Thursday, July 11, 2013

Quilting It Out or "Can This Quilt Be Saved?"

Sometimes a quilter will bring me a quilt and ask me to "just quilt it out..."

Quilt width =

 Border width =

Solution:  (I call it "Quilt Wrangling")
Pin border edge to correct quilt width measurement.

 Quilt body lies flat, borders are waving hello.

Pin-baste to distribute the difference, then stitch to baste the edges, about a scant 1/4" from the edge.  

Repeat the process for the sides.  Smooth out quilt body to lie flat, pin to anchor where it needs to be.

Pin-baste again, working in the border to distribute bulk.

Yes.  I stitched over the pins to baste the edges down.  I know.  Naughty.  But I did change the needle to quilt the rest. ;)  

Stitched in the ditch...then quilted feathers and leafy vines to work in the bulk.  The curvy back-and-forth shape is the perfect motif to hide excess border baggage, don't you think?    

The more bulk to work in, the more dense the quilting.  


Here's another sample:

Silk purse.

Prevention:  Measure, Measure, Measure!

Here's the true solution to borders that wave in the breeze ~ an excerpt from my Preparing Your Quilt for Machine-Quilting DOs and DON'Ts list:

Take the time to accurately measure and apply your borders.  Some things can be "quilted out", however, you will be happier with your results (and save your quilter some angst!) if you take a few extra steps:  
  • Find side dimensions of quilt by measuring lengthwise through the quilt center, (not along the edges, since they may have stretched).  Take three measurements and average them to determine the length to cut your side borders.  Cut both borders the same measurement.
  • Pin  each side border to quilt at the ends and the center, then pin every few inches, easing in any fullness if necessary.  Press seam toward borders.
  • Find top/bottom dimensions of your quilt by measuring across the quilt and side borders.  Cut both borders the same measurement.
  • Attach top and bottom borders to quilt, pinning as you did side borders.  Press seams toward outer edge of quilt.  
    Repeat process for multiple borders.
Happy Quilting!


  1. Deonn you did a terrific job on the quilts. Thanks for a reminder on what we must do to avoid the problems we all run into at some time. A few extra minutes measuring can make all the difference.

  2. I love what I can see of that appliqué quilt. Do you happen to know the name of the pattern? Thanks! Debra

  3. Wow... that is amazing to see how you were able to work magic on those tops! Thanks for the tips to prevent it in the first place.

  4. Wow...great job working that much fullness in. Thanks for all the tips....and sharing your beautiful stitching.

  5. So interesting to see how you fixed these issues. Thanks for sharing! Lovely quilting by the way.

  6. Great explanation, Deonn. It looks like so much work to put in so many pins! It really worked, though, that's impressive. Thanks for posting this.

  7. Talk about a transformation! Beautiful job! Thanks for letting us in on your secrets & sharing how to prevent such troubles in the first place!


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