I'd like to take a stab at telling you how to do borders and, since this is a confusing issue, I feel perfectly qualified. Okay, put on your spectacles and take notes.
First, you need a measuring tape. It can be any color you chose, but it's helpful if it has little markies on it that tell you the measurings. There is a special one for quilters that measures longer than a regular dressmaker's one. Next, lay the quilt out on a nice, flat surface. I usually use the floor, but with all them blocks and borders you may want to use a football field. :::::::::::::ducking::::::::::::::
This is gonna sound like the dumbest thing you ever heard, but do NOT measure the quilt from the top of one side down, and from the top of the other side down, etc. Doing it that way you often end up with ruffles for borders. Nobody knows why, but you jest do. I think that it's a punishment for not doing it the way the books say you should do it.
Measure your quilt right smack dab down the MIDDLE. Yep, that's right, the MIDDLE.....Take your tape and start at the very tippy top of your quilt, and measure the quilt down through the middle to the very bottom of your quilt. Write that number down. I've found it helpful to write it on a piece of paper and not on the quilt itself. Now do that same thing from side to side....but measure through the middle of the quilt and not across the top or the bottom. Write that number down too. Now that you have two numbers on the paper, go get a cup of coffee or a glass of Iced tea and stare at the quilt for awhile....maybe the borders will cut and pin themselves down. This seldom works, but I always seem to try it anyway.
Squared or butted corners are easier to begin with than mitered corners. So now, cut your long side borders first, using the measurement you got when you measured through the middle, and then add 2X width of that border to your number for the top and bottom borders. See, your side borders will be the length of the quilt, but the top and bottom borders will cover the quilt PLUS the width of the side borders you added on each side. Make sense?
Fold the border in half and mark the middle of it with a crease. Match that crease with the very center of the quilt side, and pin it. Then pin the corners neatly. It should lay flat. If the edge of the quilt has stretched a little during all the handling, it may not lay quite flat. Pin the border evenly the rest of the way down. If there is some fullness to the quilt top but not in the border, it may look a little ruffley...but if you sew the border on with the border on top, your machine will help ease in some of the fullness. In other words, sew with the baggy side down, whichever it is.
When that border is sewn on, trim any excess so that you have a nice square corner. Then do the other side. Last of all, add the top and bottom borders. Don't forget to press your seams! ::::::::::::::ducking again:::::::::::::: I know you didn't wanna hear that....
Love to all, and smiles, I'm gone!!
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