The Plain Border
A plain border is a strip (s) of fabric that is sewn abound the center of the quilt. It can be sewn with squared or mitered corners. In the history of quilt making, medallion quilts showed borders surrounding a center block of stars, broderie perse (chintz shapes, usually flowers, cut out from a whole cloth and appliqued to the quilt center) or a large piece of printed fabric. The borders could be thin or thick and might be arranged in pairs. Plain borders provide a color accent, a resting place for the eye and a punctuation mark to the quilt design. Borders also add size to a quilt without the quilter having to make more blocks.
There are many methods for measuring and then attaching quilt borders.
For this month’s “plain“ border:
- select the fabric that you are going to use. Auditioning the fabric with the quilt can help the selection process.
- decide how wide you want your border to be (your choice, again to show off the center of your quilt)
- measure the quilt width (the horizontal – even if it is a square) in three places and average those measurements for one measurement. This equals the length of the first border.
- cut the first border pieces (2) and apply to the top and bottom of the quilt center using a ¼ inch seam allowance. Set and press the seams toward the border.
- measure the length of the quilt in three place and average. (If measuring in three places is just too much measuring, then measure the center of the length of the piece. Follow the same method to attach and press as you did for the top and bottom borders of your quilt center.
- add the side borders with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Set and press the seam toward the border again.
The February border challenge will be complete at this point. (Good for you!)
References: Facebook Womenfolk: The Art of Quilting, Quilts and Quiltmaking Yesterday and Today, or http://www.womenfolk.com. The site contains a wonderful series of articles and references regarding the historical path of quilting. The site includes patterns for traditional quilts and references for modern quilting.
A new You Tube video by Missouri Star Quilts Jenny “Panel with Borders Quilt” talks about using borders to set off panels. This is another good reference for you (President’s Challenge – hint, hint.)