Sometimes you will find that it's best to add top and bottom borders first to avoid the need for piecing those border strips. Cut two identical strips and sew on. (Twice, right? A mitered corner is stitched at a 45-degree angle to the sides of the quilt.Figure 1: A plain border can have squared o… The … I put it face down on the slap method one so you can see how much bigger the slap method quilt is. Get DIY project ideas and easy-to-follow crafts to help you spruce up your space. With a tape measure, measure from one edge to the opposite edge across the length of the quilt. Note: You do not even have to actually MEASURE. NEVER JUST SEW FROM ONE END TO THE OTHER WITHOUT PINS! Note: You may wish to block your quilt before trimming. Believe me, I see this with even the most experienced quilters so this isn’t me picking on the newbies. While these measurements will generally work when assembling a quilt, it is always important to measure your quilt top and make adjustments to the border length if needed, before attaching it to the quilt. Each border will have the width of the last border added to its main measurement. In other words, in the example above, you would mark the border strip 5 1/4" from each end. Your simple border will be trimmed later as needed. Sew the strips together along their ends, press seam allowances open to reduce bulk, then trim the strip so that its length matches the measurement in Step 1. Once cut, it is almost impossible to make corrections. Forcing your quilt to match identically cut borders will force it to remain flat. Don't forget to add the lengths needed for the corners, so add the unknown length in now to get. While this may seem simple, there are several steps that need to be taken to ensure that the fabric is on the straight of grain and as flat as possible. In the second border, they are pieced 9-patch blocks. Take note, however, that this only works on straight sets. Determine which borders to sew first to make the best use of your fabric. Pin in place and allow quilt to dry overnight. Pin the midpoint of the border to the vertical midpoint at the top of … When measuring for borders on your quilt, begin by spreading your quilt out on your work surface making sure that it is laying flat but not pulled tight. If you use fabric cut from the lengthwise grain of your fabric, you may end up with unpieced strips. Some borders are too long and they “lettuce leaf” the edges by stretching them out as they are sewn on. Let's look at the anatomy of a 45º seam. I punch in 48 to the calculator and click the Finished size button which will then display 48 in the top box. The Twisted Ribbon quilt border is one of those deceptive borders where the design depends on color and fabric choice. NEVER JUST SEW FROM ONE END TO THE OTHER WITHOUT PINS! To make it easier, sew on the side borders first. If you choose to do cornerstones, you just count your blocks, multiply, then add cornerstones the width of your border strips in each corner. Always measure your quilt top in 3 different places vertically before cutting side borders to make sure you have accurate measurements. Would have liked to seen how to do borders on a larger quilt where you would have to add to the border strip to make it long enough to fit the side of the quilt. Your first step is to be sure that the quilt edges are square. DO NOT sew the border strips together on the diagonal, as this introduces a stretching point, resulting in a wave. Heather explains how she gets the fabric on the straight of grain by ripping two edges. 234 … Borders are then cut to match the average length. Measuring For Borders. They can also be squares which you fussy cut so that a special motif, like a flower, is centered in each square. Write 12 inches along each edge of one quilt block on the paper diagram. Reverse the process if it is your border … Measure the mattress width and add twice the drop length. If one side of the quilt is just the tiniest bit larger than the border, place the quilt top down on the bed of your sewing machine when sewing the border on. To make this angle, you have to work on the right side (rotating the quilt so the corner you need is always to the upper right). For example, if your quilt top is 27" and you are adding a 3" border, you would cut two borders that are (27 + 3 + 3 + 4 1/2") or 37 1/2" inches long. Measure the quilt from side-to-side through its horizontal midpoint, including the width of the first borders. Fold a border in half crosswise and crease. You can easily "square up" your quilt by adding borders that have been measured for perfection. Using the proper method, I measured the first border for the Waltz quilt. Cut two identical strips and sew on. Press. This number will be displaced in the … Measure the length and width of the quilt square. Step 2: Measure the length of your quilt top. By not trimming the excess fabric until you are satisfied, you are completely free to do this over. Borders made with. The feed dogs will help ease this fullness. (And yes, before you ask, you can do it the other way around and put the top and bottom on first and the sides on last.). The trick is to leave extra space where the fabric will stretch the most. You begin by sewing all four borders on the quilt. It helps if you put the area with fullness against t… Lay the quilt out on a flat surface with your cutting mat under one corner. Cornerstones on quilts refer to squares found on each corner of a quilt where the quilt features a border. trim away excess. The first step in cutting long quilt borders is folding your fabric down to a manageable size that will fit on your cutting mat. At present the quilt is 37.5 inches in width. If extra length is needed for the borders, join strips together with a straight seam, on the straight of grain. These shorter pieces have to be pieced for long borders and this should be done using a diagonal seam. Measure through middle, including the two borders you have just added. My Jelly Roll Course: http://bit.ly/railfencejellyrollSubscribe for more DIY Videos! More Tips for Adding Quilt Borders. Piece border strips end-to-end to achieve length. All Rights Reserved. If your quilt has more than one border, you can sew them together and treat them as one so that you only have to miter each corner once. The cornerstones are of a different, usually contrasting, color than the rest of the border and create a structural effect within the quilt's design. Cut 2 strips the width of the quilt plus twice the border width and 2″ inches extra and 2 strips the length of the quilt plus twice the border width and 2″ inches extra. Each border piece is marked so that the amount you have left for the miter is not sewn to the body of the quilt. In this quilt, the bottom of the quilt measured 73-1/2″, the top measured 73″, and the center measured 72″. To determine the length of the top and bottom border, measure through the center of the quilt from side to side, remembering to add the side border measurements plus the 1/2" seam allowance. This gives you the measurement for the top and bottom. The overlap can include the selvedge since it will be trimmed off. For multiple borders, sew strips together first and attach to quilt as one unit. It helps if you put the area with fullness against the feed dogs. Slip the cutting ruler under the tape and be sure it is in the right place. You can sew them all together and treat the strip as one piece to cut the lengths needed for each side. For a comforter-size finished project, measure from the top of the mattress to slightly past its lower edge to figure the drop length. Why Is It Important to Carefully Measure and Sew Quilt Borders? She has published over 350+ articles for The Spruce Crafts. You may also specify the width of the fabric. This gives you the side measurements. If you have set your blocks on point, the measurement through the middle of the block is actually 1.414 X the outside measurement, a number I would just as soon NOT multiply out. Borders are usually sewn to the two longest sides of the quilt first and then to the remaining two sides with the final two extending straight across the ends of the first borders. Click: http://www.craftsy.com/ext/YT_9_3 to learn more about Jenny Doan's class, Quilting Quickly: Patterns, Techniques & Tips! Made completely of simple triangles, it looks like a curling ribbon falling down the side of your quilt. Your quilt will NOT be square and may even have ripples along the edges. Example using width of quilt to calculate size of borders: I want my finished quilt to be 48 inches in width. So if the border strip has the fullness, sew with the body of the quilt on top. Press. If the quilt seems to have fullness, put the body against the machine. I actually draw myself a little sketch, adding each border, and then I can visually SEE that there need to be TWO sets of numbers added, one for each side. How to Sew the First Two Borders to the Quilt, How to Sew a Carpenter's Star Quilt Block, How to Make Quilt Sashing With Cornerstones, How to Sew an Easy Log Cabin Quilt Pattern. Using the lengthwise grain means that the fabric has no stretch or give. You spent a long time making your quilt. Match and pin the bottom end of the border to the bottom edge of the quilt, then match and pin the other end of the border to the quilt. Place the border along the side of the quilt, right sides together and midpoints matched. Using your long ruler, place the 45° angle across the top of the border, so you can draw a line along the edge of the ruler from the corner of the borders to the intersection with the quilt corner as shown in the diagram. Sew with the quilt border on the bottom so you can make sure quilt seams don’t get flipped in the wrong direction. Stitch to within 1/4" of the edge. We have added 3" for EACH side border width plus our 1/2" seam allowance. Arbee Designs. This calculator calculates the amount of fabric required for creating borders for your quilt given the quilt's dimensions (width and length) and the width of the borders. Cut two identical strips and attach as above. Repeat to sew the remaining border to the quilt. First, the quilt with the measured borders is straight and flat. Use a square ruler, the largest one you own, and put it in the corner. The ends of each border unit will look like stair steps, since each successive border piece will be larger than the one before it. When you are satisfied, you can trim to your normal seam allowance. Place fabrics right sides together and sew a diagonal seam to make a mitered join on border strips, Quilt is 70" x 45"Borders are 2 1/2" wide finishedFabric is 40" wide, original total length of border = 230"230 ÷ 40 = 5.75 (round up to 6 which means 5 seams), add width of strip plus 1" for each 45º seam3+1 = 4" x 5 seams = 20", add the amount needed to miter each corner (2" for each end of a border strip) + 1/4" seam allowance for each end = 4 1/2" needed to complete EACH miter, add these two numbers to your original total230 + 20 + 18 = 268 total pieced length needed for borders, divide again by the width of the fabric268 ÷ 40 = 6.7 (round up to 7), This is the actual number of strips you need to cut to make your pieced borders. Although you can have dozens of border options to think about when planning your quilt, you most likely will use one of two basic types.The easiest and most common border style is the plain border, shown in Figure 1. Write the dimensions onto the quilt diagram your drew earlier. Beautiful. In our example, the math would look like this: 2" + 3" + 36" + 3" + 2" + 1/2" seam allowance(we are adding both seam allowances in one step by using 1/2"). Then cut it to length. For a coverlet, measure from the top of the mattress to slightly past the bottom of the bed rail. Take a look at the corner. For practice, try this once on a 12" square - add multiple borders and practice your mitering skills without wasting a lot of fabric. Learn how to create easy quilt borders for your quilting patterns. This will help ensure that the borders lay flat once they are sewn in place and there is no waviness to the border. Raw edges should be aligned along the quilt's entire side. A mitered border is a slightly different process. To Determine the Length of Side Borders Measure the quilt starting at the top edge to the bottom edge through the middle row. The Calculations. It is possibly (although not likely) that the side of the quilt bows further in than the ends (concave). Be sure to add fabric for borders if you plan to use them, and decide if borders will be cut along the fabric's straight grain or crosswise grain. Press the seam allowance towards the border. One of the most pesky problems for quilters is trying to get borders to fit right on their quilts. Watch this instructional quilting video to account for small changes that occur in the sewing process to … Add up the lengths of all the sides. Lay the quilt on a flat surface and measure through the middle from top to bottom. In this case, you would measure the center of the quilt in BOTH directions, without sewing on the first set of borders. Unless your piecing is darn near perfect, you will end up with wavy, wonky borders. Use the same method, but measure horizontally first and start at the Short sides. If not calculating yardage required for borders, set the border widths to 0. Fold a border in half crosswise and crease. This only works for butted borders. Attach these to the top and bottom of the quilt. Use pins. You must use a little judgment, possibly adding your long rotary ruler to the ends to be sure you will be able to continue the line you are trimming all the way down the side of the quilt. This should put a fold exactly in the middle of the quilt corner at a 45° angle. This method gives you butted corners. Measure the border by laying the measuring tape on top and carefully smoothing it. Up to 5 borders may be specified with the first border (Border1) being the innermost border. This kind of seam uses more fabric than a butted seam. The feed dogs will help take up the slack. Some quilters prefer to measure a quilt's length and width in multiple spots, add those lengths together, and then divide the total by the number of measurements taken to determine an average. Later, after you have batted and quilted your piece, you will do this again so that the entire quilt is square before adding binding. Continue matching and pinning the border to the entire side of the quilt, pinning at close intervals if you must ease in fullness to coax the two lengths to match. If you feel that extensive quilts has caused some distortion, you can smooth out your quilt on a flat surface such as the floor or a wall. This is for insurance purposes. Then I punch in 37.5 to the calculator and click the Actual size button which includes the seam allowances. Strips are usually cut on the lengthwise grain and pieced for length. After stitching, press strips away from quilt. If measurements at the edges differ from those at the center, ease the borders while sewing. Step 1. If you think of it in small, one step pieces, it is not difficult at all. Press away from quilt. Press the seam allowance towards the border. For instance, for a quilt that measures about 60 inches x 80 inches, six 10 inch blocks across and eight 10 inch blocks down will fill the space, requiring 48 blocks. You can stitch the plain border with squared corners or with mitered corners, depending on your expertise. Once for each side.). Pin the middle of the strip to the middle of the quilt, pin the ends, then pin the remaining areas, easing in any fullness. I needed 70-1/8 inches. These numbers might change again if your reason for using pieced borders strips is artistic. Check out our quilting tutorials to find out how to add simple, attractive borders to your quilts. Cut two border strips this measurement using the width you want on the quilt. To find how long each border piece needs to be, use this equation: length of quilt side + (width of the border x 2) + 6″ = Total Border Fabric Length of quilt side: … If your quilt is 5 blocks across by 3 blocks tall and if the blocks are 12", the vertical measurement is 3 X 12" = 36" + 1/2" for seam allowance. Therefore, I prefer using the method outlined below. We have plenty of quilt border ideas and simple quilt borders. Cut two borders to this size. A mitered seam is measured in the same way but you must add another 2" on EACH side for the miter. So, if you are adding 3" borders and want to add this to the short sides (because this will make the best use of the fabric width), you will have 36" + 3" + 3" + 1/2". Use a ruler or plumb lines to be sure the vertical and horizontal seam lines in the quilt are straight. These instructions for measuring and sewing straight borders to a quilt can be used to add any type of border. Step 1: Decide how wide you want your borders. This helps to square up the quilt top and keep the borders from being wavy. You must be able to pin the edges of the quilt. Second, the slap and sew has waviness in the borders indicating too much fabric on all four sides. Continue matching and pinning the border to the quilt just as you did side borders, working with ends first then matching and pinning the remaining length. Pin the midpoint of the border to the vertical midpoint at the top of the quilt, right sides together and raw edges matched. Attaching borders to form mitered corners is a little bit different. You need to trim so that all the sides are straight, the corners make right angles and the quilt, when folded, will meet exactly in the four corners. You can then sew in a straight line between the two intersections that are formed. Sew the border to the quilt with a 1/4 inch seam. Straight sewn quilt borders, also called butted borders, are quick and easy to sew—that's probably why they are the most commonly used borders for quilts. Add at least two-inches to each of your measurements. 234 inches. Open and check that there is no gap in the stitching and the end pieces come out evenly. Take accurate measurements. Cut border strips carefully. Select a border style and enter your planned border widths and fabric widths. Cut or piece two borders that length. Mark the center point of both the border and the quilt top and pin a border to one sides of the top. Unless otherwise indicated, all other content is the property of Arbee Designs LLC. If the quilt is skewed a bit and you measure the sides of the quilt to determine border length, the quilt will be just as out of square as it was before borders were added. Sew one cornerstone unit to each end of the remaining border strips. There is an important trick to remember here. After stitching, press strips away from quilt. This makes the join almost invisible on print fabric and much less obvious on solid fabrics. Measure the quilt from top to bottom through its vertical midpoint. You do not add the seam allowances from the seams that will be sewn between the cornerstones and the border strips. With pieced blocks, this will be true because you have squared each unit as you went along (didn't you?). Cut two border strips that match the measurement exactly, using the width you've already determined looks best with the quilt. The seam allowance belongs to the main quilt BUT actually is not sewn. Sewing border strips without measuring is a recipe for disaster. Connect the strips with the same technique used for continuous binding strips. With these, the edges may be quite uneven. If you are making a butted seam, you must choose one of these measurements and add the width of the border. Borders. Some quilters use 1/2 inch seams. Repeat this same procedure on all four corners. Again, using the measurement of the center of the quilt, add the width of your border twice, plus 4 1/2" inches. Miter border corners when an angled seam complements the overall design of the quilt. The horizontal measurement is 5 X 12" = 60" + 1/2". This border is easy enough for beginners, yet looks impressive with many quilt styles. Lay the quilt on a flat surface and measure through the middle from top to bottom. For example, if the quilt square is 12-inches by 12-inches. Loved your fabrics in the quilt you made. 56 + 61 + 56 + 61. equals. Be sure to take the little extra time to finish it correctly. When you pin them together to sew, it is important that you begin by pinning from the middle. Lay the quilt on a flat surface. The steps are: You could also opt to place a diagonal seam between pieced border strips instead of a seam that runs across each strip's width. Fold one of the borders in half crosswise to find its midpoint, using your fingers to crease it slightly at that spot. Use the same method to sew the remaining border to the opposite side of the quilt. Mat. On each join you lose the width of the strip plus the amount you overlapped. Measure the quilt from side-to-side through its horizontal midpoint, including the width of the first borders. Follow the rules above for attaching the first border and the others will naturally be in the right place. Open and check that the strips meet evenly. Matching the center points, sew the border to the quilt top, stopping 1/4" before you ge… var today = new Date(); var year = today.getFullYear(); document.write(year); Start measuring about 4″ in from the sides. Cut or piece two borders that length. For example, if the striped border is 3 1/2" wide, the cornerstone would be 3 1/2" wide. Then (and only then!) For example, if you have made a landscape quilt and wish to have the border mirror the nearest color in the quilt, you would have to measure that area and cut a strip that was the right length. 15 Responses to “How to Make a Quilt Border: Cutting and Measuring” julie April 10th, 2014 . Stretch the quilt slightly so that it is square and dampen with a spray bottle of water. To measure the pieced quilt top, place your tape in the middle of the longest side and then in the middle of the shortest side. Did you get it? Pin the middle of the strip to the middle of the quilt, pin the ends, then pin the remaining areas, easing in any fullness. Cut two identical strips. This gives you the side measurements. When you sew, you will have the border width and miter amount (5") + the seam allowance from the quilt hanging loose at the ends. The illustration shows the two pieces face to face with the top piece extending about 1/2" at the side and have the under strip sticking out 1/2" at the top. Sew the border to the quilt with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Straight seam=yes Diagonal seam=no Janet is the author of the Rodale book "Classic American Quilt Collection: Stars" and has contributed to dozens of other books and patterns as both a writer and editor. You may also choose to just count the number of squares in your quilt and multiply. You have to plan for this from the beginning. Students may not teach these classes or make copies of the material for others. The problem, as you can see in the pics above, is that there is so much waviness that the measurements will not be the same on each side of the quilt. I set up an extension of my cutting board with a chair and a cardboard sewing mat. Sew carefully–it’s easy to get off track when sewing larger quilts. Class content is copyrighted by the respective teachers or authors of articles. But the final proof is in the measurements. © Copyright 2012- Thank you for your demonstration on borders. When you cut border strips across the width of the fabric, you are still on the straight grain but you do get a small amount of give. Some quilts are made of long strips or other types of joined units, such as Bargello. Tip: Since I always square my units as I go and then square my blocks before assembling the quilt, I trust that a 12" block is really a 12" block and not 11.75" or 12.25". In the third border, the cornerstones are plain squares of a contrasting color. The second and third borders on this quilt have cornerstones. Press carefully–but don’t press so aggressively that you add a “wave” into your border. You can just lay your border strip on the quilt and cut to the size of the quilt body. The amount of yardage for each border is rounded up to the nearest 1/8 of a yard. It's not unusual for the four edges of an unfinished quilt top to all be slightly different lengths because the edges of quilts are often stretched out of shape a bit during construction. Pin through both layers at the match to keep fabrics from shifting. Note that the striped border is actually three strips of fabric sewn together and treated as one fabric. Take the side border and bring it to the top, matching the top edges and having right sides together. Step 1: Determine how many inches of continuous border strip is needed. Stitch from the quilt out to the edge, starting your stitch in the last stitch you used to attach the borders. Find the quilt's horizontal midpoint. Measuring tape Sewing machine Rotary cutter. Then cut the cornerstones to match the width of the strips. Cut the side border strips to the average measurement from Step 3. You would then sew on the two sides and press away from the quilt. The two borders are in different colors so you can clearly see that they come together at a right angle. Strips lose 1/4 inch for each seam it takes to stitch them together, so allow a little extra length when cutting. 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