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.
Norma Wlos says
Love the quilt now. The pieced border has. Great impact. Well done!
Lorna McMahon says
Great post! I love to have dessert first…. And you are sew right to make the borders up first and then they are ready to go! Thanks for sharing!
It is no different than making the binding first and having it ready to apply. Since I, generally, haven’t done pieced borders, I haven’t really given this much thought but I totally agree with your methodology/thinking. I like the first rendition of the QOV but I really love the 2nd!!! Great, informative post, Judy. Thanks!
Sandy in IL says
Judy, by making the borders first, are you just cutting the strips from length of fabric and then have to adjust the size of them when you finish the quilt top? I always measure about 3 places and take the average of the quilt top to do the borders. I always have trouble with borders coming out a little “ripply” so I can’t imagine having multiple borders. I do love how they look. Wish I was better at it!
You and EQ make a great team.
The borders make the second quilt sing.
Border bundles, could that be a new book?
Thanks for being my quilting coach.
susie Reardon says
I am amazed at how different, and definitely better the pieced borders make the quilt look….guess I need to buy your book.
Linda Steller says
Great idea, Judy. I love the pieced borders. They add so much more pizzaz to a quilt.
I love the idea of making the borders first. I actually once made a quilt that had a center panel and the rest was all borders. Not pieced ones though. I had never heard of a pieced border until I saw yours and now can’t wait to try one.
I’m definitely for a pieced border. It just adds so much to a quilt…for me it finishes off the beautiful centers. The pieced border of your current project is awesome. I like how you designed the corners too. Sandi
Rebecca in SoCal says
Oh, yes! I went back to see the corners, and they are wonderful!
I am liking this quilt more every time I see it. Do you think it should become the Road to Abilene? It has been back an forward to your design wall the same way you and Vince have been back and forward to Abilene of late.
EQ makes it possible to do borders early I find in other only partly planned quilts, I often dont know exactly how it will go until I get there. I also find that this method can waste fabric as I will buy fabric plus borders at the same time from the same line. Twice lately I have found that the fabric I bought for the borders is completely wrong, so I have had to buy something more suitable. This shows another of the advantages of a programme like EQ7.
lynne quinsland says
i finished my road to llano today. of course i was a spaz and did it differently (not on purpose) but LOVED the results of a pieced border. i cant wait for our trip down the road to brenham. i love the idea of doing the border work before or during the body. and, i LOVE that your quilts work on math that assumes that your piecing is accurate so you can cut your borders the length that they are supposed to be. i can not wait to get paid so i can finally get your books…..