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Are there border width rules?

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    Are there border width rules?

    I struggle with borders. If I am honest, I add them on not to enhance quilt, but to add width or height. So a lot of my decisions go something like this:
    “I need about 10 inches of height, so I’ll add 5 inch borders. Let’s see. I have enough for 2 inches of this fabric I used, so that’ll be one. Let’s make other border 3.5. “
    I usually am satisfied, but I bet there are design rules that I could follow.
    What is your process?

    #2
    Re: Are there border width rules?

    I also struggle with borders if its a pattern I make up myself . I have made quilts that the border seems out of proportion to the blocks in the quilt. Does that make sense? I will be following this thread to see what others have to say.

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      #3
      Re: Are there border width rules?

      I'm not going to say it's your quilt, blah, blah, blah. I'm going to say plan it without them.

      SkiptheBorders-Cover.jpg

      All of the ideas I save don't include them : )
      Lorie
      🌺Kauai🌺

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        #4
        Re: Are there border width rules?

        I don't know if I have a right answer or not, there are no quilt police in this forum....

        When I'm adding borders, I usually know how much I want to add and I'll build to meet the needs of the quilt.

        Like the Calico Stars pattern I just finished. It started out as a 72" square before the borders (I think, I can't find my notes). I know it's going on a king sized bed. So I added a 2 1/2" black stop border, 5" keyboard, 2 1/2" black border, then 5" on the sides and 8" on the top and bottom of the outer border fabric. Now, it's big enough for a king. 103" x 96". My main reason for adding more to the top and bottom... I wanted enough to tuck under the pillows.

        I think you have to look at your quilt and decide... bigger borders or more blocks. I've done both, depending on the pattern or the needs of the 'giftee'.
        Katrina


        “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
        ― Maya Angelou

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Are there border width rules?

          my tops are made without,
          I look at the pieced top pattern and wonder if needs a border, then audition fabrics, sometimes they get a border sometimes they do not. just depends on my opinion at the time.
          once watched a youtube on how to sew on borders with all the measuring!! wow,

          I just cut a longer strips
          if doing 3 strips wide sew them together before adding to top,
          if doing mitres make strips longer, peg on them fold pieced quilt 45 degrees to check have enough before sewing on
          and sew borders on
          I smile its not as technical as that video was. am a practical method person, seeing is better than measuring for me.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Are there border width rules?

            My idea about borders is there can't be enough, lol. Actually I either go with what a pattern says if using one or by how big I want the quilt or by how much border fabric I have.

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              #7
              Re: Are there border width rules?

              I also look at the quilt and then decide. I made the large tumbler quilt where the pieced top almost fits the top of a queen mattress. It's a black, red and white quilt with more black than red. I framed it with a solid red 2 inch (finished) border then put a ten inch (finished) black/white border so I could cut the border length wise without seams. And it makes a nice drop on the sides and gives some for a tuck around the pillows. I have red and white toil 108" fabric for the back and intend to use solid red for the binding.

              In other words, I stared at it for awhile to "let it talk to me." LOL
              Vonnie

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                #8
                Re: Are there border width rules?

                I am similar to Claire's thinking... depends on how i can USE UP ALL the fabric that is in the quilt!!! The goal now is to have NONE of it left... GB
                "Each day well-lived and Happy;
                that's all there is to Life!"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Are there border width rules?

                  The only rules are the ones you make.
                  TRUTH is seldom appreciated, unless you happen to agree with it. When you don't agree, you just call it rude.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Are there border width rules?

                    Border width "rules"? No.

                    Border or no border, well that depends on the purpose of the border. If the border will enhance the look of the quilt by either "framing" it, or giving your eye a place to rest, then yes a border is a good thing. Do you need to make a quilt bigger but don't have enough blocks to increase the size, then that's another good time for a border.

                    But a border can also detract from the quilt if it's too big or too busy. So auditioning your border fabric to make sure it gives you (key word here is "you"), the look you like the best.

                    So with that being said, here's two lap quilts, virtually identical, except one is bordered, one is not. I only had enough extra scrappy squares for one, so that was my deciding factor, but I do like the look of both.

                    20161008_090717.jpg 20161027_202918.jpg

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                      #11
                      Re: Are there border width rules?

                      Rules are meant to be broken

                      I have added skinny borders (3/4") to protect HST points from being eaten up by the binding.
                      Make your own rules, GIRLLLL!!!
                      Preeti
                      http://sewpreetiquilts.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Are there border width rules?

                        I usually let the quilt tell me if it needs a border or not. I make the blocks a certain size, figure how long the row needs to be, decide whether to put sashing or not. Then decide if the top length & width is right size (baby, twin, etc) then maybe a border "finishes" it. It's the same for me with any quilt. It is your quilt. Do what makes you happy.
                        And Caroline, love both of your quilts!

                        You are your own quilt police. Just don't make it harder on yourself than it needs to be. ENJOY!

                        Gina

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                          #13
                          Re: Are there border width rules?

                          I stopped putting borders on quilts. If it needs to be bigger I just add more blocks but if you run out of fabric to make more blocks I see why that could be a problem. You will laugh at me when I tell you why I stopped making borders. I made a quilt for my sister about 3 or 4 years ago. I just slaved over it, I wanted it all to be so perfect. I put a printed border on that then painstakingly HQ the whole thing. She loved it. But when I see it on her bed now I just want to run away. What was I thinking??! I hate, I mean really HATE the fabric I chose for the border and when I see that I just want to scream, because if not for that gigantic boo boo it's a really pretty quilt. So now no more borders on quilts for me. Ever.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Are there border width rules?

                            I agree with everyone else - do what looks right to you, and I definitely have added borders just because I need to make it bigger. That being said, when using simple borders, I generally try not to make a single border over half the block size - that is, for example, if the blocks are 12” I won’t go a lot over 6” on any border. If I need more I might add a second, narrower one. I just find that this helps me not to overwhelm the blocks with the border. This is just my personal “rule of thumb”, and I have broken my own rule if fabric dictates it. Your opinion may vary!
                            sigpicIf you can't see the mistake from the back of a galloping horse, nobody is going to notice it.

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                              #15
                              Re: Are there border width rules?

                              I skip borders on most of my very modern/bright quilts. If I have a layout of blocks where there's a background color I tend to use that as my first (small) border to make the pattern "stop" before the "frame" of a larger border or the binding (plus it helps to prevent losing points like someone already said).

                              As an artist I learned about using mats to frame an image before putting it into a frame, so I will often use those same concepts of scale and color/contrast/balance when deciding on a border (border = mat, binging = frame). You could see if there's any videos or blogs that talk about that and then apply it to your quilts. (I'm no expert, I just know what my eye likes).

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