Tip for Borders

For those of you with a long arm, you’ll love this tip if you don’t already do this….for those of you who don’t have a long arm…sorry.

I needed to cut and put on borders for my Scrap Crystals quilt.  When I put on borders I used to lay the quilt on the floor and then lay my border strips over the middle of the quilt to get the exact size I needed.  Well my knees are getting older and already are very abused with my job of childcare.  I’m always on the floor doing something….anyway, this method requires ZERO floor time.

Here’s my top ready for borders.  I already have the border strips cut and sewn together.

I drape my quilt top over the front rollers of my long arm.  I adjust the top moving it until the middle of the quilt is at the top of the bar with the sides hanging down.  For me the bar I’m using is the bar that holds the quilt top.

I cut of the selvage edge of the border then I lay the doubled over strip on my quilt.  I jab a pin through the border strips, through the top and into the fabric of my long arm.
It will look like this….
I straighten the strip and put in another pin holding the border strips in place.

I put another pin or two (depending on the size of the quilt) to hold the border fabric in place.  At the end of quilt top I put the last pin and then cut the border strip off.  
It’s the same method I previously did on the floor only now no crawling around on the floor to get the border strips cut the right length….and no Ruby to have to wrestle to get it done.

Here are my strips cut perfectly to size.
Once these got put on I again draped the quilt over the front bars of the long arm only this time orienting the quilt top the other direction.  I repeated the process and cut the second set of border strips.

Again…this is likely something all of you with a long arm do…but in case you don’t, I think you’re going to love this tip!!

10 thoughts on “Tip for Borders”

  1. No long arm machine for me. I just wanted to say I can’t wait to see this quilt completed. It’s beautiful.

  2. Cheryl in Dallas

    Wahoo! You are a border genius!

    My knees thank you. My back thanks you. Libe and Tide, the Boston terriers, thank you (they always get exiled to the bedroom when I lay out quilts on the floor).

  3. Andresa Strahm

    I have a 2×4 foot folding table that I use for cutting and ironing. All I do is lay the quilt down so the middle is on the table, take the border and pin it to one end, smooth it out towards the other end, pinning every so often. The pins keep the border in place as I shift the hanging end of the quilt onto the table. Like you, Jo, I snip the border once I reach the other end of the quilt. But I’ve never thought to fold the border in half, so I’ve always had to do this process twice for each side! Duh!

  4. I measure the middle of my quilt length while folded in half in half on my huge ironing board and cut two borders. I mark the quilt in fourths and the border in fourths and pin and sew. Same with width. No room in our house on the floor.

  5. I do pretty much the same thing on my longarm. I killed my knees several years ago for anything on the floor, so when I figured out this method it was/is a huge knee saver! Your quilt is absolutely gorgeous, and coming up closer to the top on my quilt list. Love the border fabric!

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