My border notes got a few comments and questions so I thought I’d explain. This is what I make for every quilt:
Here’s how I read my little chart. There’s really no algebra there and it’s quite simple. The first border pieces I will add will be my side borders for the first border. According to my chart, those are cut 2″ x 63.5″. I mark the halfway point of my borders to match up with the halfway point of the quilt top and then the halfway point of the second border will match up to the halfway point of the first border. Make sense? The halfway point of this border s 31.75″ so that’s what’s in parenthesis. That border is yellow so that’s why there’s a “y” next to it.
The second segments I add will be the top and bottom of the first round of borders. They are cut 2″ x 51.5″. The halfway mark is 25.75″ and it’s also yellow.
Next will be the second round. Following along on my notes, the side borders are cut 1.5″ x 66.5″. The halfway point is 33.25″ and the “a” means it is cut from the aqua fabric.
The picture shown below is one of the side borders for border #3. You will see that I’ve marked the center at 34.25″ and it is yellow. (Notice the Bernina magnetic pin holder? Told you I was a Bernina girl forever!)
I lay out all the border segments, sides first and then top and bottom for each border round.
Actually, I had already added the first border, which is yellow, to the top before I decided to do this blog post so what you see here are border #2 (aqua), border #3 (yellow) and border #4 (print). Notice that the bird fabric is cut on the length of the fabric for the side borders and on the width for the top and bottom borders so the birds are all going the same direction when added to the quilt.
Once my borders are all cut, I stack them so that the first one I need is on top, then the next one and so on til the last one I’ll need is on bottom.
If I were cutting this quilt to pack up to take along with me somewhere else to work on, I’d roll these borders up, just like they’re shown in the picture, into a tight little roll and pack it so that I don’t have to re-measure or guess which border goes where when I get to where I’m going.
Before someone asks, under my sewing machine are half gallon jars of wheat.
There are several reasons I do my borders this way:
- I don’t have to get up and look at my EQ file every time I’m ready to add the next border.
- I don’t have to deal with calculating, cutting strips, making seams to join the strips and then measuring each time I go to the next border.
- I know me . . and if I didn’t have everything all ready to attach, once the blocks are made and the center of the top is assembled, I just might go on to the next project and this one would never get finished. With everything all cut, seamed and already sized to fit, the project has a lot better chance of getting finished.
The borders are all done before the quilt blocks are ever started. And, if I’m going to make a pieced backing, that is done before the top is ever started. Look how much Moda Marble I was able to use in this backing! Stashbusting on steroids! 🙂
Knowing me like I do, I also know that the binding needs to be made and ready to attach so that once the quilt comes off the longarm, I’ll sit down and put the binding on and finish it by machine right then or it will go into a stack and wait and wait and wait to be finished. So . . the binding gets done before the quilt blocks are started.
This particular project was a UFO. When I opened the box over the weekend, only the blocks and the extra aqua, yellow and print fabric were in there. No borders, no sashing, no backing and no binding. I sat down with EQ, figured out how I was going to finish this top. I wanted it to be a donation quilt and most of those are in the 60″ x 80″ range. I worked on it til I got it 65″ x 80″. Then I made the borders, the backing, the binding and then I finished the top. By the way, the name of this quilt is “Bird of Paradise”. I’ll explain it later. You may not want to hear that story! 🙂
But, for quilts I start these days, as soon as I’ve decided on a design, I make the borders, the backing and the binding, then I start the blocks. That’s not the way most people do it but that’s what works for me.
So now you see . . there’s not really any algebra, just a little addition and division and lots of sewing!