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2 simple tips for a flawless quilt border using striped fabric

 

Yesterday on QUILTsocial we used 2 different methods to add a pop of white to our quilt top made with the beautiful Full Bloom line of fabrics from Northcott.

Today is our last day working with these fabrics, so we’re going to add the outer border! I’ve decided to use the red striped fabric for the outer border and show you 2 simple tips for guaranteed success when adding striped borders to a quilt.

TIP 1 – piece strips together with a STRAIGHT join

Usually when I need long pieces of fabric for a border, I either cut the borders lengthwise along the fabric OR sew together strips that are cut across the width of fabric using a mitered seam.

But, when working with striped fabrics, it’s often a better idea to sew the strips together with a straight seam. Notice below how obvious the seam is when the strips of striped Full Bloom fabric are sewn together with a mitered seam.

When the strips of striped Full Bloom fabric from Northcott are sewn together with a mitered seam, the join is very obvious.
The mitered seam

 

Instead of using the mitered seam, I sew the two border strips of striped fabric together with a straight seam as shown below.

The two border strips of striped Full Bloom fabric from Northcott are joined together with a straight seam.
Joined with a straight seam

 

When the two border strips of striped fabric are sewn together with a straight seam the result is an almost invisible join. HINT The seam is where my finger is pointing!

The two border strips of striped Full Bloom fabric from Northcott are sewn together with a straight seam resulting in an almost invisible join.
The almost invisible seam

 

Sew all of the strips of striped border fabric together in this manner and then measure the width of the quilt and cut two borders this measurement. Measure the length of the quilt and cut two borders this exact measurement.

Sew the top and bottom borders onto the quilt (using a ¼” seam) with the flange accent strip sandwiched between the black and striped fabrics. Since a narrower seam was used when attaching the flange strip, this ¼” seam should hide it.

The striped border of Full Bloom fabric from Northcott is sewn to the quilt with the flange accent strip sandwiched in between.
Adding the border strip

 

The striped border is pressed away from the middle of the quilt and the flange accent strip is pressed towards the middle.

The striped border is pressed away from the middle of the quilt and the flange accent strip is pressed towards the middle.
The pressed border

 

TIP 2 – add a cornerstone to the outside border

My second tip for success in sewing striped borders is to use cornerstones in the outside corners to eliminate the need for mitering the corners of the striped fabric.

If you want your cornerstones to really stand out, pick a fabric that contrasts with the striped fabric. If you want your cornerstones to be less obvious, pick a fabric that is similar in tone to the stripe. I selected the red fabric so that it would blend in better with my striped border.

Sew two 4″ red squares to each end of the remaining two striped borders. Press towards the striped fabrics and then sew one border to the right side of the quilt and one to the left side of the quilt.

A cornerstone of red fabric is added to each corner of the border to eliminate the need for mitering the corners of the striped Full Bloom fabric.
The cornerstone block

 

Here’s the finished quilt top made with the Full Bloom line of fabrics from Northcott.

The finished quilt top made with the Full Bloom line of fabrics from Northcott.
The finished quilt top

 

Usually by this time of year, quilters’ thoughts turn to projects made with fall colors like brown, red and orange or they think about getting a headstart on Christmas projects. But with the unusually hot and sunny weather that we’ve had these past few weeks, I’ve been inspired to use these beautiful Full Bloom fabrics from Northcott to pretend that summer is everlasting. They’ve been just wonderful to work with and I can’t wait to get this beauty quilted.

Thanks for joining me this week – see you next month!

 

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: How cornerstones and flange accents add a pop of color to your quilt

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

7 Comments

  1. Amina Absar Zafar

    Awesome ideas…love the colors and design

  2. Kim Davis

    I just made a quilt top and am using the striped fabric for my border. The straight seem is the way to go. Ty.

  3. David Heath

    This is nice!

  4. Janice L.

    That’s a good looking border!

    • Thanks Janice! Strips are very effective in borders!! I like them in inner borders too.

  5. Quilting Tangent

    Pretty quilt and good tips.

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