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Quilting Borders

A border around a quilt can be like a frame around a picture.  However, never put a border around a quilt just because you can!  Some quilts look better without a border- such a quilts made entirely of squares.  This gives them a vintage look.

There are as many creative ways to make borders.  You can use combinations of different fabric widths pieced together, use squares along the edge and corners, make a piano border (see rectangles)  use corner squares, etc.  You are only limited by your imagination.

There are a few rules, however, that you must know.  You want your quilt to be square and straight.  When you are done patching your quilt, and want to add a border, you have a couple of options when measuring your quilt.

The center of the quilt is more stable then the ends, which will no doubt measure a little different from each other.  You can measure down the center and use that measurement, stretching or easing the quilt or binding strip to fit.

Or, you can measure down the middle of the quilt, and measure down both sides of the quilt, total the measurement, and divide it by 3 to get the average measurement.

You may have to piece your border to get the required length.  You would do this in the same way you piece the binding.  If you planning on making the border out of a piece of fabric that is being used in the quilt, and it is quite long, always your border strip first You may have enough length that you may not have to piece it.

Another way of getting around piecing your border is to add small squares at different points down the border which look good with your design.  Sometimes even a corner square will give you enough fabric.

Here is one of my favorite ideas.  I like to paper piece, but do not like doing big projects.  You can do 4 small paper-pieced squares, approximately 4x4 inches, and use them as the corners of your quilt in the border.  Then you can use them as the inspiration piece for the colors in your quilt.

Quilting is art.  Take chances and be creative.

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