From my own experience of the wavy borders, I did this once and I figured out why it became so wavy. I was stretching the fabrics as I sewed border onto the quilt top. Stretching the border or the quilt top will always cause this. Keep them both nice and flat while sewing-no stretching at all, nice and flat one on top of the other both flat,no stretching.
Also be sure to prewash everything. I learned the hard way - when I had not prewashed and finally finished the quilt and then washed it to remove markings, the block background fabrics shrank more than the border fabric did. Voila! A wavey border! You can see the problem in my Santa quilt on my profile.
I intend on blocking the quilt to see if it will help. People actually liked how much the blocks shrank, it gave the hand quilting that real old fashioned look, but the wavey borders totally frustrate me.
Another thing to do to avoid wavy borders is to pin from the middle out. I do the sides first, find the middle of each, fold the border in half and pin out to the ends. Once they're sewn on, I do the same for the top.
While you're pinning, be very careful to not stretch either the quilt top or the border you're applying. That's why it's a very good idea to use the lengthwise grain.
from the beautiful Hudson Valley of NY
Gammill Classic Plus w/IQ
Didn't do this once and sent the quilt off to a long arm quilter who sent it back.
I so should have done that! I don't have a long arm but my neighbor & dear friend asked me to quilt a baby quilt for her. I quilted it but trimmed off a bunch and it isn't perfect. I don't think she has any idea.
Next time, I'll teach her about how to add borders!
Thank you all for the help. I have been measuring, but perhaps not as accurately as is needed. Also, had not considered that there may not have been as much quilting on the borders as in the main part of the quilt. Could be the combination of these two things is causing the problem - would explain why it doesn't happen all the time. Thank you all again - I bet next project will behave itself if I follow your combined suggestions!
I know this is not the easiest or most frugal way to go with borders but it will certainly keep things from getting WAVY on you. Cut the borders with a bit of extra length on the LENGTHWISE
grain of the fabric. Lay the center of the quilt out flat and then place the borders (one at a time) across the middle of the quilt for the top and bottom borders and up and down the middle for the side borders. Cut each border even with the edges of the quilt center. When sewing the borders on, I fold them into eighths and fold the quilt center likewise, marking the folds with pins. Then I match the pins so as to ease in any fullness over the entire border. This method is only for borders that are not going to have mitered corners. Hope this is clearer than mud and helps someone. Happy Quilting! Sally in NE Ohio
I learned the hard way about those borders. I always did not want to take the time to measure, so I would cut it bigger and cut off the excess after sewing it on......they were always wavy. I finally started measuring top bottom and middle and now the borders are always flat. I'm sure there are other things that could cause it, but that seemed to fix my problems. Hope this helps.
Are your borders bigger than you quilt? I have a tendency to not measure as accurately as I should (middle of the quilt top to bottom and side to side and then make the borders that size) You sometimes have to ease in your inside so the border isn't too big. Didn't do this once and sent the quilt off to a long arm quilter who sent it back. In the end I had to remove 4-5 inches on the long sides of a queen side quilt and 2-3 on the shorter sides so that the border was not too big. Learned that lesson the hard way. I do better now but still is a problem for me. (was taught by grandparents that if a little is good more is better ---- doesn't work in quilting ---what can I say!!!!!)
I have a problem with some quilts where the edges are wavey. At first I thought it was bias binding not behaving, but even ones with straight grain will do it. It usually happens on quilts where there is a narrow inner border and a wider out border. The problem seems to not start until the outer border. It doesn't happen all the time, but I can't figure out what makes some do it and not others. I can usually spritz with water and get it to lay flat by working it with it and leaving spread on the floor to dry, so it hasn't been a big disaster - YET! Any advice that you can give to help me avoid this problem will be greatly appreciated - I want to figure it out before I ruin a project. Thanks in advance!