How To Measure and Sew Straight Borders on Your Quilts

During the process of making a quilt, it is quite common for the top to become stretched and misshapen, resulting in each of the sides being a different length. The quilt sides can be evened out by adding borders. Butted, or, straight sewn borders, as they are sometimes called, are often the preferred choice as they are simple and fast to sew. The simple technique for measuring and sewing straight borders is described below.

  1. First, figure out the length of the side borders. To do this, lay the quilt out flat, then measure from top to bottom in the center of the quilt. Then, cut two strips, in the exact length of your measurement, in a pre-determined width.
  2. Now, fold one of the borders in half from top to bottom in order to locate the middle of the strip. Crease the middle a little to mark the spot. Using the same method, find the middle of the quilt also.
  3. Then, position the border along the edge of the quilt. Be sure that the right sides are together and that the midpoints of both the quilt and border are together. Pin the quilt and border strip in the center to hold everything in place.
  4. Pin the border and quilt together at both the top and bottom edges. Then, go on matching and securing the border along the entire edge of the quilt. Place pins close together if necessary.
  5. Allowing for a ¼ inch seam, sew the border to the quilt. Be sure to remove the pins as you come to them. As you sew, press seam allowance towards the edge. Sew the other border to the side of the quilt using the same procedure.
  6. Now measure the quilt again, this time from one side to the other, including both side borders. Like before, measure in the middle of the quilt. Cut two more borders  to that exact measurement.
  7. Next, fold one of the borders in half from top to bottom in order to find center. Crease it lightly in the center to mark where the middle is. Determine where the center of the top edge of the quilt is. Pin the center part of the border to the center of the top edge of the quilt. Continue pinning the border to the quilt using the same procedure as with the side borders.
  8. Continue on with the top and bottom borders following the same procedure as for the side borders.


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