Border Tip

I so rarely offer tips because I’m the last one to know anything.  But sometimes when I’m teaching, I’ll mention this or that and some think it’s a neat idea so I guess there might be someone out there who would appreciate my tips.

Before adding the border, I mark the centers on both edges of the border.  See the arrows on the aqua piece?  Those are little pencil or chalk (whatever will show up) marks for the center of that border strip.  By putting marks on both sides of the border strip, I don’t have to find the center when I go to add the next border . . since my quilts always have several borders.  Even if it’s the outer border, I need to know where the centers are when I load it on the longarm.  And, I like to sew with the side with the most seams facing up so I don’t get any of the seams crunched over the wrong way.  So, I mark the right side or the wrong side of the fabric, depending on which way I’ll be pinning.  See the white arrow pointing to the white mark on the dark fabric?  I marked that one on the right side because I knew I would be pinning with the right side of that dark border (not pieced) facing up; the pieced border would have the wrong side up so I marked it on the wrong side.  Make sense?

And . . another tip.  I keep two of these magnetic pin holders.  I do my pinning on my cutting table and that pin holder empties out fast.  Instead f having to remember to bring it back and forth with me, I keep the second one at the sewing machine.  When the one at the sewing machine is full, the one on the cutting table is empty and I just swap them.

A minute saved means more stitching time! 🙂


  1. 1


    Wow! It honestly had never occurred to me to have 2 magnetic pin holders located at different locations based on use. What a smart gal you are!! I am always going back and forth!!

  2. 2


    I Love my two magnetic pin holders. Have been using two for about 5 years now…it is so handy.

    I mark my borders with pins. I think I will start using a marking pencil so I don’t have to do it on each border….good idea!!

  3. 4

    Rebecca says

    Opposite of Suzanne: I do the border marking, but hadn’t thought of the rotating pin holders! Great idea!

    It is true about not knowing if other people know tips. I was doing last-minute stitching on a binding at my guild, and at least two people (experienced quilters) said “oh, you do it that way?” and watched!

  4. 5


    Hey Judy! I never thought about chalking the center line on the pretty side of fabric before! you are so clever 😉 I also already have 2 magnetic pin holders and do the same as you do.

    We are back in Texas this week! aaahhhh… and so thankful our home is OK… so many less than 10 miles of us are not. Bridge City lost everything. I blogged about it today. sad…

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  5. 6


    I not only have two magnet pin holders in the sewing room – I have one on each end of the longarm. It’s a great tip for anyone not already using them.

  6. 7


    I had tons of pin “bowls” but like the idea of the magnetic pin holders. I did stick a seam ripper to each side of the long arm with stick on velcro, and someone gave me a cute decorative pincushion to put on the machine–all I keep on it are self threading needles to bury my thread ends as I go along.

  7. 8


    Oh thank you for the tips! I do the pin thingy, there all over my studio — my machine, cutting table, long arm, etc.

    BUT, I never thought of putting TWO marks at the center of the borders. I just do the one, put that border on, then mark again for the next border. This will be a timesaver. Thanks!