Easy Breezy Borders

BTS logo 200 Easy Breezy Borders

Borders the Perfect Length Without Rulers!

21⁄2″ x  92 5/8″,  21⁄2″ x  87 7/8″,  41⁄2″ x  100 1/8″…

When faced with border dimensions like these, my mind glazes over quickly, so I devised a system for cutting border strips which makes numbers like these unnecessary. You can easily trim border strips to the proper length without measuring. This method also helps to prevent wavy edges along the sides of the quilt. It works for any size quilt with squared borders of any width. After assembling the quilt center, follow the instructions below.

borders111 Easy Breezy Borders
If necessary, join strips end to end to create enough length for the borders. The first borders you will trim to the correct length are the border #1 side strips. Referring to the photo above, fold the quilt top in half along the vertical center and lay it on a large table or an open area of the floor. Lay both border #1 strips on top of the fold as shown and smooth gently.

borders222 Easy Breezy Borders

Refer to the photo above; slip a small cutting mat under the quilt center (you’ll need to do this at both ends) and use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim the border strips to the same length as the folded edge of the quilt center.

Matching centers and ends and using pins every 5 to 6 inches, sew the border #1 side strips to the quilt center—if you need to ease in some fullness, put the fullness on the bottom (against the throat plate) as you sew. The feed dogs will automatically take up a bit of the fullness. Gently press the seam allowances away from the quilt center.

borders333 Easy Breezy Borders

Next, trim the border #1 top and bottom strips. Referring to the photo above, fold the quilt in half through the horizontal center and repeat the process, including the newly added borders. Sew the border #1 top and bottom strips to the quilt. Repeat the process for any remaining borders.

This really works! No rulers and no problems. Give it a try next time you add borders to a quilt center. Measurements like 47 3/8″ x 59 1/4″ will soon be a thing of the past!

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Please visit Quilty Pleasures next week when we’ll have one last giveaway—and it will be a real whopper! The lucky winner could be you!


About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email: editor@quiltmaker.com.
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4 Responses to Easy Breezy Borders

  1. VickiT says:

    Oh gosh, I read this one day as I was getting ready to leave and feel bad that I never left any comments. This makes me feel bad after you took the time to write this all up that I neglected to at the very least say thank you.

    This is a great way to ‘figure’ borders. Thanks for the info. I’ll have to try it your way and see if this works for me and my sometimes goofy brain. :)

  2. MarciaW says:

    Great tip for borders!

  3. Bev Gunn says:

    My type of “measuring” for borders-don’t even have to go find where I left my tape measure!! :)

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