Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tutorial/QAYG #6/ Adding Borders

Adding borders to a quilt, using one of the QAYG methods is nothing new.  I first saw this method about twenty years ago, on the sewing video,  Creative Strip Quilting by Nancy Zieman. When you see the simplicity of this method, you might be asking yourself.....WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS???.

I made this center  in March using the "Stitch 'n Flip" QAYG method shown here.
Here is the back.....some of it was quilted before the back was added and some after.  By doing it this way, some of the starts and stops that are characteristic of the "Stitch 'n Flip" method are hidden, under the backing. My sample is approximately 27" x 23" in size. It's important to remember to square up your center block. As with all the other QAYG tutorials I have put together I like to use a walking foot on my machine.

At this point, I am wanting to ADD SOME BORDERS, using the QAYG METHOD. Cut the fabrics, for the borders you want to add to your quilt, about 2" longer, than the edge you are adding to. For my quilt, I have cut a 6" wide strip, of each of the following:
  • Fabric for the front of the quilt (black fabric)
  • Fabric for the back of the quilt (white striped fabric)
  • batting (warm and natural)
Lay the fabric for the front of the quilt (black fabric), on top of the right side, of the quilt, along the edge, right sides together.

Next, lay the fabric for the back of the quilt (white striped fabric), on top of the back of the quilt, along the same edge, right sides together.

Be careful not to stretch your fabric....I like to use a fair number of pins for this step. Sew all the layers together using a generous 1/4 inch seam allowance

In the original instructions, the batting was added during this step.....DOING IT THAT WAY results in THREE LAYERS OF BATTING  in the SEAMS. That's just far to much bulk for me. In the original video, polyester fiberfill was used for batting and the bulk was not near as noticeable, as it is, for the Warm and Natural batting that I love to use. I DO NOT add the batting until this step is completed.

Here we see the three layers sewn together with a generous 1/4 inch seam allowance:
  • black strip (right side of quilt)
  • quilt that border is being added to
  • white striped strip (back of quilt)
NOW IS THE TIME TO ADD THE BATTING. Just butt the edge of the batting strip, to the edge that you have just sewn, using a wide zig zag stitch.

You are stitching, in the seam allowance, so nothing will show on the front or the back of the quilt.

Quilt Front.....detail of the zig zag stitching. 

Quilt Back

Now just flip the fabric strips, toward the batting, on the front and the back of the quilt and press. There is now only one layer of batting in the join.

Quilt Back

At this point, I put some basting spray between the layers to keep them from shifting, during quilting.

The next step is to quilt the border as desired. The major advantage is that you are always quilting at the edge of the quilt. No more wrangling a huge quilt, under the arm of your sewing machine.

Quilt Back
Once the border is quilted, I square up the border and start the process over again for the next  border.  

Every method has pros and cons and this one is no different.
Pros:
  • You are always quilting at the edge of the quilt, which gives you so much more control.
  • You are joining as you go along...nothing to put together later
  • You are quilting as you go along...nothing to quilt later
  • You can make a quilt larger after it is already quilted by just adding a few borders
  • You can make individual QAYG blocks larger this way as well
  • All machine sewing
  • No strips to sew on later to hide seams
Cons:
  • As the quilt grows, the borders have a tendency to be a bit wavy, if you aren't careful.
  • I would only recommend this for lap size quilts or smaller.

42 comments:

  1. Very awesome tutorial!! I was wondering about the batting...makes sense now! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Thank you for another great tutorial! I appreciate you listing the cons also.

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  3. Thank you, I'm just about to add borders to a quilt as you go quilt and I didn't want to add more bias binding to hide the seams. This is perfect for me. Thank you so much. Thanks also for providing pros and cons too.

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  4. I've done some QAYG, but I just read through all your tutorials and I learned a lot of new tricks. Thanks for taking the time to explain everything so clearly! Your tutorials are impressive.

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  5. Wonderful tutorial! I always wondered about having so many layers of batting in the seams - great tips. I promised myself not to start another project until I'm done my current ones - that may have to change! I'm just no good at project monogamy!

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  6. This tute' is terrific! Seriously. I just read it and understand it perfectly. Thank you! Great job! Toni

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  7. Thank you for the tutorial! Your quilt is wonderful! I have experimented with quilt-as-you-go methods; hand-quilting is no longer an option because I have arthritis. What adjustments would you recommend in order to use this method to make a bed-sized quilt? Or is there another method that you would recommend for the larger sizes? I have used the method where you make the quilted blocks and join them, covering the seams on both sides, but I like the look of what you've done here better. I so enjoy seeing your work!

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  8. Thanks for another great tutorial. I am going to try this as soon as I get the time.
    Deborah

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  9. Brilliant idea and well explained. Thanks for taking the time and effort.

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  10. Thank you for such a clear and easy to follow tutorial. I plan to try this one soon. Also, I love the quilt!

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  11. For me, the "missing link" in trying to envision your process was the part about butting the batting strip next to the seam allowance & zigzagging them together. That is GENIUS!!! A million thanks for sharing this clever process. I'm so enthused to give it a try.

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  12. Zigzagging the batting to the seam allowance is a great idea! Thanks again for your tutorials.

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  13. Thanks Marjay.......I'll thank you here since you are set at no-reply

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  14. The quilt is going to be a masterpiece! Perfect!

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  15. Thanks Mary.....I'll thank you here since you are set at no-reply

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  16. I've never done a quilt as you go, but you make it look so great! I'm going to have to give it a try!

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  17. What an elegant technique! Thanks for the thorough explanation!

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  18. Thanks for the great tutorial, especially on how to add the batting. Your photos and instructions are fantastic, ALMOST as amazing as your quilts!

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  19. Fantastic, as usual. Just why, why, why, didn't we do this years ago. Perhaps no one before has been able to explain and demonstrate the technique as eloquently, simply and thoroughly as you. Thank you for continuing to share your process. You are the BEST!

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  20. Thank you for your tutorials on QAYG, you've really inspired me. I just finished my first quilt the traditional way and wrangling it through my sewing machine for 42" straight stitch seams was not my idea of fun! Your quilts are gorgeous works of art!

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  21. Thanks so much Tabatha.......I hope you'll give the QAYG try.

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  22. Brilliant idea! Thank you for sharing and making it so easy to understand!

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  23. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your process!!! We all know you invested so much time for this QAYG tut! You inspired me all the way! LOVE and ENJOY reading your blog!

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  24. Wow! I'm so happy I surfed onto your blog. Thank you for working up these tutorials. I have 2 projects in particular that this will be a life-saver for. Looking forward to following you regularly. :D

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  25. I discovered your blog from your post on Lily's quilts yesterday and have spent the last 24 hours reading and re-reading the instructions, experimenting on some string blocks I have been doing (so far so good) and generally letting my mind go wild with all the possibilities. So, the first of what I imagine will be many questions from your newest fan; you say in this tutorial that you would only recommend this method for lap quilts, what about the other methods you use (thin strips and wide strips) can they sustain a large quilt? Sorry for such a long post ! Love your work.

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  26. Hi Merran....I'll answer here since you are set at no-reply. Thanks for your kind comments. It's a personal thing with me regarding the size. The strips can easily sustain very large quilts. It becomes very tedious joining the columns if the quilt is overly large....being the lazy girl that I am I would find other ways to deal with really large quilts. I am fortunate to have a long arm....so that is what I would use.

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  27. Hi me again, Im new to blog land so not sure about the set to no reply thing I'll look into it! I reduce myself to tears when basting and quilting large quilts. I used to just send them to the long arm lady but am trying to be a more "holistic" quilter and do them myself(ie: Im cheap) so any method that reduces that unhappy situation is welcome. Im looking at all my projects in waiting and working out if I can adapt them to QAYG!. Thanks again

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  28. I knew of the flip & sew method but also thought the seams were bulky with 3+ layers...your solution is an improvement & I will try this type of construction again! My Best, joni

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  29. Thanks, Joni.......glad to be of help.

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  30. I just finished reading all your posts on the QAYG method and I loved it so much! Definitely something I am going to try very soon. Your fabric choices are amazing as well.

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  31. I've added borders before, but I think I made it harder than I needed to. This streamlines the method. Thanks! All the best - Chris

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  32. Thanks for a great tutorial. I've been making quilts by the QAYG method, but yours looks so much more professional without any ugly ridges where the blocks join. I will try your method next time I'll make a quilt that way!

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  33. I just read through your whole series of QAYG tutorials and they are simply brilliant! I never liked the look of this method before (done the old way), but your modifications make it so modern and fresh. Thank you for sharing!!!!

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  34. Thanks for this splendid series of tutorials for QAYG! I loved reading every single bit. I’ve done some workshops at my LQS but I learned to join the blocks by handstitching the strips and this makes so much sense, as well as adding the borders. I’m so happy I’ve met you through the Free Bee! You are a wonderful source of inspiration!
    (love the fabics you use and your colour sense!)

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  35. This is a super tutorial; I have always read through QAYG instructions, but never tried one before. I am hoping to test run this one...Thank you Julierose

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  36. I've never done QAYG (took me a couple mins. to figure out what that was!), but I'm really wanting to try this method. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions!

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    1. You're so welcome...have fun with it.

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  37. Ack! This is brilliant....you have opened my world....oh no...now I can see myself doing more hand quilting because I don't have to worry about a huge project! I hand quilt weird because I have to have my left thumb over and fingers under at the same time so huge quilt tops are out. Knowing all your methods for joining blocks and adding borders just made me a little bit crazy thinking about all the new stuff I can do now!!!

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  38. THANK YOU for posting this wonderful tutorial!!! I am about to finish a king size quilt with borders that go all the way to the floor. I was able to accomplish this by sewing the blocks in columns, quilting them, and then attaching the next column. The quilt has 4 borders and I added them one at a time. Thanks to you I was able to make a 140"x110" on a normal size home sewing machine.

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Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I try to respond to all of your wonderful comments....if you are not getting any response from me it's because you are set up as a no-reply blogger. In order to receive a response you can change your status in your blogger profile. I'm no longer accepting anonymous comments.

Thanks again for all your wonderful comments
Marianne

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