How to Put Borders on a Quilt

Posted by on April 14, 2016

Here’s a quick tutorial for those who want step by step instructions on perfect borders. 

Determine the width of your border or borders. It is generally best to increase the width of each succeeding border. An example would be the first border could be 3” wide the second 5” and the third 8” wide. Of course you may choose any width you wish.

Measure the quilt in three places to determine the length to cut the border. Once near the center and on each side.

Let’s say the center measured 45 ½” and the right measured 45 ¼” and the left measured 45”. Now add these together. 45 + 45.5 + 45.25= 135.75. Now divide it by three. 135.75 ÷ 3= 45.25 45 ¼” is the length you will cut the first two sides of border. (♥Only cut two sides since the third and fourth sides will be longer to accommodate the added borders.♥) Since one side actually measured only 45” you will need to ease it to fit.

borders1

Mark the center of the border strip. Mark the center of the side of the quilt where you are going to sew the border. Pin the border, right sides together, on the quilt at the center marks. Now pin each end of the border to the end of that side. Ease the rest to fit and pin frequently enough to help you sew the border on evenly. Sew the opposing side border on in the same fashion. Press the seam out.

Now measure the quilt across the width in the same manner as the first measurements. Let’s say the center now measures 51 ½”, the top measures 51 1/4” and the bottom 51 ½ inches. Add them 51.5 + 51 + 51.5 = 154. Now divide it by 3 and you get 51 1/3 inches for the next border measurement. Cut the next two border strips 51 1/3 inches long.

borders2

Mark the center of the border strip. Mark the center of the side of the quilt where you are going to sew the border. Pin the border, right sides together, on the quilt at the center marks. Now pin each end of the border to the end of that side. Ease the rest to fit and pin frequently enough to help you sew the border on evenly. Sew the opposing side border on in the same fashion. Press the seams out.

Repeat for each additional border. ♥Note: It is best to use the same method of matching centers and ends to pin pieced borders on as well.

Some people like to cut their borders in one continuous strip and some don’t mind piecing shorter strips to get the required length. It is a personal preference.

Happy Quilting!

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