Everyone has a favorite method for how to put a quilt together and that's just fine with me. To each her own. But for me there's one step in the process - borders - for which there's a wrong way and a right way. The right way ensures I don't end up with "lettuce leaf" edges along the outside of my quilt.
After seeing a lettuce leaf edged quilt top on a blog post, a "How to Add Borders to a Quilt" tutorial is in order. Making a flat quilt top is all about taking measurements first, then adding borders.
Here's how I added borders to this Great Granny Along quilt top.
Measure the width through the center. (Note yellow tape measurer at the top of the photo.) If you're uncertain whether your quilt is "square," measure again in two other places - one-third and two-thirds from the quilt center edges. Hopefully those three measurements will be the same. If not, use the average of the three numbers as your measurement.
After learning that my quilt center measured 54-1/2" wide, I used the same tape measurer to measure 54-1/2" on a 3"-wide border strip. I marked the measurement with a straight pin and used scissors to cut it.
I pinned the border to the edged of the quilt center, making sure each border edge aligned with the quilt center edge.
If you have a walking foot for your machine, I highly recommend using it to sew borders to the quilt center.
After pressing the seam allowance toward the border (that's the direction toward which there is less bulk from seams) I again laid out the quilt top to measure the length.
Measure the quilt center length through the center. As before, if you think your quilt center might not be square, also measure in two other places. If the three measurements are not the same, use the average as your measurement.
The length of my quilt measured 73".
Again, on the border strip, I used a pin to mark the measurement, and scissors to cut it.
I pinned it to the long side of the quilt.
Repeating - measuring, cutting and pinning - the last two borders are shown pinned to the quilt top and ready to be sewn.
After one more pressing, pointing the seam allowances toward the border, the flat quilt top finished at 60" X 78".
|Quilt and Hogan, in our back yard|
If you're planning to snuggle up in your quilt, or put it across a bed, it may not be important to you how flat your finished quilt is. But if you're sending your quilt top to a longarm quilter for quilting, or you want to hang your quilt on a wall, flat is very important! Just ask your longarm quilter how important!
I've ordered four yards of on-sale backing fabric from Hawthorne Threads. I haven't been to any quilt shops since moving to Florida two months ago! When my order arrives, pin-basting and quilting will begin. Linda