Modern Sunbonnet Sue's Musings

Musings from the mind of a modern day Sue:
MQN Mystery Quilt - Adding Borders & Finishing

We are now in the home stretch. Let’s put the finishing touches on our mystery quilt. Below are the initial fabric requirements given with the Fabric Selection Instructions.

 Fabrics for finishing the quilt top:

1st Border – 5/8 yard ( 3/8 yard) – consider using Fabric #3 or another medium warm color.

2nd Border – 1-1/4 yard ( 1 yard) – consider using Fabric #4 or #5 or another cool color.

Binding – 5/8 yard ( ½ yard) – consider using Fabric #1 or another dark shade of fabric.

 Adding Borders:                                                                                                                                          Borders for this quilt are added in the traditional fashion. The side borders are added first; then the top and bottom borders are added.

 To ensure that the edge of your quilt is not wavy, lay the quilt top on a flat surface and smooth out the edges. Measure the length of the quilt on both sides and through the center. Add these three lengths together and divide by three. Use this length for both border strips. The length of the border strips is an average, and one strip will be longer and one strip will be shorter than the actual length of the quilt top. Attach the border strip by folding the strip into quarters and finger pressing. Complete the same process with the quilt top. Use these markings to line the border strip up with the quarter folds of the quilt. Stitch with the strip on top, if the strip is shorter than the length of the quilt. Stitch with the strip on the bottom, if the strip is longer than the length of the quilt. Repeat this process for attaching all your border strips.

 Inside Border:

Cut 7 (5), 2-1/2” WOF strips for the first border. Measure the length of the quilt. Piece 2 strips together and trim to the needed length. The smaller quilt will use half of the fifth strip for each border strip. Make two of these strips and attach to each side of the quilt.

 Outside Border:

Cut 8 (6), 5-1/2” WOF strips for the second border. Measure the width of the quilt with the added first border. You need to piece 2 strips together for the larger quilt. Use a single strip for the smaller quilt. Trim the border strip to the needed width. Make two of these strips and attach to the top and the bottom of the quilt.

 You will note in the picture of my quilt top that there is a third border added. You may recall, from the beginning of this mystery quilt, that I made my entire quilt from fabrics in my stash. Unfortunately, I incorrectly cut the outside border strips and did not have adequate fabric to make them the planned 5-1/2 inch width. I chose to reduce the width of the inside border to a finished 1-1/2 inches and made a third border the same width, so that the quilt top appeared balanced.


Complete the quilting on your quilt top according to your personal preferences. A long-arm quilting friend of mine completed the quilting on my finished quilt top. I used polyester batting.


After the quilting is complete, square up the quilt and measure the circumference of the finished quilt. Prepare binding strips to this measurement plus an additional 6-12 inches, for ease in attaching the binding to the quilt. I generally cut 2-1/4 inch width strips and piece them together at a ninety degree bias angle. Fold the strip in half lengthwise with wrong sides together; press. Attach the double fold binding and hand stitch in place.

So, here is my finished quilt:


Hopefully, you have enjoyed making this mystery quilt. Although it was a lot of work putting together the instructions, I enjoyed planning and making this quilt, as well.

Happy Quilting!

Published Mon, Feb 11 2013 7:51 PM by Pamela