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  • Framing a Quilt with Border Print Fabric (Old)

Framing a Quilt with Border Print Fabric (Old)

Jinny Beyer's border prints are designed specifically with the quilter in mind. Each fabric has a wide and a narrow stripe which coordinate in both design and color. Both stripes have mirror image motifs which are essential for perfectly mitered corners. In addition, the two different stripes in the border print are separated by at least a half-inch so that a 1/4" seam allowance is provided for on both sides of the stripes. From selvage to selvage, there are always at least four repeats of each stripe across the fabric so calculating yardage to border a quilt is easy: you need the length of the longest side of the quilt plus an additional half-yard to match design elements and allow for the miters at the corners.

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Adding Borders the Jinny Beyer Way

Framing a Square Quilt

1. Place a strip of the border print across the middle of the quilt, centering a motif from the border at the exact center of the quilt. (Because of minor differences in seam allowances taken and stretching that can occur on bias edges, opposite edges of a quilt often measure slightly differently. Using a measurement taken from the middle of the quilt will help keep the quilt from “ruffling” at the edges.)

2. To mark the first miter, position a right angle triangle so that one of the sides of the right angle runs along the bottom edge of the border print. Then carefully move the triangle until the angled side touches the point where the top edge of the border print meets the edge of the quilt. (See arrow.) Mark, then cut the miter line. (Because you have cut the miter right at the edge of the quilt, the seam allowance is already included.)

3. Carefully pick up the mitered side of the border strip and lay it -- right-sides together -- on top of the strip on the opposite side of the quilt, placing the top edge of the strip at the edge of the quilt. If necessary, adjust the top strip so that the top and bottom design motifs match exactly. If you have centered a motif from the border print in the middle of the quilt, the designs should match at the edges. Cut the second miter. (Using the cut edge as a guide, rather than a triangle, ensures that your design motifs will be an exact match.)

4. Using this first mitered strip as a guide, cut three more identical pieces, making sure that the design on the border print is exactly the same on all four pieces.

5. Mark a seam allowance intersection dot on the short side of each of your borders. To find the spot, simp ly draw a short line 1/4-inch inside the mitered edge and the short edge of the border. Draw the dot where the two lines intersect. Do the same for each corner of your quilt.

6. To sew the borders to the quilt, pin the mid-point of one of the border pieces to the middle of one of the e dges of the quilt. Next, match and pin the dots on each side of your border with the dots on the quilt corners. Continue pinning the border to the quilt, easing in any fullness. (The edge of the quilt is usually a little wider than the center because of bias edges or seams.) Sew the border to the quilt, starting and stopping at the dots. Sew the mitered seams last, starting from the inside dot. When pinning the edges together, be sure to match the design elements on both pieces.

Framing a Rectangular Quilt

With rectangles, you cannot always be assured that the designs will automatically match at the corners. So, you must take an extra step.

1. First, follow steps 1-3 above and cut two identical strips for the short ends of the quilt. The pieces for the other two sides of the quilt must be cut differently: for the corners on all pieces to match, there must be a seam in these long pieces at the exact center of the quilt (1).

2. Place one of the cut strips on top of a length of the border print stripe, matching the fabric designs. Cut one miter to match the miter on the top strip. Set the top strip aside. Lay the newly cut strip on top of the quilt through the center, aligning one mitered edge with the edge of the quilt. Mark the center of the quilt on the strip (2). Move the strip from the quilt and cut it off ¼" beyond the center mark (3). Using this cut strip as a guide, cut one more piece identical to it.

3. You also need two strips that are the exact mirror images of these pieces. Using one of the strips you just cut, flip it over and lay it on a strip of border print, matching the fabric design exactly. (The two strips will be right sides together.) Cut the miter and straight edges to match the top piece. Using the newly cut strip as a guide, cut one more piece.

4. Sew the seams at the middle of two mirror-imaged strips and attach these borders to the quilt as in Steps 5 and 6 above. Sewing the borders to a rectangular quilt in this manner assures that the corners will match. There will be a seam at the center of the long strips, but the design at that center will mirror-image as well, allowing the design to flow around the quilt.

Applying Multiple Borders

Jinny often designs quilts to make full use of the border prints. She will first frame the quilt with the narrow border stripe, then add a coordinating fabric as a second border. The quilt is finished off with the wide stripe from the border print.

Jinny personally measures and adds each border separately. However, when the middle border is a fabric that doesn't have to be matched at the corners, she recommends the following method as being a little faster: Sew the second border to the first and then measure and cut them as a single border in the steps above. Measure, cut and sew the third border separately after the first two borders have been completed and sewn to the quilt.