Anita's quilts and quilting

A semi-retired professional longarm machine quilter

Adding borders after quilting

I want to add borders to this quilt.  It’s a wall hanging that needs more oomph.  A bright color border might help.  As you can see, it’s already quilted.  So how do I add borders to a quilt that’s already quilted?  Duh, one piece at a time.  Just kidding but basically that’s true.  The backing is added, then the border, then the batting.
 I’m adding a 5 inch border to this one.  I thought I could add an 8 inch border but there wasn’t enough of the fabric I wanted to use.  So 5 inch became the size.
Lay the quilt upside down like this and measure the end.
Get some backing fabric and cut it to the size you want to add.   For this quilt I’m making the backing fabric 10 inches wide.  I need extra backing fabric because I plan to put it back onto my quilting machine to do the border quilting.
Pin the backing to the back of the quilt and sew it down with a quarter inch seam as usual.
I’m always in a hurry so I tend to pin on two opposite sides before sewing.
Here the two sides of the backing fabric are sewn on and opened up.


Now measure the remaining sides (including the previous border fabric) and cut backing pieces to fit them.


Again, I tend to pin the two opposites sides before sewing.


Now open those two sides and you can see the backing fabric has been added.


Can you see this little area where I sewed across the previous seam?  I frog stitch (pick out) the seam allowance only.


That’s so I can fold the backing fabric completely out of the way like this.
Pin on a border fabric and then stitch it on.  Oops!  I skipped taking a couple of pictures.  Hmm…. I could have sworn I took those photos but can’t figure out where they went.  Anyway, you are going to fold back the backing and add a border piece to all four sides.
The only place where you will encounter a problem is when adding a border piece to where one has already been added.  At the corners.  You should sew just to the seam line.  Remove the needle and cut the thread.  Fold back the other backing fabric out of the way and sew just the two pieces of the border fabric.  Do not catch the backing in the stitching.
Here are the 4 borders added to the quilt.
Now it’s time to add the batting.  You want the batting to be the same type as you have used in the quilt.  Cut a piece of batting larger than the added border.  You will butt the new batting up to the old batting without over lapping.  If you overlap you will get a lump at the seam.
Usually I use a spray baste to hold the added batting.  Hmm… my spray baste seems to have ran away and hid from me or else the quilt gremlins got it.  I used a glue stick so I could finish this post.  A little glue next to where the two batting pieces will butt up against each other is all I need.  Later I can add a strip of iron in stabilizer if it needs more hold.
Open the new border onto the new batting and backing then pin to hold it all in place temporarily.
Go to the border on the opposite side and do the same thing.  Repeat for the rest of the sides.

Be sure to either use a spray baste or a glue stick to hold the batting together really well in this area too.  This is where the batting of one side meets the batting of the adjacent side.
See how I just butted them together where the two side pieces meet?  See how the batting just butts up to the old batting along the seam line?  There won’t be any lumps here.

Here all four borders, backing, and batting have been added.  I can keep adding more borders if I want using the same technique.
There have been times when I’ve sewn both a backing piece and a border piece on at the same time.  I almost always have a problem with one or the other when doing them that way.  It almost always requires a bunch of frog stitching.  I do each one individually these days to avoid those headaches.  I hate frog stitching.
I know this post was done hastily so if anyone doesn’t understand the process please let me know.  I’ll see if I can  redo the explanations.



One comment on “Adding borders after quilting

  1. sosarahsew
    August 18, 2010

    That fabric is the perfect choice. And you're right, it was begging for a colorful border to frame that beautiful flower. Thanks for the pictures. Sarah

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on August 18, 2010 by in Add border after quilting, QUILTS - TIPS AND TECHNIQUES.

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