Creating easy borders


Good morning everyone! Today’s tip is how to create the easiest quilting borders with any design elements and have them fit any design. All you do is use a line or two to join the elements and these can be straight or curved, it’s up to you. I’ve touched on this in other blog posts like Border basics but let’s look at a trying to make a simple border for a star or wreath design.

What borders can I create with these elements today for the wreath?


The first results.


Figure 1 shows the original idea which was also turned into a square border. Figure 2 was in the inverted version of figure 1. Then I enlarged the wreath in figure 3 to create the partial border in figure 4. The elements were joined in figures 5 and 6. There are many shapes I can use to join the elements.  There’s more information on partial borders in my book, The design master plan.  Lines don’t have to be parallel, often lines that transition from wide to narrow will add some character to the design. Also, if the lines aren’t quilted perfectly parallel, that will be less noticeable to the viewer!

The other element was added to create the next borders.

In these versions, I used the other version of the wreath where each alternate flowers is smaller.  Both versions of the wreath work well with these borders.  You can see another great border created with straight lines in the previous blog post, Play time with design!

Here’s another two versions with the original wreath.


Quilting the designs

When using lines in the patterns, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to quilt them.  To get the best texture out of the design, I would make sure there is at least a ¼” space between the lines (the distance between the lines will depend on the batting thickness so quilt the design first on a practice sandwich to test the texture). I would also add trapunto to them to make the border shine.

If machine quilting the design, you would want to look at whether a walking foot or free-motion foot will be suitable or if using a ruler foot and rulers will work best.  Before deciding, draw your border out at full scale to check how long the lines will be.


Happy designing,


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