August 28, 2011

A Quilt Top and a Border Tutorial!

I have been busy over the past couple of weeks, sneaking in an hour here and an hour there, working on this quilt top. I was inspired to make this quilt while on a visit to Sew4Home's blog and seeing this really cute baby quilt!

If you regularly read my blog you will remember this post  where I gave the Fat Quarter Shop a shout out for awesome customer service over a mix up on an order I placed with them!  I came out smelling like a rose when it was over so I wanted to do something special for someone else with some of the fabric that they gave me.

I also have missed the past 2 weeks on tutorials so I decided to mix in a small tute just for you!  I will show you how I apply my borders to keep them from having fullness and walking with me when I try to longarm quilt the top.

First off you need to take 3 measurements across your quilt top.  Decide if you are going to apply your side borders first or your top and bottom borders first.  In this case, we are going to apply the top and bottom borders first.

1. Measure across the top edge of your top, measure through the middle from one side to the other, and measure across the lower edge. (the 3rd line drawn represents the lower edge of the quilt...I thought I got the entire quilt top in the photo but I didn't...sorry)

2. Now..add all 3 of these numbers together.... and then divide by 3.  The number you get will be the length you cut your top and bottom border strips before sewing them to the quilt top...and in my case the length I will need once I finish piecing my strips together for my borders.  Here is my top border, pieced, measured and ready to sew on to the top edge of my quilt.

3. Next... You will need to find the center of your border strip by folding it in half and then mark it with a pin.

4. You will want to find at least one more reference point between the middle and the outside edge of the top, on both sides of the middle,  so now we will bring the left edge of the border strip over to the pin in the middle. We will finger crease the fold to mark the halfway point of the outer edge and the middle pin and add another pin at this reference point.

 Now we have 2 pins in place!

5. And to find the last reference point bring the right side of the border strip over to the center pin.  And as before we will finger crease the fold to mark the halfway point of the outer edge and the middle pin and add another pin at this reference point.

Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 to the top edge of your quilt top.

6. Now we are going to pin the border strip to the quilt top! With right sides together, match your pins on your border strip to the corresponding pins on the top edge of the quilt top and pin them together!

7. It is time to sew your border strip to your top! You may have a little fullness from one pin to the other and the way I tackle that is to pick up the quilt top and border strip where a pin has joined the two together and slightly..very slightly...tug toward myself to erase any fullness there may be while I sew down to the pin.  Do not manhandle this slight tug or you may stretch your border out of shape.

Be sure your top edges are flush and even and begin sewing!

Tug ever so slightly if needed to erase any fullness!

8. Press the seam allowance toward the border strip once you have the entire border strip attached!

Repeat steps 3 thru 8 to apply the bottom border strip to your quilt top!

Now it is time to add your side borders!!  This is done in the exact same way that you applied your top and bottom borders except now you have the top and bottom borders to add in to the equation!  You will take the same 3 measurements as you took before but you will measure from the top edge of the border strip to the lower edge of the border strip!

Remember to add all 3 measurements together and divide by 3 to get the length your border strips should be!

Repeat steps 1 thru 8 to apply the left side border and the right side border! And then you have a quilt top ready to be quilted and your borders will be straight and have no fullness in them!

How do you like my variation of the quilt on Sew4Home's website?  I actually had a sloober doober but decided instead of using the seam ripper, I would use it as a design opportunity! ha! Can you spot the slip-up?

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial of how I apply my borders.  There are as many ways to do things as there are quilters so I am not saying my way is the "only" way.  It is just how I do it and it works for me.  I just hope that I can help someone else with my little tips and tricks.

I am linking up with Lee and WIP Wednesday!


Teresa Felgueiras said...

Thank you for your lovely border tutorial. It's going to be very useful when I make the next quilt.

Kath said...

Thankyou Thearica. I put my borders on the pink thing yesterday, but only matched the centre of the borders. Next time I wll do what you suggested.
Good tip also about taking 3 measurements down the quilt, that's something else I will do next time.

Giles said...

Would the same approach work for doing the binding? I'm not planning to add borders but am about to cut strips to do the binding... this is my first quilt so I'm learning it all as I go!

Thanks for any tips :) and for the really useful tutorials :) :)

Giles (Touch And Sew /

Diane H said...

Thanks for this tutorial. I will definately give it a try. I've heard of this method but didn't understand it til now.

Connie said...

Great tutorial! I learned to do this a long time ago and it really works!

Melinda said...

Love the tute! I've got one that needs borders right now so this is perfect.

Amorette said...

love your use of parisville for the top, it looks great!

susane said...

Super blog, I love your articles and reports, good continuation.

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