A common problem that is seen on many quilts is excess fullness in either the border or the quilt body, preventing the quilt from lying flat.
A wavy ruffled border is a sign of too much fullness in the border and “tenting” in the middle of the quilt is a sign of too much fullness in the body of the quilt.
In either case, because the extra fabric cannot to be stitched down smoothly, which may result in tucks and pleats being stitched into the top during the quilting.
Both of these problems can be avoided by:
Hints for Planning Borders
Making Mitered Borders
Measure the quilt in both directions to calculate a “base” measurement for each border.
Do not take the measurements on the edge of the quilt as the seams may have opened a little and will give a false result. Instead position the tape measure approximately 20 -30 cm in from the edge at both ends. Take a third measurement through the center of the quilt.
Now average the three measurements to find the “base measurement". However, If there is more than a 1cm variation in the measurements it means that the piecing seams are not even so go back to the quilt and adjust seams before adding border. When your quilt sits and hangs flat, you will be pleased that you took the time to do this!
To calculate the lengths that need to be cut for each border you must add an allowance for the miter as follows: “base measurement” + (width of the border x 2) + approx 20cm.
if the quilt is 150 cm x100 cm, the borders will be 15 cm wide
150 + 30 + 20 = 200 cm: cut 2 strips for vertical border
100 +30 + 20 = 150 cm: cut 2 strips for horizontal borders.
If using more than one border, strip piece the borders together before cutting to length. They are then treated like a striped fabric when joining them to the quilt.
Find the center point in the length of the border. Now working out from the centre, mark half the “base measurement” length in both directions. You should have a "tongue" left over at each end which is equal to the extra that you have allowed for the miter
Make a miter before continuing to add the other sides:
Continue adding the remaining borders and miter the corners in the same manner.
The Secret to Making a Smooth Mitered Corner
Butted T Top Border
How to Attach a Butted T Top Border
Measure the longest sides of the quilt top first. Take 3 measurements and use the average measurement unless there is more than 1 cm variation in the measurements.
Do not take the measurements on the edge of the quilt as the seams may have opened a little and will give a false result. Instead position the tape measure approximately 20 -30 cm in from the edge at both sides. Take the third measurement through the center of the quilt.
If there is more than a 1 cm variation in the measurements it means that the piecing seams are not even so go back to the quilt and adjust seams before adding the borders. When your quilt sits & hangs flat you will be pleased that you took the time to do this!
Cut the two long borders to the “average” vertical unit measurement and desired width.
If it is necessary to join the strips to make a strip long enough for the border use a bias seam join. Bias seams create a diagonal line that tends to “trick” the eye so that the seam becomes less obvious.
Stitch the borders to the quilt top by matching registration points - divide each length of border into quarters and pin match to quarter positions on quilt top. This helps to prevent buckles and waves occurring as you stitch because you have an even amount of fabric to ease together in each quarter of the length of the quilt
Press seams towards the borders.
Measure, cut and apply horizontal borders in same manner. This time including the vertical borders when measuring the quilt.
If using several borders in the butted "T" method put number one border on all edges before adding border number two, etc.
When making multiple borders always work in the same order each time so that all the “T” joins face same way on each corner.
Choosing Your Quilt Backing Fabric
If you provide your own backing fabric please remember the following points:
What should you do if you have already made your backing but now find that it is not big enough?
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