Easy Ideas for Quilt Borders


The pieces that frame the main part of the quilt, or the border, are equally important to a cohesive design as the quilt top. It should appear to naturally complement the main part of the quilt top without overpowering it and act much as a frame does to a picture.

Quilted Borders

  • Choose a plain fabric that matches the quilt top. Use a quilting design to form an interesting and complementary pattern to the quilt top. Trace a design that mimics your quilt-block pattern or fabric. It can be as easy as squares, circles or horizontal lines. You may also choose to use a quilting template (plastic cutout); however, you can easily make your own with poster board. Make a single cutout from paper. Trace the cutout onto the poster board. Trace a second one below it, with a small space between the two. Cut out the tracing marks. Place the center of the two cutouts at the center of the border. Using a sharp pencil, lightly mark the template cutouts onto the border fabric. Move your template down, so the top cutout is directly over the lower marked cutout and pencil in the slower template. Work up and down your border, until it is completely filled in. Quilt with an alternate color thread for a really bold design.

Strip Borders

  • Cut strips of different fabric, found in your quilt top. They can be any width size, even different sizes. They should be the length you would like your border width. Sew the long ends together, at random. Stop when you have enough fabric strips sewn together for one side of the border length. Repeat this process for the other three sides to complete the border. After sewing this strip border to your quilt top, you may quilt it in a couple of different ways. You may use the "quilt in the ditch" method, which is quilting right in the seam between each fabric strip. You may also mark and quilt small designs on the fabric strips that match quilting markings for the main part of the quilt top.

Blocked Corners

  • Create four additional blocks, as used in your quilt top. Cut borders to match the length and width of your quilt, minus the quilt block at each corner. Don't forget you will need an additional ½ inch added to these lengths of fabric for the ¼-inch seams. Sew your completed border strips, including the corner blocks, before sewing them to the quilt top. Sew a quilt block to the top and bottom of each of the side borders. Sew the top and bottom fabric borders to the quilt first. Sew the side borders on last. This process will ensure an easy sewing combination of seams matching seams. Quilt the corner blocks in the same manner as the quilt top blocks. Leave the fabric strips un-quilted, if you desire.

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