How to properly attach a border or sashing on a quilt {a free tutorial}

The key to having a square quilt is a square border. You must properly attach all borders and sashings to ensure a square quilt.

First, measure, measure top of the quilt, the bottom and the center.
They should all be the same size but often are not. When they are not you will need to take an average.
Next, after you have cut borders to the proper width, you will cut them to the proper length. Since my quilt is 8 1/2" I will cut the right and left side borders to 8 1/2".
Lay the borders over right side on the quilt and pin, I will generally pin every 6" depending on the quilt size.
Sew using 1/4" seam allowance. 
Press. First you will press on the wrong side of the fabric, as shown below, to set the seams.
Next you will open it up and press.
After pressing you will measure again. First measure the bottom. Mine is measuring 11 1/4"
Next, measure the center, mine is again measuring 11 1/4"
Last measure the top, mine is again measuring 11 1/4". 
Now cut your top and bottom borders. I will cut mine 11 1/4".
Flip the border fabric over, right sides together and pin to quilt top and bottom. Again, pinning as needed, generally every 6".
Press, now you have a perfectly square quilt.
As a rule of thumb I always press to the dark.

Since someone will ask, fabric shown here is Daydream Cottons by Cindi Walker for Riley Blake Designs.

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  1. so what happens when they are not the same? I just finished a queen size top, and it was more than a 1/2 inch longer on one side. Do you try to ease that into the border? I am always afraid that it will leave wrinkles or puckers somewhere.

  2. I have the same question as Flo. Thx for the tutorial.

  3. the pinning in the center and both ends is the best tip ever. It helps with the quilt that is contrary. I use to not measure or pin. I got some really wavy borders.

  4. Some question as above. It is all well when you start with a square, but what about when you don't have a square

  5. grainline of the sashing - is sashing cut the way the square's grainline runs?


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