Once you have measured and cut your border stripsFold each strip in half length-wise and place a pin at the fold.

Mark the center of each side of your quilt top.  I usually use the same technique as determining the center of the strips – fold the quilt in half, and place a pin in the center fold.  I have the pin head sticking out far enough to see, and match pin heads on the border strip and the quilt.

fold the border strip in half

Pin the border onto the quilt matching:

It's an age-old question - what should I do when I discover that my quilt is too small?

As with all things quilting, there are options:

In a different article, we explore one of the options which is to add blocks around the outside of your quilt using the same block only in a contrasting or different color. In this design, the row of contrasting blocks is placed right next to the center blocks, as shown below.


Quilt top center is done, and now you're looking for something interesting to do with the borders. You've made a dozen quilts and the borders have been strips of fabric - sometimes wide, sometimes narrow, occasionally with cornerstones - but mostly just plain borders.

Now, it's time to start looking beyond strips.

Several quilting resources talk about making more of the same blocks except using a different color scheme. As many times as I had read it, I have used it only once - when Stephanie and I made a quilt together.


In our quest to create more interesting borders, we glide to Flying Geese. Originally this patchwork pattern was designed for parallel stripes running lengthwise on a bed quilt.


The folded flowers in this quilt are surrounded by flying geese. Click on the picture for a larger image.


In a different article, we discussed using a traditional Flying Geese pattern for a border.Click here to read that article.

In this article, let's look at one way we can modify Flying Geese for something different and interesting - I call them Broken Geese.

The quilt below features 9 batik squares each having a different cat pose. The finished size of each cat is 3 3/4" - not all that large.

I wanted to make a wall hanging that was at least 40 inches square to fit a particular wall, so I knew I needed to add several borders.

Creative quilter and musician Ricky Tims.




Q: Before i found ya'll, i had a friend helping me.  we put the quilt together with the batting and the backing the same measurements as the quilt.  I've got it on an old rack now, but i am hesitant to start the quilting, afraid that the edges will not be good when i finish. what should i do?

West Jefferson, NC

A: You raise an excellent point.  When you quilt, your quilting stitches will tend to make the quilt top, back and batting get somewhat smaller, and generally at different rates.

At this point, I would add fabric to the backing and add batting.  Assuming that the quilt is basted together, the first step is to remove enough basting so you can work with the outside 2-3” of the quilt back and batting.

The first step would be to add backing material.  If you have more of the same material, you could add about 3” to each side of the piece.  If not, you could add a contrasting piece of fabric to the backing, just like you would add a border to a quilt top.  Once those pieces are added, be sure to press the seam allowances flat, and probably toward the bigger part of the quilt.