There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a quilt with plain borders or with no borders at all. Personally, I love pieced borders and I love multiple borders. So many of the quilts I make have 5, 6, 7 or more borders.
When designing quilts, I design the border at the same time I design the center of the quilt. I don’t design the main part and then come back later and design the border. The only time I did that was on this quilt.
This is the one time I can remember that I changed from a plain border to a pieced border after the project was started. I’ve been working on this quilt probably close to a year and the original design was this:
The more I worked on this quilt, which was to be a fairly simple quilt which was going to be a QOV. The more I looked at it, the more I decided it needed a pieced border, even though it would make it too big to be a QOV. This is what it has evolved to be:
Both quilts are fine but I love the one with the pieced borders.
Looking at those borders, there are 7 borders, but instead of having the pieced border really chopped up (another blog post), I’m doing the pieced border as three separate borders so that makes 10 borders. There are often comments that by the time quilters get done with the main part, they’re ready to be done. So am I. Know what I do to remedy that problem? I make the borders first. On this particular quilt, as soon as I decided to add the pieced border, I salvaged what I could from the borders already made, and made all the borders.
Once they’re all made, beginning with the outer border, I fold the four strips (two sides and the top and bottom) together, then I fold the next to the outer border strips and so on and stack them. This is my “border bundle”.
When the center of the quilt is made, I’ll grap that top yellow stack which will be Border #1, attach those, then grab the second stack which will be Border #2. In no time at all, the borders will be attached and this top will be done!
It sounds a bit weird and it’s not the way most of us make the borders but what’s the difference in making the borders first or eating dessert first? I’ve always heard that you should eat the dessert first and that way you don’t have to worry about getting too full and not having room for dessert. Same thing . . who wants to be too tired of a quilt to add pieced borders? Make them first! You really should try it at least once.