Borders for rag quilts

As far as I can tell, I’m the only one putting double borders on rag quilts.  I call it the Country By Design difference!  I found one site that included directions for a single border but, I’m including directions here for doing borders an entirely different way. This way is easy and straight forward, but takes some time.

Stitched border on back of quilt

To put double border on your rag quilt, complete your quilt as usual, stitching the blocks together and clipping the seams, then stitching the rows together and clipping the seam allowances.

The next step is to stitch a one inch wide strip of fabric to the back edges of the quilt using a 1/2 inch seam, the same as the seams used throughout the quilt.  I used strips of one of the backing fabrics.

Borders stitched to top of quilt

The next step is to stitch two strips of 1 inch wide fabric to the edges of the top of the quilt, keeping the seam allowances open.  For my top borders, I used both of the backing fabrics to coordinate with the fabrics that show in the seams that are stitched to the front side of the quilt.

Borders pressed to outside of quilt

Press all borders to the outside edge.  This image of one of the corners shows my label that I made with a piece of muslin that I stitched to the back of one of the squares.

Clipped borders

Now the only step left is to clip all of the layers around the edges.  I use my shears and my small sharp scissors, clipping only four layers at a time, which means two trips around the entire quilt making cuts almost 1/2 inch deep and less than 1/4 inch apart.  This attention to detail produces a one-of-a kind border after the quilt is washed.

This blue and brown baby quilt is in the washing machine now.  Make sure your washer’s lint filter is working, then take the quilt outside to shake off all the small pieces of thread.

Next step is the dryer.  Check the lint filter frequently, so there will be massive amounts of lint as the clipped seams come apart, creating the unique frayed look that is the hallmark of  rag quilting.

Stay tuned for a picture of the finished quilt!

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About countrybydesign

blogging, photography, cooking, baking, quilting, genealogy
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2 Responses to Borders for rag quilts

  1. Freedom Smith says:

    I love that you can actually write a note on the back! That makes it even more special. It is very interesting to hear how you make your quilts!

    • I keep thinking I should do more show and tell. It would be easier if I had some else to take the photos as I went along. Labels are a recent addition to my talents. I purchased some sew-in labels but I like to add a personal note when I make one for a gift.

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