The Quilt Top that I’m working on for Fabric Café has 3 Borders with the outside Border having Corner Blocks (sometimes called Cornerstones).

Donna’s patterns have very good directions on adding Borders, but I wanted to share a few tips.

First – the White Fabric which I am using in Border #1 had 43” of useable fabric after the selvages were trimmed. I was able to add the right & left borders with only one Width of Fabric (WOF) each.  The top & bottom borders were the same. So no piecing necessary for Border #1.  If your fabric isn’t as wide, these borders will need to be pieced.

The 2nd & 3rd Borders needed piecing.  After trimming the selvages, one WOF strip was short by just a little bit. To avoid having just a little piece added, I cut one WOF in half – making 2 strips about 21” long, and stitch one piece to one full piece for the Left Border and repeated that for the Right Border.

Measuring/Squaring – I found a hint which helps keep your Quilt Top square.


Fold the top in half (bringing the Left side to the Right side) and lay it on your ironing board or cutting table. (OK, a dining room table would work, too!)

Do not use a tape measure – instead, take your 2 border strips and starting with the 1/2 strip end pin matching raw edges along the fold (not the left/right sides raw edges).  Smooth the 2 border strips, pinning a few times until you reach the other side raw edges. 


Mark your border fabric or slide a small cutting mat under and cut the border strips even with the raw edges.  There are now two border strips the same size which will fit the left & right sides of the Quilt Top.  Sew the ‘left-over’ fabric strips to the ends of the remaining 2 WOF strips to be used for the top/bottom borders.  Repeat the pinning/trimming for the Top & Bottom Borders.  Remember to begin with the short, added-on strip.

Note:  By starting your border strip with the shorter piece the border will be more evenly distributed and a small pieced segment will be avoided.

Repeat this process for the Left & Right Border #3 Strips.

Adding Corner Blocks (or Cornerstones)

After adding the left over strips from Border #3 Left/Right borders to the two WOF strips for the Top/Bottom Border #3, add one Corner Block to the short end strip for both the Top & Bottom Borders. You will have two strips like this:


Fold the Quilt Top in half (bring bottom raw edges to top raw edges), and beginning with the Corner Block (use both strips), line raw edges together at the fold and the Corner Block seam with the Left/Right Seam.  Smooth the border strips, pinning occasionally until you reach the other side/raw edges.


Caution – unlike adding plain borders, do not extend all the way to the raw edges.  Since the other Corner Blocks will need to be added, the Top & Bottom Border strips will be cut a little differently.


When you reach the end measure 1/4” past the seam where the Corner Block will be added.


Mark it.


Cut it – But DON’T cut the Quilt Top!!! This gives the 1/4” seam allowance which will be used to sew on the 2nd Corner Block.


Return to the sewing machine and add the 2nd Corner Block to each strip.

Pin the Top & Bottom Borders in place matching the Corner Block seams to the Left/Right Border #3 seams.  Pin the remaining strip along the raw edges of the top.  Repeat for the bottom border


You now have perfectly attached 3 Borders and 4 Corner Blocks!


See the completed Quilt Top.


You ask, ‘How long does it take to make this top?’  Well, I’d have to say a day and a half.  But that included, taking pictures, editing pictures, and writing 2 Blog Posts.  Add into the timetable, I’m with a friend, and of course we had to visit a local quilt shop and spend some time catching up with each other’s lives. (Plus, I went to bed about 9 pm last night.)

Could I have made this in one day – Certainly!  Especially using the quick tricks of Strip Piecing & Chain Piecing!!  Try it!

This quilt is the Breast Cancer Awareness Kit which is sold by Fabric Café and when finished it will have Chenille Ribbons on the White Blocks.  I will post a picture of the finished quilt when it is available.

This kit is not on the Fabric Café’s website yet.  But if you are interested in making this Breast Cancer Awareness Quilt, you can call Fabric Café at 866-855-0998.  The 3-yard bundle costs $24 & includes a free pattern.  If you want to add the Chenille Ribbons, you will also have to order one roll of Chenille ($10.99).


Happy Stitching!


Quilt Mouse


About Quiltmouse

I am retired. I love to quilt. I make charity quilts as well as quilts for my friends & family.
This entry was posted in Quilting, Tutorial. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Borders

  1. Pingback: And the Story Continues | QuiltMouse

  2. Love your tutorial on borders and especially like your instructions without having to measure!


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