Are your borders wavy or ruffled? Are they tucked at the corners? Often, quilters sew long unmeasured border strips onto the center until the end and cut off the excess. Others use the measurements that the pattern gives. Both methods can leave you with borders that are too long or too short. The result is loose wavy edges or a puckered center. As a longarm quilter, this can be difficult to work with. It's not always possible to quilt out the excess, pleats are sometimes necessary.
So how do you get nice, flat borders? Just a few, super-simple steps!
1. Press the center.
2. Measure through the center of the quilt, edge to edge. Cut your fabric to that measurement x2 strips.
3. Attach strips with pins, sew those borders onto your center, press the seams.
4. Measure again through the center in the other direction, including your newly added borders. Cut your fabric to that measurement x2.
5. Attach strips with pins. Sew those borders on and press the seams.
6. Continue with this sequence until you've added all your borders.
*A note about a pattern's border measurements: these are for quilts that are exactly correct. You may start with them, but be prepared to adjust accordingly. They do not allow for any minute differences in technique in sewing, seam allowances, feed dogs, cutting, etc. These tiny differences can add up over the course of an entire quilt.
Today I'd like to talk about the dreaded Quilt Police. We've all met one. The conversation goes a little like this...
"Oh no, you can't use that fabric - you have to use only quilt shop cottons. Or, you have to use only cotton thread. Or, you can't use that pattern or those colors together." The list goes on.
Don't, I repeat Don't listen to them! There are no "nevers" or "always" in art. Of course there are those rules that you should follow (1/4" seams, etc). If you decide to row against the tide or choose tools, fabrics, or methods that are different from the customary, then you must be prepared to adjust accordingly. But be wary of those individuals who believe that their opinions are set rules.
You know what you like. You know what makes you happy. Good education and guidance is invaluable. Seek it out and use that knowledge, on your terms.
I quilt because it makes me happy. If you are not finding joy or having fun, then you are doing it wrong.
ENJOY! And Quilt Creatively!