How to Add Pieced Borders to Your Quilts

Math is a part of a quilter’s life, but it’s not always easy. Some quilters don’t think twice when adding and subtracting fractions, while others feel the urge to pick up and run in the opposite direction. Whatever side of the math spectrum you fall on, we’ve got you covered.

Liz Porter shows us how to make a LeMoyne Star quilt block in episode 2604 of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting. Once the block is assembled, she moves on to the math portion of the show. Here’s where it may get tricky for some of us: adding pieced borders. There’s measuring, adding, subtracting, dividing and fractions. Ohhhhh, the fractions.

You can add pieced borders to YOUR quilts!

Some easy-to-follow directions are listed below: first, we explain how Liz would add borders to the quilt shown above in the Love of Quilting preview; then, a second example shows how to adapt the math to a different set of measurements.

If you’re interested in making Liz’s LeMoyne Star quilt, the Love of Quilting May/June 2015 issue offers this quilt pattern and features it on the cover.

Love of Quilting May/June 2015 - Liz's LeMoyne Star Quilt

 

HOW TO ADD PIECED BORDERS TO QUILTS

Example One (Liz’s Quilt @ 16¾” × 25″)

  1. Measure the quilt’s width and length—measurement does NOT include the outer seam allowances.
  2. Note the size of the units in the pieced border. (Border units—Liz used Flying Geese—are 2″-wide.)
  3. Increase the size of the quilt center so the width and length are both divisible by 2—the size of the border units. (Using Liz’s quilt measurements to illustrate.)
    16¾” + 3¼” = 20″
    25″ + 3″ = 28″
    This quilt needs to be 3¼” wider and 3″ longer.
  4. Divide 3¼” by 2 because you need 2 borders (top/bottom) that will equal 3¼”. You need to cut the borders 1⅝” + ½” for seam allowances. Cut the side borders 2⅛” wide.
  5. Divide 3 by 2 because you need 2 borders (sides) that will equal 3″. You need to cut the borders 1½” + ½” for seam allowances. Cut the top and bottom borders 2″ wide.

Example Two (Hypothetical Quilt @ 62″ × 72″)

  1. Measure the quilt’s width and length—measurement does NOT include the outer seam allowances.
  2. Note the size of the units in the pieced border. (In this example, the border units are 5″-wide.)
  3. Increase the size of the quilt center so the width and length are both divisible by 5—the size of the border units.
    62″ + 3″ = 65″
    72″ + 3″ = 75″
    This quilt needs to be 3″ wider and 3″ longer.
  4. Divide 3″ by 2 because you need 2 borders (top/bottom) that will equal 3″. You need to cut the borders 1½” + ½” for seam allowances. Cut the side borders 2″ wide.
  5. Divide 3″ by 2 because you need 2 borders (sides) that will equal 3″. You need to cut the borders 1½” + ½” for seam allowances. Cut the top and bottom borders 2″ wide.

Personalize your quilts by adding fun and unique borders—enjoy!

Carrie Sisk
Carrie Sisk, Fons & Porter, Online Editor

 

 

 

 

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