Elaine’s Tech Tips

Adding a border to your quilt is a very important part of the quilt process and much care should be taken to put it on correctly. The border, when applied correctly, helps to true up the quilt. Incorrect border application will cause ripples or waves that can be very difficult to quilt out.
butted corner borders
There is no set rule as to whether the horizontal or vertical borders should be put on first, however if the vertical (or the longest) border is put on first, and then the horizontal border, both borders will be more similar in length than if the horizontal (or the shortest) is put on first. Having the borders of similar length is more visually appealing than having short horizontal and long vertical borders.
For instance, in the sample quilt used in this article, the length of the inner vertical border is 20½” and the horizontal is 18″. If the shortest border had been applied first, the measurements would have been 15½” and 23″.

joining strips for the border
You can cut the borders parallel to the selvedge which means no join in the strips. This takes a lot more fabric than using the crosswise strips and joining them. Cutting your borders along the selvedge supposedly makes them straighter. If you are careful – a joined seam should give you the same results.
If you need to join strips to get the length required for the border, it is more pleasing to join them with a diagonal join, rather than a straight join. They are also less noticeable.
Read more in our Summer 2012 issue.

Article by Elaine Theriault

Bio: Elaine made her first quilt at the tender age of 13. The urge to quilt resurfaced when her daughter moved from a crib. The rest is history – she now teaches several days a week, makes quilts on commission and quilts for others on the long-arm.