Hello! Today’s post is all about quilt borders. I hope you’ll be able to get a few ideas to help with this part of the quilting process. I’ve got to admit that adding borders is not my favorite part of making quilts…but I’ve come to accept the time and care it takes, and it doesn’t seem nearly as tedious a task as it once did.
While a lot of quilt patterns don’t call for adding a separate border after the quilt center is complete, chances are that you’ll need to add at least one border or multiple borders to many of your quilts. Borders add a lot of interest to quilts, can pull out certain colors from the quilt center, and can make a quilt look truly finished.
6 Essential Tips for Better Quilt Borders
Measure and Cut your Quilt Border Strips Carefully
Measure your Quilt Accurately
Use Pins for your Quilt Borders
accurately in blocks, and I always pin when adding borders. After I’ve
decided on the measurement for my border strip, I mark it with a pin.
Then I align that pin with one end of the quilt and align the other end
of the border with the other end of the quilt. I don’t cut the border
strip before sewing. Once both ends are pinned, I pin every 8-10 inches until I’ve pinned the entire border strip.
Sew your Quilt Borders Carefully
in the border strip. I sew slowly, making sure the edges stay aligned
and that my seam is straight. (It’s easy to want to sew really fast when
adding borders, and this can sometimes result in uneven seams).
Press your Quilt Borders
After each border is added, press gently to set the seam. Then press the border out from the wrong side of the quilt. Be careful to press in short, straight strokes so you don’t add waves into the border through your pressing. Finally, turn the quilt over and press the border out from the right side of the quilt. You can often catch small puckers or places where the border has not been fully pressed using this technique. Repeat this pressing for each and every border, and always press before adding another border.
Be Specific about Quilt Border Choices
Border colors can change the color-focus of an entire quilt. Colors used in border choices will definitely become more prevalent in the quilt center. So pick your favorites or pick a color that needs more emphasis. Sometimes you’ll want a background break border before adding additional borders, and sometimes that background border is all that is needed with the binding providing a frame to the quilt.
Additional Quilt Borders Tips:
- If your border is pieced you may need to press seams open so the border section measures the correct length. You’d be surprised how much “space” is taken up with seams pressed to one side, and if there are many of those seams it can affect the finished measurement of the border section.
- You can also shorten pieced border sections by taking slightly larger seam allowances in a few different places to achieve the desired measurement without altering the pattern.
- Back-stitch at the beginning and ending of your seam when sewing border sections together. It keeps border sections from accidentally pulling apart before the next section is added or before quilting.
- Stay-stitch (sew ⅛″ from the outside edge) when a pieced border is the outer border of a quilt. Again, this will help everything stay together until it’s quilted.
- Finally, always start border sewing with a fresh bobbin…it will keep you from running out of thread somewhere along the line and having to do a lot of re-stitching!
Here’s to hoping you have lots of straight and beautiful borders in your quilting future!
Thanks so much for stopping by!