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wavy borders

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charweebee posted on Wed, Jun 22 2011 1:27 AM

how do you correct wavy borders?  I am ready to bind my quilt but the outside borders are wavy.  very upset!

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The only way I've ever heard of someone being able to correct it is with heavier quilting in the border--if you are ready to bind your quilt, I'm not sure.

I'm sure others with more experience will chime in soon.

Rose

 

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gini replied on Wed, Jun 22 2011 8:11 AM

hi char,  welcome to the group.   i think the only way you can fix it after it is quilted is to have heavier quilting in the border, that draws it up some.  the more quilting you have the more it shrinks up.  

gini in north idaho

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I usually note the wavy borders while I'm quilting esp on the side borders so I do more quilting. I either quilt off the border with pantographes or just inside the 1/4" edge. I'm a newbe to long arm quilting, but so far this has worked for me. I try to remember that each time I do a quilt I learn something and since none of mine turn out perfect, I have learned a lot. Others who see the quilts think they look just fine, so don't be too hard on yourself. Bettie

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Jerry replied on Wed, Jun 22 2011 11:04 AM

This can be SO frustrating. I feel your pain. It really depends how wavy it is. If it is only very slightly wavy, then quilting MAY (notice I didn't say "definitely") correct it. If it's really wavy, then you have no other choice then to rip out the borders and try again (I know, not what you wanted to hear). I really don't like quilting to correct this problem and here's why: first off, you don't really know how the wavy border will react when you start quilting. What happens when you start quilting the border and you realize the border isn't shrinking up enough. Then what do you do? You now have half a border quilted and the rest will be REALLY wavy by then. 

In my opinion, I'd take out the borders and try again. Again, I know it's not what you wanted to hear but I really think you'll find in the long run, this will save you significant amounts of time and frustration.

Is your border wavy because you attached it before measuring the quilt? This is very common. In the future, measure your quilt before you attach the binding. What happens is that the quilting in the middle shrinks up the quilt so by the time you get to the borders, they are all wavy. 

I've been there and I know it stinks, but first step back from the quilt, take a little break, calm down, then proceed with your game plan. This little break eliminates and anger going straight to your quilt.

Good luck and let us know how it all goes.

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Jerry replied on Wed, Jun 22 2011 11:14 AM

Now if I would have really read your post I would have noticed that you already quilted the borders and they are still wavy...lol.

In this instance...if you didn't block your quilt do so before adding the binding. The best way is to wet the quilt (place it in the bathtub with cool water), don't ring it out but get lots of towels and roll the quilt up with the towels to get rid of some of the moisture. Lay the quilt on a floor ( I usually lay a sheet or towels down first), then stretch the quilt slightly while you pin it down using lots of pins. Use a t-square or large square rotary cutting rulers to square up the quilt. Let it dry for a couple of days and that should eliminate the unevenness in the borders. I also block the quilt after binding. Since I started blocking my quilt this way, I've never had a problem with uneven quilts. They always hang straight and true. On a side note, my quilt and another quilt were up for best of show in a quilt show once. The judge couldn't decide so she actually got a large rotary cutting ruler and measured the corners of each quilt to see if they were squared up. Because the other quilt was not square and true, mine won best of show.

While you may not enter a quilt show, this just shows that squaring up a quilt definitely makes a difference!

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At our last quilt show, the adjudicator told us that when we measure for borders, to measure only down the center of the quilt not each end and the middle and do an average.  I have found this to be true and the quilt hangs straight.  How did it go quilting with a wavy boarder?

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gini replied on Wed, Jun 22 2011 11:36 AM

do you need the border,  can you cut it off the quilt with the rotary cutter and then bind.  

gini in north idaho

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Jeanine replied on Wed, Jun 22 2011 12:49 PM

A couple tips I learned at the MQS in May was to do a keyboard type quilting in the border, do not do any quilting where thread lines cross and insert a layer of puffy batting in the fuller areas to help take up some of the excess fabric.  I have not tried any of these things and I realize it may be too late but I am throwing them out there anyway.

The thing I am trying to get better at is examing the quilt BEFORE I begin to quilt it so I am not surprised by anything.  If I know the borders are wavy going into it, I can work in the fullness when it is pinned.  Or, even better, I can take the borders off, remeasure based on the length/width of the center of the quilt and resew them.

I have worked fullness into the binding, too.  You will get pleats but if you pin before you sew the binding on, you can distribute the fullness throughout the quilt.

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I just went through this myself. By far, the best way to prevent the wavy borders is to measure your quilt down the middle and sides and get an average. Whatever your measurement comes up to be is exactly the size you cut your border.and you fit the quilt top to the border. In some cases you might have to ease it in.  This is a no fail way of having perfect, no wavy borders! Trust me!  Good luck!

Laura

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Pat M. replied on Wed, Jun 22 2011 5:44 PM

A great tip on measuring borders can be found at quiltville.com

On the right hand side of the home page, you'll find "Tips & Techniques"; then look for the topic "Border Hints"

Pat-"Keep Calm and Carry On"

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Pat, thanks for the website.  I learned the hard way once that you really need to measure the quilt down the middle.

Margaret

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Yup, I used to measure all three but found that down the centre is more accurate.

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Hello Charweebee,

I was reading the other posts to make sure that I didn't repeat others and bore you to death.  I am a longarm quilter and have had wavy boarders several times.  Finally, while surfing the web, I found out what had happened and why.  I believe the video is on QNNTV.com. The short of is that as you roll your quilt onto your frame,  you have to watch the edges and actually put a little slack on the lengthwise seam by running your fingers under it and ease it to even out the edges.  I hope this makes sense, if not friend me and I will try to answer differently.

Judylee

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I have a long-arm quilting machine, and many times, customers just attach the borders on the edges of the quilt without measuring through the middle, as several of the posters have suggested.  I am the quilter, however, and detaching and reattaching the borders is not my job!!  So... usually they "quilt out" and look pretty good.  I can only do what I can do in the quilting department!  BUT... several times.. once it was a ROUND Christmas tree skirt I was quilting... I got my steam iron out of my sewing room, brought it out into the quilting room, and I steam pressed the areas that were WAVY... (This one could have been a RUFFLE!  LOL!!)... and the customer was a good friend... I teased her about it... She agreed:  She had been in a hurry, and cut borders and just attached them to the 4 sides, and then hacked them off.  NOT a good idea if you ask any long-arm quilter!  So, measure through the middle!!  Be kind to your quilters!

Also... I work in a quilt shop, and several of the ladies will wash and dry their quilts after quilting and THEN apply their bindings.  I have seen some very nice quilts done this way.

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