Occasionally when I'm adding borders to a larger quilt and I have to piece them together, I want the prints to match so my seams are invisible. It can be tricky to match prints either for a border or a backing, so I thought I'd share this trick with you today!
First of all, cut your border strips a little wider than you need. The repeat in this print is pretty small, so I cut my borders only 1/2" wider than I needed. Next, find where the two border pieces will match up. (Just lay one over the other until the patterns match.)
On just one of the border pieces, fold over at the match-up point and press to make a nice crease.
On the folded under section, apply a bit of glue stick.
Press into place, matching prints. The glue will hold it in place until you stitch it down, and allows you to readjust a couple of times until you get it lined up just right.
In the photo below, do you see how the edges of the strips are not lined up? That's ok! That is why you will cut your borders a little wider than needed. We will trim them down at a later step.
Flip back the top border, and with a pencil, mark along the creased line from the previous step. This will be your stitching line, so if you can see the creased line just fine then no marking is needed.
Sew along the fold line with a regular straight stitch.
Then trim seam allowance to about 1/4"
Open and press. Trim width of border to what you need it to be. Remember in the photo above when the edges of the strips didn't match up? This is where we trim those up and make them pretty again.
Your borders are ready to use!
A few things to keep in mind:
- This works great for small scale prints. For larger scale prints, you may need to cut your borders even wider to match the prints, depending on the size of the repeat in the fabric.
- Before cutting the borders, find the repeat in the fabric. That will help you determine how much wider to cut the borders. The larger the repeat, the wider you'll cut the borders.
- Some fabrics are busy enough (and not so geometric) that you might not even need to match the prints in your borders. I would say that most of the time I don't bother matching!
- This technique also works if you're using a print as the quilt backing and want to match the prints for a seamless look.