Many of our quilt customers are beginners and have asked for information on borders. The following information should help you get your borders on and your quilt flat before quilting.
After the body of the quilt has been pieced, gently press before adding borders. The logical place to measure the finished top is along its outside edges, and this is a useful measurement. However, measurements should be taken across the center in two or three places for both the width and length. If these measurements are different from that of the outer edge, accidental stretching has occurred. To keep the finished quilt as straight and square as possible, you must measure the centers.
To make a border with straight-cut corners:
Determine the length of the quilt border by averaging the distance of two or three center measurements (see Fig. 1). Cut two borders that length and pin them to opposite sides of the quilt matching ends and centers and easing in the fullness. Sew and press.
Determine the width of the quilt border by averaging the distance of the two or three center measurements (see Fig. 2) Cut these borders that length and pin -easing in the fullness. Sew and Press.
To make a border with mitered corners:
To determine length of top and borders, measure across middle width of the center. To this, add width of border twice plus 1/2 inch (seam allowance). For side borders measure across middle length of center. To this, also add twice the width of border plus 1/2 inch (seam allowance).
Cut borders to length. Fold and press ends at 45 degree angle – this marks miter seam.
Fold border in half lengthwise to find center. Find center of top and pin together. Pin each end of border through the mitered crease and center of top (last square etc.), then pin together remainder — distributing fullness throughout.
Sew with border on the bottom. Begin and end sewing at pin that is through center and miter crease. Now just align creases and pin and sew. Sew from outside toward the top. Clip and press.
Applying borders takes some time and practice, but once you’ve done a few you will get the hang of it quickly. I found it a bit tedious at first, but now love doing it. It is very satisfying when you’re done.