Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quilt Class 101 - Week 6 - Borders

It has been a very busy couple weeks in blog land.. Blogger's Quilt festival, Quilt Market highlights, Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, The "Middle of Quilt Class Giveaway"...with 1683 Comments and counting.. (Thank Heavens for numbered comments!! P.S. the link to number your comments HERE) The Giveaway will close shortly, so if you haven't entered, you can enter HERE.So, We're back to it!! Quilt Class 101 - Week 6.
How are you all doing?? How are your QC tops coming along? If your new to the class.. You can catch up on the previous weeks HERE.
Today's Class - Borders 
It really is a personal preference whether you decide to add a border to your Quilt or not. I personally LOVE borders on Quilts. It can add the finishing touch. It can nicely frame your Quilt Top.
However, I usually follow a RULE with Borders. If I design my Quilt with a centre block or blocks, then i add a border. Like in these Quilts...             
 If my design is a horizontal design or vertical.. I Don't add a border. Like in these Quilts..
So for this QC (Quilt Class) Quilt. The design is a horizontal design. A Zig Zag from left to right, I wont add a border.

But there are many times you do add borders.. So Let me share my experience and help you avoid the catastrophes. (Yes I'm speaking from experience!)

In my Quilt patterns and I'm sure in other Quilt patterns, when it comes time to add the border, I give specific measurements to cut your border to the required length. BUT, sometimes... were not following a pattern, and we decide to add a border..
 Here's How:
Lay your Quilt on a large surface.
Measure your quilt length in three places, write down the measurements.
Add these three measurements together
Divide the total measurement by three. This will give you the average measurement and this is the length.
Measure and Cut your strip to that length (Depending on the length of your quilt, you may need to join two strips together, end to end and then measure and cut)
Pin these border strips onto either side your Quilt centre. I place a pin at the top edge and then the bottom edge and in the centre.. I then work down the strip and evenly pin it on.
Sew these side borders on.
Repeat the above steps, this time measuring across the Quilt centre, including the border you just sewed on.
Measure, add, divide, measure, cut, pin, sew.

I do have a tendency to rush this last step of making a quilt. I usually piece the whole quilt top carefully and then when it comes time to add borders, i rush it and just cut a long strip and sew it on. I have learnt the hard way when one of my quilts was professionally quilted and puckered ALOT in the border.

What happens is, If you just cut a strip and sew it on. You unknowingly add length to your quilt as you sew. Even if its only 1/2" with the first border, if you have a couple... this just multiplies.. and can be inches in the end. Have you ever laid your Quilt on the floor, and noticed its all nice and flat in the centre.. but slightly wavy on the outer edges?? That's why. You need to add your borders, the same way to piece a quilt top. Carefully measure and cut to a specific size.

I love borders... They don't always have to be a solid piece of fabric.. Pieced borders can add such a striking element to the design.This is a quilt Kate, my BFF made. I love the border with the floating blocks.

I also spent some time looking through Flickr. I found these different design ideas for borders..
1. Mary 2. Red Pepper Quilts 3. All that Patchwork 4. 2 Little Banshees 5. Silveria Feltrin 6. Red Pepper Quilts
For the linky for this class...
You can either link up a tutorial on how you add your borders,
 Link up a Quilt that you have made that has a border you like..
 It will be great to visit you and get some more ideas to border our Quilts...


  1. Those quilts are beautiful!! Thank you for another wonderful tutorial!!!!!!! I don't have a quilt with a border to link up, because the QC quilt will be my first =D

  2. WOW! your very hungry caterpillar quilt is AMAZING! Such an inspiration!

  3. beautiful quilts! I am always wondering if I should add a border or not. I was never informed that there was a rule of borders!

  4. Your Birds of Paradise and Star Jewels quilts are GORGEOUS!!!! As are all the others, of course! :)

  5. Yup, that's the best way to add borders! Lots of beautiful quilts in that post!

  6. Since I just discovered your blog and am now a follower, I am not up to speed with the rest of you... as in, I don't even have enough fabric to quilt! :-) This will change shortly and I will start from lesson 1... Thank you for posting this tutorial, I look forward to each installment!

  7. I am seriously IN LOVE with the Kaleidoscope quilt! I'm a big believer in borders too. It's like the mat around the picture in the frame.:-)

  8. Great tutorial. Being a longarm quilter, borders are a common problem for us! If it's okay...I would love to put a link on my blog to this tutorial on how to add borders?!?! much!

  9. Such wonderful quilts and borders, great ideas and inspiration.


  10. Lots of great quilts, Not all my Quilts have boarders, some need the tie in some don't, here is my most recent which needed a bit more colour to help it along.

  11. Beautiful quilts,I couldn't choose between them!.

  12. The photos are really nice. Very colorful and relaxing to the eyes. I would love to have these quilts. Where can I buy these?

  13. your quilts are really an inspiration! I am catching up on class :) thank you.

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