Applying Borders

Pieced quilt tops often are not square, because the unstabilized edges tend to flare.  Carefully applying borders can help bring the quilt back into square. 
               
1.    Apply the side borders (along the longest edges of your quilt) first.
                   
2.   Fold your quilt in half lengthwise, and mark this center point on each side with a pin.  Fold in half again, marking the center of each half with another pin.
                   
3.   Spread the quilt out flat on a large table or on the floor.  Then measure the width of your quilt at the pins you have placed in middle and at each quarter, and average the three measurements if necessary.  Cut two borders to this length, piecing if necessary.  Then fold the border pieces into quarters, marking with pins as you did with the quilt top. 
                   
4.   With right sides together and the border fabric on the bottom, match centers, ends, and the pins placed at both quarters.  Pin at these spots, then in-between as needed, easing in any extra fullness in the quilt as needed.  NOTE:  DO NOT stretch the border to match the quilt!  This defeats the purpose of measuring the borders to make them of equal length.
                   
5.   Repeat with other side border.  Then stitch the borders to the quilt with a ¼” seam allowance.  Press the seams towards the borders.
                   
6.   Repeat the above steps with the top & bottom borders, measuring the entire width of the quilt.
               
 Repeat the above steps with any additional borders.  (Most quilts have one to three borders, with the innermost border being  ½ – 2 inches in width, and the outermost border being  3 – 6 inches.)