Add the Perfect Borders to Your Quilt

Once you have measured and cut your border stripsFold each strip in half length-wise and place a pin at the fold.

Mark the center of each side of your quilt top.  I usually use the same technique as determining the center of the strips – fold the quilt in half, and place a pin in the center fold.  I have the pin head sticking out far enough to see, and match pin heads on the border strip and the quilt.

Pin the border onto the quilt matching:Each end of the border strip with each end (corner) of the quilt top
The center of the border strip with the center of the side of the quilt top

Ease in each section between the pins as you pin the border to the quilt top.  Pin frequently.  You may find that it fits perfectly, or you may find that you need to stretch a bit on one side and let up on the other. Keeping the middle of the quilt and the middle of the border strip lined up helps even out the border. If it is not working and you find you are stretching a lot on one side and will end up with tucks or gathers on the other side of center (because that side is too long), you may want to re-measure, or just line up the ends and ease in the whole border.You may also discover that your measurement is off, and you need to cut a new strip for your border.  It’s a common occurrence in my house! 
Once the two border strips are pinned on, you’re ready to sew. Stretch or lighten up when you need to, Don’t worry about backstitching, and sew on! Watch your seam allowances on the bottom of your quilt top and try to prevent “cross-overs” in your seam allowances.

You may find that you can attach the border by placing it on the bottom next to your machine, and having the quilt on the top.  This will reduce the likelihood of creating those miserable cross-overs. 

The one thing you want to be sure of is that the edge of your border strip matches the edge of your quilt top.  I find it easier to sew the border on with the quilt on the bottom so I can keep track of the smaller piece of fabric.  I check often to make sure that the seam allowances are straight.

Remove the pins before you sew over them.  This will prevent bent pins and stitches out of line.

Once the two side borders are attached, open the seams and press.

Attach the top and bottom borders using the same procedure.

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