Make a Baby Quilt – Part 2 – Borders (bias or straight cut)


Welcome to part two of The Start to Finish Baby Quilt. We’re going to talk about borders now. When you do your borders the first thing you want to do is measure both your edges and on a small quilt like this there won’t be much variance, but when you get into the big quilts sometimes there can be a lot.

So, this quilt on the edge measures 28”. Then you’ve measured this side so then we have to measure the other side. See, if it’s about the same, and it should be 28”. Then we fold it in half and we measure it on the fold, and
what we’re going to do is if these were grossly different then we would take an average of the three, but probably we’re going to end up with 28” borders.

OK, so we’ve got 28” borders! So now what we’re going to do is, I like to, when I do a little quilt like this that’s lots of colors, I like to frame it in. So, we’re going to actually put two borders on this and we’re going to start with a white border and it’s going to be 2 ½” and I’ll show you how we cut that.

OK, so because we’re using our border strips our framing strips are
going to be 2 ½” if you have a lot of borders to do these Jelly Rolls with the solids are awesome! We love them, but for our little baby quilt we’re going to use yardage. We’re going to cut them 2 ½”, and you see I have it laid here along the line, and we’re going to get our cutter here, and we are going to cut this 2 ½”. Now we know that the width of the fabric, which you’ll see on a pattern, width of fabric you’ll see as WOF. That means width of fabric, and the width of our fabric is 45” and for a straight square border you can go ahead and cut it straight across this way. It’ll save you a lot of fabric, and on a straight edge you really don’t have to use a bias border. So what we’re going to do then is we’re
going to cut these 28”.

So that we have four borders that are the same size, but we’re only going to cut two sides right now because we have to, when we add them to the sides our top measurements going to be a little longer. So, we’re going to cut off our salvage first. Right on the edge, and then we’re going to come up here, and we’re going to cut 28” because that was the measurement of our quilt. We’ll cut one more strip for the other side.

Now remember this might look a little odd to you because I’m cutting left-handed. Most of you will want to do it the other way, except for those few lucky ones who are left-handed like me.

So, now we have our border and we’re going to lay it right sides together on the top, and when you attach your borders to your quilt, you always want to put your border piece on the top, and the reason for that is when the feed dogs move fabric through, and these are your feed dogs here under your feet, they will move through just a fraction faster than the top, and if you put the borders on the bottom when you’re doing it you’ll end up with the lumpy, roly borders.

So you want to put your fabric on the top and we’re going to stitch it to each side. At ¼” we’ll stitch it down. We just let that easily go through the machine. You don’t pull it you don’t tug it you just let it slide through, guiding it with our hand, making sure that we stay at the ¼” line.

OK, now what you want to do is you’re going to lay your seam on top, set those stitches, and then press it back like this. Now you’re going to re-measure for your side borders. That’s what we’ve got so far! OK, so this end measurement is now 31 ½”. Now you don’t really want to trust my measurements, make sure you measure your own, because yours will
probably be different than mine. Not everybody’s ¼” foot is the same.

So, let’s cut two more strips and we’re going to cut them, I think I said 31 ½”. We’ll measure that again to make sure. There’s a saying that says, “measure twice, cut once”, and that’s a really good system to follow.

OK, so our framing border is done, and now we’re going to add another
border and it’s always fun to find something that coordinates with your fabric, well it’s kind of essential actually. We’ve decided to use this little dot. Even though it’s not in the Charm Pack, we think it will add to the color of it. You want to lay out your fabric and make sure it’s going to go with, and I just think that’s going to be a darling little border on there.

So we’ll probably cut these about 4”. The size of these borders doesn’t really matter, you can choose what ever you want, that’s really your choice. I’ve seen little tiny ones, they’re darling really no matter how you do them. I tend to go smaller to larger, and I also tend to go lighter to darker, but that’s just a personal preference. Again, there’s no quilt police.

So we’ll cut these borders and we’ll put them on the exact same way. Measuring and putting them on, and I will show you when it’s all finished. As long as your quilt is smaller than the width of your fabric, which is 45”, you can do it in single, one cut strips, but if your quilt is larger than that you’ll want to cut your borders at a bias. You can actually straight cut them this way, and sew and fold, I mean iron back, and that will work. There are some people that like to do it at the bias, and what you do then is you lay them like this, and you’re going to sew from this corner, to this corner. What that’ll do is it will give you a continuous bias strip. Cause sometimes you may need more than one, and then you’ll just trim that back off, and your strip will be like that. So that’s how you do it for longer strips, and combining your strips together, but for us we just need these little pieces.

So, we’ll put them on. So here’s our finished top. Isn’t it adorable? Now join us for step three, which is what to do with your quilt, now that it’s allput together. See you soon.

posted: All, Basic Skills & Techniques, Beginner Quilting Tutorials, Common Quilting Techniques, Quilts and Quilt Blocks | tagged: , ,
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  • Stitchesdelight

    When making borders, what would you have done if the top, middle, and bottom measurements had been off? You mentioned that sometimes on a larger quilt the measurements have more of a variance.

  • Charlotte

    This video isn’t working. 🙁