Monday, August 15, 2011

I need an explanation...

I am busy adding the borders onto "Oasis" today....

and so far so good! But I need an explanation.

I was reading a blog awhile back giving a tutorial on how to properly add borders...Measure through the center of the quilt to get the true size, and make your borders that length.  Of course hers was perfect, so both sides were the same length. Yeah, well mine aren't always quite that perfect...I am sort of a "close enough" sewist!! (I know the quilt gods will punish me .....and frequently do when things don't match up in the end!!)
Anyway, I I emailed her and asked her what to do if the sides are not perfectly the same.

mmmmm..I am thinking that she has never had that problem!! Haha!  She suggested that maybe I should ease in the longer side !

So here is my question...why is that so important??

When I make smaller items like wall hanging, of course you want to make sure that it is even and square, but on a quilt that is 60" or 80" does it really matter if one side is slightly longer? Wouldn't it look better to have it lie flat rather than ease in part and have little ripples??  Unless you are entering a show, or hanging it, will you ever notice a slight difference?? I am not talking 2" ...that might be different...but 1/2" or 3/4" even, on a large quilt doesn't seem that significant to me. I would be interested in your comments!

Now back to my "slash and sew" approach to borders!!


  1. I think that part of it is that you do not want your border to "wave" at you and not lay flat.

    I am the same. I rarely measure through the center. I do pin pretty well and my borders have behaved. I am usually not square, but for a larger quilt anything within .5 inches is fine with me. I am usually within about 1/4 or 3/8.

    Interested in seeing other opinions.

  2. I measure each edge (one side of that edge) to make sure I have enough border. I always cut more than I need too.

    First I do the long sides and then I do the short sides. I measure all the way across since I am not always even. I think that as long as the corners are square a half an inch here or there wont matter too much!

  3. I take 3 measurements - middle and 6" in from each edge - use the average. I would not stress this for a home quilt. BUT If you are - and don't want that ease - fold the quit in half and use your large square or long ruler and trim that sliver on the corners - probably it is just a little 'flare' of the final corner.

  4. As you know my quilt group is making Round Robin quilts and let me tell you - that is when you have to measure through the centre! I have had to unpick up to two borders and sometimes wouldlike to unpick more, to get the quilt flat before I add my border. As far as i am concerned the quilt needs to lie flat - if it does then keep doing what you are doing. If you put the border on and it doesn't sit flat then you need to remove it and that is when I like the suggestion to measure in the middle and 6 inches in from top and bottm (or both sides) and take an average. If the resulting border is too small then stretch it a little, too big then ease it in. There shouldn't be too much excess or too little - if there is then that means your problem is further into the quilt but that shouldn't happen unless you are making a medallian or round robin style of quilt. Hope this makes sense.

  5. i measure each and cut more than I need

  6. I take the average of the 3 measurements. I like flat bottoms...on my quilts, that is!


  7. Well, I do have a lot of old quilts and have had some of them for many years. I have never measured the sides to see if they were exactly the same. So, while of course I have no answer to the sewing question...I think if you "eyeball" most anything and it looks right...go with it!

  8. I used to worry about this, but my quilting improved over the years and now they almost always measure with 1/4". What bothers me is when I try to fold the quilt and it won't fold up even. If they do that, I fix it, otherwise, I leave it alone. I always cut my borders the same length and if one side is a little longer than the other, I "ease" it in and that makes it square again. "Easing" is simple to do and if you have a decent length to "ease", it can be spread over the entire length and not be noticeable to anyone. I wouldn't "ease" for anything over 1/4" because my eye would see that much difference.


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