I am ready to add the 2nd border on a quilt and boy oh boy, the quilt is really uneven. When I was taught to quilt (3 years ago) the gals told me that you don't square up a quilt until all the borders are on. So, my question is, should I take off the 1st border and square up top go quilt and resew borders-or do I go with what I have and square up after I'm done with borders. Embarrassed to say that the current border is off some places over a quarter of an inch. Even though I don't want to take off the borders and square up, but I don't know which is going to be visually better. I appreciate in advance all the suggestions and help. Thank you so much

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Marcia I guess it would come down to how much of a perfectionist you are and what are your intentions with the quilt. I know some quilters will take out any little imperfection. But I am not a perfectionist and none of my quilts are going to be entered into any shows anytime soon. I am working on that but not right now. So having said that. How much does this 1/4" bother you? Its only a 1/4". You could shave off an 1/8th of an inch or so and the rest you could ease into the seam allowance. I myself, I would not be taking off the borders. I would find some way to straighten them up a bit. Once you get to the end and start quilting it, it may be off again a little.


And what is this quilt for? If its a sofa quilt or a baby quilt, will anyone really notice the 1/4"? I doubt it. If you are going to try and enter it somewhere, you may want to fix it now. But if I took out all my little errors, I would never finish anything! LOL But in the end its up to how much it bothers you and are you wanting to take it apart to fix it.


Good Luck



Thanks for your post.  This quilt is for my grandson (10) - but I want things to gell right.  And yes, I guess I am a bit of a perfectionist, and I think, although, I try so hard,  I think my 1/4" seams are not always perfect and my ironing too.  I'm asking for the Rowenta iron that has it's on water container it sits on.  My friend has one and her pressing is perfect.  I'm also al little impatient, so probably don't leave my iron on the seams long enough.  Ah - the problems quilters have - lol.  Thanks,Marcia

If you look at my 2 quilts the fairy quilt for taylor and alysia'a quilt the large pink one. I'm like you some of the squaes were on the bias. annd I could see it wan't perfect. But Christmas came and "Grandma!!" "It is beautiful- I love it.!! so children don't look that close.

Marcia, my first thought is " how do you measure the size of your borders"? If you measure thru the horizontal middle and use that measurement for the top and bottom, sew them on, then measure the vertical length and use that measurement for the sides. If these measurements aren't the same as the pieced top, just ease the difference in. I heard about this technique from an Alex Andersen quilt show a long time ago and it works for me. Hope this solves your problem.

hi Marcia,

if you are like me, you can hear it and still not picture it. I have found videos extremely helpful in my understanding of what is taking place. there are tons of them and one leads to another. here is one on squaring up a quilt with borders. I hope it helps and be sure to check out other videos, I have found them to be very good at refreshing my thinking on things. i love them.


Thank you Ethelda and Carla - I appreciate your info.  I do the measuring - the problem was the darned quilt top itself was uneven.  Do you ever square up your quilt top before adding borders?  I was told not to do so.  Anyway, I added the 2nd border, squared up and had to take off 1/4" in several places, so the border finished will be2 1/2" instead of 3.  Worse things have happened.  Again thank you for your replies.  Marcia

I square up the individual blocks but the top without borders rarely. and if you put the borders on that way then it should square back up anyway.:) you might just want to take the galloping horse approach to this one. ;)

in case you don't know what that is.........if you can see it while galloping past it on a horse? don't worry about it..........cause nobody else will notice. ;)

Oh Carla, your post gave me a good laugh this morning.  The galloping horse will become my new approach to quilting.  Just love it.

Marcia, i was taught to measure through the middle, the top and the bottom of the quilt on the horizontal and then divide by 3 to get my top and bottom border measurement. Then fold your border in half and put a pin and then fold in half again to get the middle of each half and put in a pin.  Do the same with your quilt matching pin to pin and the pin the outside edges.  Sew these on easing in the difference.  Then measure the verticle middle and both sides and divide by 3 to get my verticle measurement for my borders and repeat the process.  

Another trick I learned from a quilt teacher here is to do the same process above but then add pins every quarter inch.  Set your iron on steam and steam the two pieces together then sew   This helps to pre-ease the pieces and makes it easier to sew together.  This works when you have a larger difference between the pieces (1/4 inch and more.)

Hello Marcia, I would love to see the quilt in question or have you sorted out your problem. If you can upload a picture of the quilt to my quilt place, it might be more helpful rather than many people suggesting ways to correct the quilt without not seeing it first! Once we see it then we will be better informed and then we will be able to direct you to the right place or person so the quilt is treated properly and correctly.  If you can't upload a picture to here, then the next step should be to take the quilt to a quilt shop or to a professional quilter quilting shop for advice or correction. It's always difficult to give directions for correcting a quilt without seeing it first so go with caution if it's not too late.  But regardless I'd love to see this quilt so I too could offer some advice to where you should start or at least go!!!!  I hope this information is helpful and not a hindrance!!!!   Julie Beard

thank you Julie - I bit the bullet and put the boarders on and squared up the top - and worked out as best as I could get it, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  No information is a hindrance to me.  Thank you, and I will post a photo.  It's pretty wild!!  :)

Marcia, I have a suggestion that relates to the borders rather than squaring up the quilt. It may be more relevant to future quilts (instead of repairs to this one). When I add multiple borders to a quilt, I sew the border fabrics together to create one LONG strip of border fabric. Then I treat this LONG multi-fabric strip as if it is a single border - I cut it & attach it to the center of the quilt like a single border, using mitered corners. I have found that this is much easier than attaching each border strip separately to the large center of the quilt, and it is probably more accurate because I have strip pieced the borders before attaching them to the quilt. Best wishes & happy quilting!


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