Tuesday, 2 March 2010

frills, parachutes and split personalities!

New house cushion by me!

What on earth am I talking about today?  Any guesses?  Oh go on .... have at least one guess.  I'll wait ......

Nope your wrong ... they are all types of quilt border!

I was cleaning up my computer yesterday and I came across a tutorial I wrote way back in 2001 (and updated in 2007) on how to apply quilt borders and these are some of the names I gave to the borders on quilts. 

The Frill is a border that has more fabric in it than the middle of the quilt and it makes a pretty frill.

The Parachute is a border that has less fabric than the middle and makes the quilt centre balloon up like a parachute.

The Spilt Personality is a quilt in 2 minds and has a combination of frills and parachutes.

and the 

Trapazoid is a quilt where no 2 sides are parallel.

Just my nicknames but all of them are so blinkin annoying when you are a longarm quilter (or indeed any quilter that uses a frame system).

Poorly applied borders can really give us stand-up quilters the hibby-jibbies for a very good reason ... they make it more difficult for us to quilt and if we don't recognise the issue before we start quilting we can easily get caught in a less than pleasant position!

I once had a quilt that had a 7" difference in the width of the top and bottom borders. I was a novice quilter at the time and had failed to measure ALL four borders. As a result I loaded it onto the frame and started quilting merrilly away with a heavy duty complex pattern. Before long I realised the quilt was not lying on the frame well anymore and a huge pleat was going to happen if I carried on ... I think I said "crap" or something like that when I realised the only solution to put this right was to take the quilt off the frame, unpick all the work I'd done , reapply the borders correctly and requilt. I reckoned it was 3 days work!  Never again have I done this!  Lesson well and truly learnt. 

So big TIP :  Measure ALL four borders and make sure the opposite borders are the same length before you start.

Anyway, having received many beautiful quilts with poorly applied borders I decided to write this step by step guide to help the borderly challenged.  Now its available to all of you too!

Its here in full or you can link at the top of my blog or through my sidebar links.  Please feel free to download or pass the link on if you think it would help anyone you know!

Quilt Borders

Quilt Borders for Square Quilts by Tracey Pereira



Diane J. Evans said...

Very nice tutorial! You covered all the bases beautifully!

And haven't we all had that same problem with borders of our own!


Meg said...

Wow the pictures in your tutorial are great! I wish I new how to quilt.

BilboWaggins said...

Good to see you re-visit this Tracey. Excellent tutorial - you always did write great explanations.

Not Just Handbags said...

Ooh love the colour combination of grey & pink on your cushion! Quilting is on my list of things to learn properly, oh for more hours in the day! Elissa x

Jenny said...

Congratulations of being Quilt Home's link of the week! Have fun spending your gift certificate!

Pattie Crum said...

Great advice, borders are always a challenge for quilters. When you get to that stage you just want to be done and it can get sloppy when you hurry.