First, square up your quilt top. Your borders won't look nice if you don't.
Iron and starch your border fabric. Fold it so that you can cut it lengthwise. Cut it as follows:
4 cuts at 1 1/2"
4 cuts at 2 1/2"
(if you are an experienced quilter, you may want to make that second border a bit smaller, then you might have enough to cut up for binding).
Take that extra piece that you have been wondering what it's for, and cut it in half. Then cut those pieces in half again. You now have four little extra pieces. (That it?? Cut it in four pieces? Why the suspense? To add interest. I've always wanted to be a mystery writer. And it could be that I didn't want you to confuse it with your other pieces.)
Let's start sewing on borders. Many people just put the border on, leaving extra at the top, and at the bottom, then just chopping it off to even it up when finished. I read recently this makes for wavy borders, and it's so true! I now (as in as recent as this quilt) make my borders the 'correct way' and not the 'lazy way'. It does make a bit of difference.
We are going to do the longest borders first. Lay your quilt out and measure from end to end...DOWN THE MIDDLE!
Using this measurement, cut 2 of your 1 1/2" strips to this size. Starting with the middle, then the ends, then all in between, pin your border on, right sides together. Sew with the same 1/4" seam allowance as usual.
After you complete the top and bottom, measure and cut the 1 1/2" side borders and sew on as before.
We are now going to make our pieced borders. Sew six rectangle sets and one of those little extra squares end to end. You can sew your little extra piece anywhere along your strip to make the scraps work out how you want. You need to make two of these. One for the top, one for the bottom.
Measure and sew them on. You will have extra to cut off. The exact extra is dependent upon how much you had to cut off to square up your quilt top.
Now piece your side borders. You should have 5 sets of rectangles for each side, plus one of those little extra squares. Here is my side borders (minus the extra square because I forgot to piece them on before taking the photo)
After measuring and sewing these on, do the same as we've done all along with your 2 1/2" border strips. Do the long sides first, then your short sides. Here is what mine looks like with all the borders in place:
LOL, I just noticed it's hanging upside down. (look at the tree squares).
You can finish just as we did the candle mat,layering it and turning as you would a pillow; or you can save it until you learn to do binding. Our next project will include learning how to do binding.
Do you want to know what my favorite part of my first tutorial was? The fact that we used up EVERY square from that charm pack. I don't like having extra scraps. This was a challenge for me. I am working on a couple more. I hope you've enjoyed our first tutorial. I am headed to my Creation Station to work on the next!