat the fullness. I never quote a price for this extra since I try to charge an hourly fee. If I continue to get bad borders from the same customer, my fee magically goes up!   :ph34r:

I've never sent a top home with a customer to "fix" the borders. I know if I do I'll never see her again!


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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I agree with Linda, in that its important to stabilize the quilt and do the borders first. Otherwise the waves appear and, unfortunately, if they were already full, then a real problem will occur. Piano key or bead board design will help greatly to suck up some of that fullness. Best tip is to deal with fullness where it appears. Pushing it along only compounds the problem and the frustration level. Good luck!


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Proud Owner of 2009 Millie

Bliss & Quiltazoid Friendly

We cannot change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails.....

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Thank you ladies. Both of the quilts I had to take tucks on were edge to edge designs. I baste my sides as I go along but the fullness was so bad that I couldn't get the borders to lay flat enough to baste even after starch and steaming them. Very frustrating. I asked one of the customers how she puts her borders on and she said "her teacher" told her just to take a strip of fabric the width she wants the border to be and sew it on - no measuring - YIKES - no wonder there was a problem.

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Bobbie, that is the problem!  I had a bunch of those (seems like it is always the same people) who are in a hurry to finish up the quilt and don't take the time to measure those borders.  I called them, told them about the fullness and got their permission to take a tuck.  All of them were fine with it and I charged a little more and sent home a sheet with them on how to correctly measure their borders with the comment that "this was helpful to me and I know they want to make their heirloom quilts the best they can be!"


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http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewmanyquiltssewlittletime/

Proud Millie Owner!

Sew Many Quilts - Sew Little Time

Custom Long Arm Quilting

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I recently dealt with a full border disaster and after starching and steaming I still had to take 2 tucks! Through the past few months I have quilted tops that ended up with ZERO puckers or tucks -with 2-3 piece borders, then I've had some that were a mess....what I have seemed to figure out is - 1) the quality of fabric they use and 2) the method of PRESSING when the borders are put on. I figured out on the Disaster Quilt that she was majorly distorting the fabric as she was pressing, and it was a 3 piece border set. She mentioned that she double measured the borders as she went but when I actually sat and though about it I figured out it was a distortion problem as the border seemed to billow out like a ruffle dress from the quilt top. 

Of the ladies I have taught my border piecing and pressing techniques to I have yet to quilt a mess. I really think it's all in how they were taught (or not taught) to do borders. I also send home a 'Helpful Hints' sheet on borders with the few that I have done that I wouldn't care to do again! 

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I do have a hand out that I give to my customer when they pick up their quilt and I discuss how to apply borders. The thing I don't do is call them to tell them I have to take a tuck. I don't want to hold up my machine while they contemplate if they want me to do it. Also, I don't want to deal with having to leave a message and hope they get back to me in a timely manner. So far I haven't had any problems with customers being upset. I do worry that one of these days I will have a problem.

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I  have to say, I have to change my thinking. When doing a custom quilt I usually figure out the plan for the body of the quilt. A lot of the time I have no idea what to do with the borders, so I go happily on my way waiting for an idea to come to mind. I need to work on my process, especially on those quilts with wavy borders.

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This may be something that everyone is doing already, but....  I have recently discovered that if after every advance and before I pin or baste, if I lift up the quilt top and let it settle back down on the batting by itself (same motion as spreading out a bedsheet when you are putting on clean sheets) that it really helps keep the full areas where they are instead of being pushed to the end of the quilt.  I think that if you don't do this, then the batting may keep the quilt from shifting as you roll, possibly stretching it or pushing fullness along.  Obviously I do a full float with my quilts.  This, combined with paying closer attention to keeping the tension of the three layers the same, has reduced the fullness of borders significantly.

 

Carol

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