Week 9 of the 2021 American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt-Along starts on 4/19. The assignment is to add borders. Here are some helpful tips. See more about the Quilt-Along here.

This week, we're adding borders. Now, borders seem easy – but, there's a few common issue with borders to be aware of before you get sewing.

  1. Make sure your borders are the right size. With slight variations in seam allowances, if your quilt center ended up a little larger or smaller than the pattern calls for, you'll want to cut your borders to fit your quilt. Simply measure the sides to make sure before cutting borders. You definitely don't want to be in a position where you have to stretch a too-small or too-large border onto your quilt top. That's how you get wavy and puckered borders.
  2. Another big cause of wavy borders is the weight of the quilt top and how that affects sewing borders on. Quilt tops are heavy and can pull or drag while sewing borders on, which can cause uneven seams or stretching of the quilt top. To combat this, use lots of pins, have a table or other surface to help accommodate the weight of the quilt top when sewing, and stop with your needle in the down positions if you need to readjust things while sewing.
  3. Try sewing with your quilt center on top, so you can see the seams and make sure everything is lying flat as you're sewing. Twisted seams will be really obvious on these borders, so I just like to take those extra precautions. This also allows you to see if there are any unraveling seams – those happen especially on the edges of quilts, so it's a good idea to make sure you're sewing them closed with the seam allowance you're sewing, or fix them.
  4. And lastly, press your borders really well. Since you're adding two borders to this quilt, you want the inner border to be even and flat so the second border can be sewed on without any bowing or waviness.