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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Fitting a Border - without bordering on a fit!

I've known the theory for some time now, about how to properly fit a border to a quilt top. And by "properly," I mean so that they're not wavy, but instead lie flat.

You take the vertical and horizontal measurements through the center of the quilt top - not the top, bottom, or sides.

That's because the edges get distorted. The closest measurement you will get to the "true" measure of the quilt top is through the center.

Once you have that exact measurement, you cut your borders that same exact length. You pin one of the borders to the quilt, with a pin in each end, and you find your centers and you pin all along the length of the edge, making the quilt edge fit the border. Sometimes this involves (gasp!) s t r e t c h i n g the quilt edge, sometimes it involves gathering it. Note: if there seems to be a lot of either, check your measurements again.

Today was the first time I had to wiggle the quilt to get it to fit the border - a testament, I guess, to either the care with which I had constructed previous quilts, or to the lack of care with which I constructed this one!

*Ahem. I digress!

If you don't do this process, you get borders that look like they're drunk, or you were, when you made them. The quilt never lies flat. And it's not actually that much more work to do properly. Yet I know quilters who routinely bypass this step, because they're in a hurry.

You can never be in a hurry when you're working on a quilt. Every skipped step will show, and you simply won't be as happy with the final result as you would have been had you done it "Comme il faut!" as they say here in Quebec! (the way it's supposed to be done.)

Anyway, I did it, and it worked, and my borders lie flat, and I'm happy as a clam!

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