First of all, I have to apologize – PROFUSELY – because I miscalculated the amount of fabric needed for the borders. Did you notice that in all cases I indicated 1 yard for the border? Umm… this would only apply to the crib sized quilt. I have recalculated, and this is actually what you need (with a little leeway):*
Queen: 1 3/4 yards
Full: 1 5/8 yards
Twin: 1 5/8 yards
Lap: 1½ yards
Crib: 1 yard
*In all cases, you will have to piece at least two of the borders if you work with this yardage. For the larger quilts, you will have to piece all four borders. And this does not take into account the amount you will need for the binding, if you wish to make it from the same fabric. That amount will also depend on if you want to use a single or double binding. Depending on that, you will want to calculate and additional 1/2 to 3/4 additional yard.
The width of the border for all the quilt sizes was calculated at 5″ finished. However, if you wish to adapt the width/length of your quilt, this is where you can play around a little. In addition, I cut my borders a little wider because I know I will be losing a little with the quilting and washing. So, in my case, I cut my borders at 6 inches wide.
MY PERSONAL VIEW ABOUT BORDERS
When making bed quilts, I do not worry about mitering corners. At least with regards to the bed quilts I make, these are not meant to be heirlooms (wall hangings are). They are made for those who receive them to wrap themselves up in them and to snuggle under. So they will be washed frequently… and will not last forever. I do want them to last as long as possible, and naturally want them to look pretty. But nobody I have given a bed quilt to has ever noticed if the corners were mitered or not. Or even if the seams are straight and match. All they care about is how nice the quilt feels, and if they like the colors. At times they even notice the pattern. 🙂 So I don’t beat myself over this.
In my case, I decided to buy 3 yards of border material. By cutting the fabric lengthwise, I avoided having to piece my borders, and I have plenty left over for a bias double binding.
Neither do I worry about wavy borders. When I first started quilting, I learned to measure the quilt lengthwise down the center and down both sides, and take those three measurements and divide them by three to cut the length of both side borders. After sewing on the side borders, I then measure width-wise, down the middle, top and bottom, dividing those measurements by 3 for the length to cut the top and bottom borders. On a quilt like this one, if you have been careful with your cutting and piecing, these measurements will probably all be the same, or there will be a minimal difference. And using this method, you will find there is rarely a problem with wavy borders. And even if there were some, I personally feel it is not something to worry about in a bed quilt. Nobody will notice!
Regardless, these are but mere guidelines. This is what works for me. If you have another method that works for you… Go for it!
As a side note, I should mention that although there are also personal preferences as to whether to pre-wash your fabrics or not, this is one time when I was glad that I do. This has never happened to me before, but when I went to cut my border fabric I noticed it had faded. I thought maybe the detergent hadn’t rinsed out well, so ran it through another rinse… and it faded even more! This did not happen with any other fabric used in the quilt. I am so glad I discovered this now, and not after piecing and quilting it. So, by pre-washing I have a pretty good idea of what the fabrics look like after laundering. Check out my before and after pictures of the first fabric I chose:
Jamie went along with me and helped me choose another fabric. So this little mishap actually worked out in my favor, because Jamie has a great eye for color and the fabric she chose looks even better than the first!
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