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Here are a few quilting tips that we have picked up along the way

When adding borders to your quilt top, there are a few things to bear in mind, that can impact on the overall finish of your quilt.

It is recommended that you measure through the middle of the quilt and making a strip that equals this measurement to add as a border. When attaching the border, find the centre point of the edge of the quilt top and the centre point of the border and pin these points together. Then find the quarter points and pin those and then the ends. Then pin between these points easing the border onto the edge. Now measure the inside edge and compare it to the outside edge. These should be exactly the same length.

It’s easier to adjust or repair the border at this point rather than once it’s on the quilting frame. This method prevents wavy borders and really doesn’t take more than 5 minutes extra, but will give you a wonderful finish.

Extra fabric in a border can be a real headache for a longarm quilter, as this fabric needs to be put somewhere and can add hours and hours to the quilting process, and is very difficult to overcome.

When joining strips for a border, I recommend that if your strips are wider than 2 ½” that you use a straight join, rather than a 45 degree angle join, because if you don’t sew exactly on the 45 degree line it also adds fabric to the outside edge of the border.

We do recommend that you press your seems closed. There are two reasons for this.

The quilt is stretched when put onto the frame. If you have a loose stitch it can pull slightly open at the seam, and the wadding can beard through these tiny gaps.

The other reason is that should we be doing stitch in the ditch on your quilt, we will be sewing over thread and not on fabric. This means that your quilt top isn’t as stable as it could be, and your seams could be under threat.

Lots of quilters dont give their backing enough attention.  It is such an important element of the quilt, as it is the piece of your quilt which carries everything through the quilting process.  With a little thought your backing can transform an ordinary quilt into something really special.  However, some quilts come into the studio and we can see that no thought has gone into what the back will look like.  The edges arent straight and the fabric has been jaggedly hacked.  We get sad looking at those quilts.

It is really important to make sure that

  1. There is enough extra fabric around the edge to enable me to attach the backing to my frame, and
  2. There are straight edges and the backing is square, or as near to square as possible.

We use the edges to align the backing when we’re attaching to the frame.  If the fabric is cut crooked we can only use the fabric within its narrowest points.