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Sewing Borders Provide the Finishing Touch

Sewing Borders Provide the Finishing Touch

by Gail Berry-Graham

In the border vs no border questions I almost always and exclusively vote for borders. At least one!  I generally lean to a small inner border to provide a frame and then a larger outer border. Borders aren’t for everyone and you certainly don’t need to add any—a layer cake quilt top is a great size for a sofa or cuddle quilt. But for me? Sewing borders provide the finishing touch, I love them. Also, adding borders to this quilt just gives me another reason to keep using my PFAFF Quilt Ambition 2.0 sewing machine.

Just a quick review here, yesterday I told you about my husband telling me he volunteered us to make a quilt for someone retiring from their job. We were leaving for vacation so it had to be a quick and easy quilt. I started with a layer cake, to save time in both cutting and coordinating a bunch of fabric. On day one I cut the quilt and pieced up the main body. It didn’t take a whole day, I took time out to read some of a book, make a lunch and take a little drive into the town near where we are vacationing. Yesterday’s blog post will give you all the details.

This finished quilt top needs borders and color!

This finished quilt top needs borders and color!

I’m usually all about color.

If you know me at all you know I’m all about color. It’s everywhere in my house and my quilting, but this quilt isn’t for me, so the colors in the main body of the quilt are a bit dark for me, a navy blue, a beige and a tan. So the inner border was screaming to be a color of interest. I had some great red in my stash and thought it would provide that ‘pop’ of color needed.

A 1 1/2" RED border will provide a great pop of color

A 1 1/2″ RED border will provide a great pop of color

The finished inner border is 1½” so I cut 2″ strips by the width of fabric and pieced them together in sets of two. Sewing them to the quilt top using my my ¼” sewing foot to make a ¼” seam. I also shortened my stitch length, which is so easy to do on the PFAFF Quilt Ambition 2.0 sewing machine.

That inner border looks great as far as I’m concerned. The outer border is going to be a bit trickier. Remember this is a gift for someone, the inner part of the quilt is made with fabric with a ‘coastal’ theme, seagulls, lighthouses etc., she is an East Coast girl and is hoping to return there upon retirement. She also loves houses, house hunting, open houses etc. Just houses, and I had the perfect fabric for the outer border but it meant I would have to cut some of the fabric length of fabric as these houses were directional.

Lots of throat space makes adding borders effortless

Lots of throat space makes adding borders effortless

I cut three pieces of 6½” width of fabric for the top and bottom borders, making sure I had the ‘houses’ going in the upright position when I sewed the borders on.

Then I carefully measured the length of my quilt and cut two pieces 6½” length of fabric. I know, I hear you, length of fabric cuts seem rather wasteful but this fabric just called out to be cut to show off it’s design, so I did it. I have lots left I’m going to use to make some blocks for another quilt.

Because I was adding directional fabric I wanted to sew in a certain direction, I had lots of room with 200mm of throat space.

After adding the side borders it got a final pressing and it looks great in my opinion!

The finished quilt top--love the color and the directional houses.

The finished quilt top–love the color and the directional houses.

Making this quick and easy summer quilt was a cinch using the PFAFF Quilt Ambition 2.0 sewing machine.

The IDT system on the PFAFF machines makes piecing effortless—did I tell you I didn’t use one pin making this quilt? I don’t find pinning necessary with the IDT system. Changing stitch length is as simple as a touch of a button right in front of me and using the ¼” foot included with my machine made completing this quilt top not only possible but fun.

Really though, sewing borders provide the finishing touch for me. Next will come the quilting and binding. This quilt will be finished in plenty of time for the retirement party next week!


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