Lost in Transition
Quilting news


Yesterday, in a great fit of productivity, I started to baste my x-string quilt.  All went well until I got to the borders.  They will not lay flat.


Hello seam ripper.

I took the borders off while watching TV last night and when I got up this morning, I pressed everything really well.  I think the issue is that the quilt is on the bias and the strip is on the straight grain.  Something must have gotten stretched (or not) when the borders were added.  Now here's the debate:  try adding the border again or make some half x's to add to two sides.  I'm leaning towards retrying the border.  I have the backing and batting taped to my floor right in the middle of our living space.  If I make more x's, I will certainly have to pull that up.

Thoughts?  Ideas?



It looks nice, I think you are right that between the bias and staight grain somthing went off kilter. Since the body of the quilt is pinned & flat, measure it through the middle & two ends - get the average & make sure that your borders are this measurment... Do it again for the other 2 sides.


it's a lovely piece and if it were me, i'd try again with the border as it were. that's just my - i'll get it to work - personality. i know that we all see the trouble spots in our own work, but your work is so wonderful, i admire your talent and the delicate ripples in fabric - well... charming.

Mama Urchin

I agree it was the bias that got you. I wonder if you could stabilize the edge of the x's somehow so they would stretch less?

Lisa K.

I've heard that you should stay-stitch the bias edge to prevent stretching and also measure the CENTER points and cut your border strips to that length, and pin a lot. I never pin but I've never had to deal with bias edges.

Good luck!


Years ago I made a quilt that had a ton of biased edges (similar to yours). I was so frustrated as I tried to get the border on. Luckily I was at a quilting conference, and a wonderful woman told me to steam the crap out of the quilt top, which would get the bias to behave at least long enough to get the border pinned on--but pin with a heavy hand! Good luck!!

Meg Evans

I'd say try the borders again--they'd certainly be easier to do than making more x's.

I made the lap size version of this quilt and didn't have a border, but I am planning on using this design to make a larger one for my son's bed and I was going to use a border, so I'll be interested to see how you work it out.

As always, your work will turn out beautifully!


I see that everyone else has good suggestions for making it work. I think if it were me I would just make more x's. It's an awful lot of work to end up unhappy with the result, KWIM?


Bonnie has some great hints for borders on her website: http://www.quiltville.com/borderhints.shtml

I had made a similar quilt to yours and had similar issues. what I ended up doing was sewing a seam around the edge of the quilt (about 1/8" from the edge) to kind of hold all those bias-strips in place when i sewed the border on, because even with the excessive pinning and using a walking foot, the quilt center kept flaring out. Good luck!

Sarah Jackson

not that I'm an expert, but I'd take one more shot at the borders first. It sounds like Beverly has the right idea.

It does look absolutely beautiful. I love it.


The border route sounds easier to me, so I'd go with that.


omg, i love your quilt. i'm sure you'll enjoy using it, too, once you've got it pulled together, good luck with that. just love those colors, wow!


I'd retry the borders. Did you measure the sides and cut the borders that length? I know that when I just cut a long strip and stitch it on I get this kind of problem. You could also try spray starch on those bias edges to keep them from stretching when you sew. I love spray starch.


I think you should try the border again. Before you attach it, measure the quilt sides and the border sides and make sure they match up. Then, try stabilizing the border fabric and quilt edge before attaching the border again...maybe with a rip away interfacing?


I have nothing to offer for the quilt.

Just wanted to welcome you home and let you know I love your new page topper.


ooh, bummer. Could you maybe recut the white on the bias, and then remove a couple of the strips along the border? Or scrap the strip border all together and redo the white on the bias, a little thicker?

melissa f.

border as binding? as long as the corners were square it wouldn't matter...


I love it with the border. I think I'd try it again. Good luck!

Patricia Bowman

Measure the center of your quilt in three places and take the average. Cut your border strip to this length. Pin in the middle and at the ends. Use a walking foot or dual feed foot to attach the borders.

This should help avoid floppy borders.

amy h

It looks like you've received a lot of good advice up there -- I'm pretty clueless. :) I do like the border though, aesthetically.

Caron Mosey

I agree... I always stay-stitch the edge of the inner portion of the quilt before I add the border, then stay-stitch the edge of the whole quilt before I begin quilting. Measure, measure, measure.

Caron in Michigan


What a frustration after all that x work.
I have no advice, just sympathy.

miss chris

I'm with the stay-stitch crowd. And, I still think this is going to be gorgeous, whatever you decide to do.


Great suggestions from all! To the suggestions of steaming and stay-stitching and the gazillion pins, and measure, measure, measure, I'll add my suggestion of using a walking foot, if you have one.

One last thought, does anyone know which is better, to have the bias fabric on the bottom (next to feed dogs) or on the top (next to pressure foot)? I would think one would be better than the other in helping to minimize stretching.


I would do what Caron suggested above. I think that would be one of the easier solutions in this situation since it seems like what you really want is for it all to get down flat on the batting so you can quilt it.
Good luck!


How thick is that pieced boarder? What about taking it off and using it for the binding? Cute quilt though!


I think you've got plenty of people with the answer already. I have a quilt that this happened to. It's currently in hiding. I'm working on easier things first. good luck with your borders.


okay, you make me feel way less dumb, because this is exactly what happened with mine. only...I am slightly more lazy, and now that it is basted I don't want to take it out. so I'm thinking that I might just leave it and "hope" it ends up working. THIS is why I am not a good seamstress.
it makes sense that it's the bias thing.


I would just say goodbye to the white sashing strip and bind the entire quilt with that cute pieced-together scrappy border bit. Were it my call. That is what I would do. Good luck!

Melissa H

I didn't read the comments and maybe you already did this but I was taught to measure the length of the quilt at the center and then cut the border to length and then pin it and MAKE it fit (rather than what I usually do which is cut the border plenty long and start sewing). The pieced border is lovely--worth another try I hope


Lots of great suggestions! I hope that you are able to get the floor space back soon =)


Try to stiffen the bias with spray starch. When you sew bias on straight grain there's a taylor's rule, which part has to lie above and which below. Sorry, I can't remember. Does anyone here know?

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