Quilts tend to flare a bit as they are pieced. This is probably because the outside edges of the quilt are not stitched so that they can stretch a bit - even with careful handling. Your borders can help pull those little flares in and bring your quilt back into square. Having a square quilt and no flare in the borders will help to prevent getting tucks in your borders during quilting. To determine how long to cut your borders, you will want to take border measurements through the middle of the quilt and not the edges.
STEPS FOR APPLYING A SINGLE SQUARE BORDER
- Measure the height of the quilt through the middle and several inches each side of the middle. Average these three measurements and cut the side borders to this length.
- Mark the middle of the sides and the middle of the border strips with a pin by foldling in half. If the borders are long, fold in half again and mark the quarters.
- Match the border centers and quarters to the quilt centers and quarters. Pin the length of the border, easing in fullness.
- Stitch with 1/4" seam, press toward the border.
- Measure the width of the quilt through the middle and several inches each side of the middle. Average these three measurements and cut the top and bottom borders to this length.
- Continue as for side borders.
If you apply more than one border to your quilt, follow these steps for each border you add.