I love to look at beautiful borders. I have a lot of admiration for
quilters who put beautiful borders on their quilts. A border can do for a quilt what a
frame can do for a picture.
The problem is that when most of us are done making the body of our quilt, we
are tired of the project and just want to finish it.
One important thing to remember about quilt borders is that if they are going to
be cut out of some of the fabric in the quilt, you should cut them first, before you cut
up your fabric. If you wait until the body of the quilt body is finished,
you will be doing a lot of seaming to make your borders long enough to surround
If you don't measure correctly, and make opposite sides the same
length, your quilt will not lay flat. Always measure either down the
center and then cut the borders the same measurement. Or you can
measure each side of the quilt length, double the number and then half it.
Make your quilt fit the borders, and not visa-versa.
Borders can be small, medium and large. Most often a small border is put
on, and then a larger one next to it. The picture above illustrates a very
traditional quilt, with sashing, borders, and cornerstones.
The border is a place where you can display beautiful big prints that you
can't cut up. Often the border is the starting point of a quilt. The
colors of the quilt are taken from the border.
I think we have all admired borders with curvy stem and leaf
appliqué. Other popular borders are piano key borders, which are just small
rectangles placed side-by-side that look like piano keys. These often make
use of leftover pieces of fabric. Sawtooth borders are made from half
If you get tired of working on your quilt, just put it away for awhile. If
you find yourself rushing at the end, or getting stressed, you are going to make
compromises that hurt the design of your quilt.