Odd or Even Numbers of Blocks in Borders

When discussing some of the border topics, I’ll keep referring to my book, 60 Pieced Quilt Borders.  The link for ordering is in the sidebar.

60 Pieced Quilt Borders

Regular readers will know that I’m not often so blatant in pushing my books but I’m not going to go into great detail here on the blog about a topic that’s covered in the book.  And, once I begin posting border possibilities, I know that some are going to get frustrated because I’m not giving enough information on the blog.  Everything you will need to make the blocks  I show on the blog go together in a perfectly fitting border, can be found in the book.  Fair Warning:  When I post those blocks, and I begin getting comments about how many it takes or how to make it work in your quilt, simply because I won’t have the time to do the calculating for you, I’m not going to be able to respond to those requests.  Please trust me . . the info you will need can be found in the book and though you will have to do a little math to make any block work in your border to fit your quilt, it’s very simple and I’m confident any quilter can do it.

Now .. this blog post is about odd or even numbers of blocks in quilt borders.  Sometimes, it does not matter . . the border will come out just fine no matter if you put 10 or 11 blocks, or 14 or 15 blocks, or whatever but sometimes, it does matter.

This is a quilt I’ve been working on forever it seems and this afternoon I was going to go ahead and make the borders.  It was only then that I realized I had the wrong number of borders in the top and bottom borders.

Wrong Number of Border Blocks

Can you see what’s wrong?  In the top and bottom borders, there is no blank spot on the right side.  The nine patch fits right up against the corner block.  When I went back to change the sizes of the previous borders so I could either add an extra block, or take away a block, I saw that the math was right . . I had the right measurements but must have put in the wrong number for the number of blocks needed.

This one is right.

Borders with the Correct Number of Blocks

The look I wanted with these borders requires an odd number of blocks so there are 19 blocks in the sides and 15 blocks (not counting the corners) for the top and bottom.

It just requires a little planning before beginning but it makes a huge difference in the way the pieced borders turn out.


  1. 1


    Just a note, Judy. My Amozon info came in this morning and your Border Book was one of the feature books! I was quite excited for you. They did not know from me that it would be of interest. Got to keep those chickens fed more than just grasshoppers!

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    AngieG9 says

    Judy, if you hadn’t pointed out the difference I wouldn’t have noticed it. On my own I would have had it quilted and on the bed before looking and seeing that something was different, and even then it would take years to figure out what the problem was. Part of the fun of MS I guess.

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    Joan in NE says

    I love the border. I have the book and love it. I usually work everything out with graph paper (old school I guess) as I can visualize best that way. Thanks for sharing with us all and inspiring us to keep stitching.

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    Having the book is a good idea. Did I get that right? LOL What I found interesting about this border block was that in those colors there’s an optical illusion that the black end of the 9-patch block is narrower than the gold end.

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    No me había dado cuenta de la diferencia hasta que no lo he leído.Es un quilt maravilloso y me encanta el diseño.Feliz costura y buen fin de semana!