Number of Borders

How many borders are right?  It’s up to you!  Don’t you love it?  It’s your quilt and as long as you’re happy with it, you can have 1 border or 100 borders — whatever you want!  Let the quilt be your guide.  If you look at your  quilt and find that it looks like the borders are overpowering the quilt, make the changed needed.

Because I love borders, I often use fewer blocks in order to have room for pieced borders. When I was making Peaches & Dreams, I had it planned to have 8 borders.


I knew that borders #1, 2 and 3 were going to happen as planned because those were the borders prior to the pieced border.  I had to get the quilt to a multiple of the size of the squares in that border.  But after I got the pieced border done, I was so ready to stop.  Maybe I could leave off border #5.


NO!  That didn’t look good at all.  Do you see how it just looks like something is missing without that lighter orange strip in between the pieced border and the next narrow orange border?

Maybe I could leave off the next one.


That does nothing for the quilt. In my opinion, the narrow orange border, which is Border #6,  needs be there.  Maybe I could leave off the 6th and 7th borders, making the next to last light orange border more narrow (which is the same thing as making Border #6 wider and leaving off the last two borders.


That would work ok but I think it looks much better with all the borders.  What the quilt really needed was all 8 borders, don’t you think? See how the darker orange border creates a frame for the blocks in the quilt, then frames the pieced border, then frames the entire quilt?  That’s the look I like!


My advice is forget any preconceived notions you have about how many borders you need to use.  Add however many or however few borders you feel enhances the quilt.



  1. 1


    Or zero borders. I think we forget how recently boders became “the” thing to do. Think of so many gorgeous Depression era quilts that have no borders at all.

  2. 2


    My problem is that usually I’m so sick of the quilt by the time I get to the borders, I can’t focus on them. Got any advice on how to get over that? One quilting teacher I know said to put it away for at least 6 months then bring it back out to work on. Don’t want to have to do that with all my quilts.

  3. 3


    Ohmygosh, you are right! The way you completed your quilt is JUST right. I would not have thought about it if you hadn’t shown the difference.

    Thanks…love the “food for thought”.


  4. 4

    Miss Nancy says

    The borders made this quilt, Peaches and Dreams. The eight borders were just perfect. They added just the right spark. Love your advice. Let the quilt speak to you and add the number of borders that create just the right finishing touch and spark whether it be no border, one border, 100 borders, or any number in between. Thank you for sharing your advice.

  5. 6

    Jerzydeb says

    I wouldn’t have even thought about the difference in how many borders – time to think outside the box. I guess this is where quilting software becomes your best friend !

    Thanks for teaching me more about quilting each time I visit.


  6. 7

    Just Me says

    I was wondering how you measure for your borders? This takes so long, maybe I am doing it wrong. Do you measure each side or just attach a strip?

  7. 9


    This quilt is dynamite! Man, I hate doing borders, though. I have so many tops that are sitting here needing borders. I need to devote a month to just getting them done. You’ve inspired me — maybe! LOL