Border Comments Answered

1. The border posts are not meant for everyone.  If you close your eyes and sew long, unmeasured strips to your quilts and that works, why change anything?  I say . . if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!  If what you’re doing works for you, then don’t even think about trying a different method.  There are many ways to do anything and what I’m writing is certainly not meant to be the only way or the right way to add borders.  It’s what works for me and that’s what others have asked me to share.  By the way, I’ve quilted Vicky‘s tops and whatever she does, it works!  She doesn’t need to change anything!  Her quilts are always flat and square.  In fact, I sometimes look at her quilts and wish mine were so flat and square.

Please don’t anyone think you need to change the way you’re doing borders because of what I write.  If you aren’t happy with the way your borders are turning out and you want to try what I’m suggesting, then try it.  It might work for you . . it might not!

2. Whether EQ runs on a MAC without causing problems — CJ at Tinkle Times runs it on hers and I’d be surprised if she would do it if it caused problems at all.  If you’re designing your own quilts and you’re not using EQ or any other software and you’re happy with your results . . don’t change anything!

3.  For those not sewing an accurate 1/4″ seam, pieced sashings aren’t going to work either.  It’s just a whole lot easier to figure out once and for all how to get a 1/4″ seam and go with that.  I guess I’m kinda anal about some things but I cannot understand why a quilter wouldn’t take the time and effort to figure out how to make a good 1/4″ seam.   Most all patterns are written fro 1/4″ seams; if putting together several sections, especially if there are points .. they’re not going to match if the seams aren’t 1/4″.

4.  If you’re wanting to add a pieced border, you absolutely have to be sure that when you get to the point of being ready to sew on that pieced border,  your top has to measure a multiple of the size of your blocks.  If I am adding a 4″ block in a pieced border, the last border added before adding that pieced border has to be a multiple of 4.

I’ll say it again — these are my suggestions; these border posts are what works for me.  You do not have to do borders my way!  You do not have to use EQ!  You do not have to make 1/4″ seams . . you can do anything that makes you happy!  But, I’ve been asked over and over about my borders and that’s simply what I’m sharing . . borders the way I do them!



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    marge davies says

    Thanks Judy for sharing your knowledge. I with you 1/4 in seams are vital for nice quilts, and when you are right on the quilt goes together so much faster and you don’t have to fight it.

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    I do thank you for taking the time to explain how you do things…it’s very helpful! You are right though, there are a million and one ways to go from scraps to quilts!

    Do you have any ideas for “no math” pieced borders???

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    I always thought that sewing with an accurate 1/4″ seam was one of the hardfast quilting rules, but I learned differently when helping other people, participating in swaps, etc. For awhile, I felt bad about being able to sew one.

    I always saw it that if you didn’t you would be swimming up stream for everything. There are plenty areas in which to not follow the rules….

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    Thank you for sharing YOUR tips and tricks. They are helpful to many. I often refer people here with quilting question.

    I recently had a quilt shop owner ask me why she was having problems getting her blocks to match up as well as her points and I wasn’t. The first thing I asked her was she using a 1/4″ foot on her machine? She looked at me like I was crazy. I flipped her blocks over and the seams were anywhere from 1/8″ to 1/2″. I felt bad, I tried to explain why 1/4″ seams were important and anyones blocks wouldn’t match up without a 1/4″ seam. The worse part was she was teaching the class not me.

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    Judy, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. When I first started quilting, I had a shattered right shoulder, so I learned to do things a little differently as I couldn’t stretch out my arm far enough to even use a long ruler or a tape measure. I figured out that if I laid my quilt out very smoothly on the carpet, I could lay the borders directly across or up and down through the middle of the quilt and get the exact length of border I needed. If it was a quilt that had lots of seams in it, I added 1/8″ to one end. If it didn’t have a lot of piecing, I just cut the borders flush with the quilt. So for eight years, and I’ll knock wood here, the borders have all been flat. This is also when I learned to tear the fabric if I wanted a border that wasn’t pieced together. There’s a small cutting mat, a ruler and a rotary cutter that stays up in my bedroom because that’s the biggest space I have to lay out a quilt. Thanks for commenting that they’re flat – I was starting to doubt my method here! LOL xo

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    The 1/4″ rule is like the advice you get from parenting experts: “consistency, consistency, consistency”. It can be one of the hardest rules to follow, both in quilting and parenting, LOL!

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    Linda C says

    I am really enjoying reading how you work out doing borders. Please keep it up! My comments about how my methods might differ slightly from yours are only intended as conversation and nothing more.

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    Judy – I love the fact that you share your knowledge with us. I don’t think there are many of us who know so much about quilting that we can’t benefit by some suggestions by someone else. I know I always learn something new from you. I basically learned to quilt by reading books. Some of what I learned was great and it works well, but I’m always up for new tips! I remember taking a class from Marsha McCloskey years ago and being so relieved when she had us sew two squares together and measure whether we had an accurate 1/4″ seam. Mine was great. Now – do I always sew it accurately? Hmm – I think I tend to get off a bit when I rush. As they say, haste makes waste!

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    Judy I agree with all these positive remarks! Thank you so much for sharing with us. I like the previous responder learned from reading books. Now that I am retired and living in the boonies, I still only can learn that way and from you.