I have written an article on quilt borders in general, but in this article I am going to show the quilt border specifically used for the beginner quilt. I wanted to keep the border simple, but I wanted to go beyone just a plain strip of fabric. So I decided that the quilt border would be made of a unit of blue and yellow pattern separated by the plain strips of the same blue as used in the beginner quilt.
First border of the beginner quilt
First of all I wanted to separate the patterned part of the quilt border from the main quilt top, so I cut five 1.1/2″ strips of white fabric across the width of the fabric. The quilt top is at this stage 65″ square, so I made two white strips 65″ long for the sides and 67″ long for the top and bottom. This is longer than one strip, so you’ll need to join strips to get the right length.
With right sides together and using a 1/4″ seam sew the two 65″ strips to the sides of the quilt top. Then sew the two 67″ strips to the top and bottom. I haven’t mitred these corners, but if you want to read more about mitring quilt border click on mitred borders.
Although these strips are 1.1/2″ wide, you need only add 2″ to the lengths of the top and bottom strips because of the seam allowance: adding those strips to the sides has only added 1″ extra on each side.
Second border of the beginner quilt
For each unit of the next layer of the quilt border, you will need in both the blue and the yellow fabric:
one rectangle 4.1/2″ by 2.1/4″, one 2.1/2″ square.
Place the yellow and blue squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line. This produces two half square triangles.
Place these half square triangles at each end of the yellow rectangle. Check which way to place the half square triangles. Using a 1/42 seam sew the squares to the rectangle. Sew the blue rectangle to this unit.
Each unit is now 8″ long. I used five units on each edge of the quilt top. Join the units to each other with the blue rectangles, but don’t put a blue rectangle at either end of the strip. The strips there need to be longer to reach to the corner. Measure your quilt top carefully again. For mine I needed to add 8.1/2″ strips at each end of the side border strips and 11.3/4″ strips to the top and bottom border strips.
You may find that your measurements are slightly different, but if you need to increase or decrease the lengths of the strips, do it equally to both ends of the strip. That way your quilt border strip will be centred along the edge of the quilt.
Sew the two smaller quilt border strips to the sides of the quilt and then add the longer strips at the top and bottom.
Third border of the beginner quilt
At this stage I could have called the quilt border complete, but I wanted one more layer to separate the blue/yellow border from the binding, so I added another 1.1/2″ strip of white fabric down each side and then across the top and bottom.
This has ended up being a 3.3/4″ quilt border which frames the beginner quilt in the way that I had hope it would. It’s not always necessary to know what quilt border you ae going to use when you begin a quilt. Sometimes an idea just grows on you while you’re making the quilt.
Return to beginner quilting.