Border Bundles

Before I cut the first piece of fabric, I create a border chart:

The numbers in parentheses indicate the halfway point so I don’t have to figure it out when I’m at the cutting table.

Once the strips are sewn together to give me the length I need and using the long cutting mat, I spread the border out, lining one end (which I’ve squared up already) at the zero mark.

I mark the center of my borders.

Then move the marked line down to the zero line again.

As I’m marking the end of the border, I only need to make one mark and not a second mark at the top of the border.

Line up a horizontal line of the ruler with the edge of the border, placing the cutting edge of the ruler right on the marked edge and this is where I cut off the end of the border.

This quilt has 6 borders.  The third border was a pieced border and that’s the very first one I made.  Then I start with border #6.  I make the side borders first, then lay them out of the way.  Then I make the top and bottom pieces for border #6 and lay them right on top of the others.  I do the same with #5, sides first, then top and bottom, then border #4, then stick the pieced borders on top, then do borders #2 and #1.  Then I roll that all up and I have a border bundle.

You can see the big border bundle here in this picture.  Don’t ask me why that tiny little triangle is laying there . . guess it just wanted to be in the picture too.

Once the borders are all done, the blocks are made and it’s very quick to put the top together.

This method may not work for anyone but me but I love doing my borders first!


  1. 1


    Hi, hope you have a wonderful time at the retreat.

    What happened to your chicken button ? It’s gone.

    Have a great day . . .

  2. 2


    When I cut my border fabric (non pieced) to fit the side of the quilt and then sew it to the quilt, I find that the border material is no longer square. The outer corner “pulls” in. Is that a clear statement? Anyway to prevent this, I make the border fabric 2 to 3″ longer then needed. I mark the correct length on the border and sew it to the quilt using that mark. After pressing, I re-square then ends of the quilt.

    Judy D

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    Rebecca says

    Judy, have you ever thought of doing a medallion quilt? I’ve been seeing more of them. Since it is essentially a series of borders, you might enjoy it!

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    Pat says

    Thanks for taking the time to explain how you cut your borders! I always folded mine but I can see that this method would be so much more accurate.

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    This is a great insight into how you work, and I really appreciate you sharing it. It’s interesting to see how other people do things; personally I leave my borders to last because I like to get a ‘feel’ for the quilt before I decide on the borders.

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    Thank you for sharing your method of making borders. I always enjoy seeing different ways of accomplishing the various steps of putting together a quilt. Sometimes when I’m reading your blog, I get a real “light bulb” moment and things just seem to fall in place. Other times I just blow a fuse.

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    Judy C in NC says

    Morning Judy L – what kind of cutting mat is that in the pictures? is it one of the custom cut ones? and what are the benefits? I am not familiar with the white mats as I have always bought the green ones (Joann’s with a coupon). I do not need a custom one yet, but doing my research. Thanks for the information.

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    Judy in MI says

    Do you sew your side borders first then the top & bottom OR do the top and bottom first then the sides??

    Good explanation – you should teach more – you are great at explaining!!

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    Pat Bandura says

    thanks so much for showing how you cut your borders. I will have to try this on my next quilt

    Pat B in NY