Avoiding the wave and ripple!..
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Lessons in How NOT to create a quilting nightmare! :c)
Believe me, this will NOT quilt out!
THIS was a quilting nightmare! The names have been changed to protect the quilty-guilty! I hope the steps below will help you apply borders that lie flat and give you square corners :c)
Lay out the quilt on the floor, smoothing as you go so it is straight and flat, but do not stretch...just let it lay flat. Now take your border strip and lay it down the CENTER of the quilt, top to bottom, just smoothing it out. DO NOT STRETCH, just smooth, smooth. Trim it off at the bottom of the end of the quilt. I lay my quilt out on carpet, so I also like to anchor the beginning end of the borders with a couple of long pins stuck into the carpet. It keeps that one border end from creeping as I smooth. Cut the second strip the same way.
If you are doing a rectangular quilt with 4 cornerstones, also cut your top and bottom borders across the width of the quilt, measuring through the center before sewing on the side borders.
Why side borders first?
For me it is a personal preference :c)
It's a subtle difference, but look at the two identical quilts above. Which is more pleasing to you?
Things to remember!
Problem: The quilt top is slightly longer than the border.
Solution: Sew with the quilt top on the bottom, when you put it through the sewing machine. Your sewing machine’s feed dogs will help resolve the problem by easing in the excess fabric.
Problem: The borders are slightly longer than the quilt top.
Solution: Sew the border on with the border fabric next to feed dogs underneath the quilt.
If your main quilt center is 36" and the border is 2" wide,you must add another 2" on EACH side for the miter. The math would look like this:
miter + border width + body of quilt + border width + miter + seam allowance.
(the seam allowance is 1/2", which is 1/4" on each side and needs to be added only ONCE for the entire piece)
2" + 2" + 36" + 2" + 2" + 1/2" seam allowance = 44 1/2"
If you think of it in small steps, one section at a time, it is not difficult at all. 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.
Find the center point in the length of the border. Now working out from the center, 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.
Mark quarter points on the border and divide quilt edge into half way point and quarter points.
Stitch border to quilt matching quarter and half way points. Be sure to start and finish seam exactly ¼" from the raw edges.
Stitch one of the adjacent borders onto the quilt in the same manner, remembering to pin first border excess well out of way before adding the next border.
You can stop here and make a miter before continuing to add the other sides or you can wait until all 4 sides are added and then miter all four corners at once. That is up to you.:
To make a miter:
Fold the quilt in half diagonally so that the right sides are together
Pin match the seams so that they are aligned together.
Use the 45° angle line, marked on your ruler, to pencil a 45° stitching line from the corner of the quilt to the raw edge of the border.
Be sure to start the line exactly at the spot where the border stitching finished otherwise you will end up with a pleat. Do not stitch beyond the seam allowance and into the quilt body! Stitch on the pencil line.
- Lay quilt corner out flat, right sides up so you can check it out.
Line up the 45° angle line of ruler as well as the other lines over miter seam to be sure the corner is square. This is where you can undo and re-do if the seam is not right.
- Trim excess fabric and press seam open