Quilt Border Techniques: Perfect Finishes with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star and Darlene Zimmerman


Jenny: Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the
MSQC. And I am here today with Darlene Zimmerman. Hi Darlene, welcome.
Darlene: Thanks, it’s nice to be here. Jenny: Oh it’s just wonderful to have her.
So right at this very moment I’m going to talk a little bit about this quilt behind
us because this is so darling. This is made with Darlene’s fabric line the
Darlene: The ABC Book Jenny: The ABC Book. And this is the panel
that it takes to make that. And this is a darling panel, makes a really cute children’s
quilt. She used one of these roll ups here, 2 ½ inch strips. And this is a free pattern
from Robert Kaufman. And so you can get that in the description box below but that is a
really cool quilt. But Darlene, you’re a superstar in finishes.
Darlene: That’s my favorite thing. Jenny: She’s so good at borders, bindings,
all that kind of stuff. And so we wanted her to come and talk to us. Darlene: So I have an easy way of doing borders
that doesn’t require any math or measuring. Jenny: Oh good. I can’t wait for this. This
is going to help all of us Darlene: Ok so I’ve pieced the border here.
And you can see we’ve got a straight seam. I prefer a straight seam.
Jenny: Oh ok. Darlene: To a diagonal
Jenny: Well I guess you can’t see it much better there either.
Darlene: Because it really doesn’t show that much.
Jenny: Now do you always straight seam? Do you ever diagonal?
Darlene: I rarely diagonal Jenny: I’m the same. I rarely diagonal.
Darlene: Because if you do diagonal, you know where you sew it up at 45 degrees then your
seam is so much longer and I think it disturbs the design and the pattern so much more. And
it takes a lot more fabric. Jenny: It takes more fabric and it this is
just faster and honestly, do you match yours up?
Darlene: You can depending on your fabric. Jenny: I don’t usually because I don’t
think anybody notices. Darlene: Once it’s quilted it disappears.
Jenny: And again I’m not making fancy quilts. You know I’m making quilts to be used and
loved so. Darlene: So let’s do a straight seam and
not waste a lot of fabric. Jenny: Alright. Ok.
Darlene: Then I will take two border lengths, in this case
Jenny: So you cut the size you want first? Darlene: Well and you might need to piece
it Jenny: Well no what I mean is the width you
want? Darlene: Yes the width
Jenny: If you decide you want a six inch border on here then we’re going to, you cut that
fabric. Now this one is short enough that we can get that out of one length with no
seam. Darlene: Right, so here I have two lengths
Jenny: Ok Darlene: And it’s best not to measure with
the edge of your quilt because with handling the edge of your quilt may have stretched.
Jenny: May be distorted Darlene: So measure with a little closer.
And I’m going to show this side because it does not have the selvedge on. And I line
it up here, keep it straight as we go across the quilt. And I have two borders together
so this is going to be my top and bottom border. And I just smooth them together. And then
when I get to this edge I crease it so you can see the
Jenny: Oh yeah Darlene: You can see the line. And then I
cut it like an inch longer just for insurance. Jenny: Ok
Darlene: Then I will pin this to the Jenny: Alright well let’s go ahead and cut
this Darlene: Ok
Jenny: Let’s cut this right here. So about, you don’t measure it
Darlene: No I just Jenny: You just give it a little bit of extra.
Darlene: Just want a little bit of extra because when I have the border sewn on then I want
to straighten it. I don’t want the border pulling in or pulling to one side.
Jenny: Right. So then we’re going to have this piece right here. And we’ll put this
like this. Ok so now show me. I’m kind of taking over and I just don’t want to.
Darlene: Because we’ve smoothed the fabrics together we’re going to keep them together
and we’ll just put in some pins so as we’re sewing it
Jenny: Do you worry about centering it or do you just kind of lay it over and pin it
on. Darlene: Just lay it over and pin it on
Jenny: Perfect. Darlene: But I do pin it because
Jenny: I’ve got some pins Darlene: The sewing machine tends to push
your fabric and it may stretch and pull one fabric more than the other. And then when
you get towards the end you want to just make sure that you’ve come to that crease and
have a little bit extra hanging over. So this way you know that your top and bottom borders
are going to be the exact same size. Jenny: Ok
Darlene: Even if you have to fudge it a little bit. If your quilt has stretched a little
bit you keep the bigger part on the bottom and the feed dogs will automatically ease
it up. Jenny: Right I always say that, baggy bottoms
to the bottom. Darlene: Baggy bottom. So that’s how you
put on a border. Jenny: Now because we’re so magic here we
have this quilt over here. This one is a little bigger, kind of grew quilting. But we have
this quilt over here. And it’s got nice borders cut on it. And one of things she has
that I’m really excited to show you is she has this awesome scalloping tool. And she’s
going to show us how to use this so that we can make a scalloped or a wavy edge. Now on
this quilt back here you can see. See how this waves like this. And I mean it’s just
so cute. She has left her corners square up here but the rest of it is wavy. But also
when you make a simple quilt like this, a scalloped edge will make it oo, ah really
fast. Darlene: Exactly. So if your quilt is less
than wonderful but you want to impress your quilting friends and you need
Jenny: Put a scalloped edge on that Darlene: Exactly. Now a scalloped edge can
look feminine Jenny: Ya
Darlene: But a wavy edge can look masculine Jenny: Oh yes, absolutely.
Darlene: It doesn’t matter Jenny: Absolutely.
Darlene: Because I don’t know whether this baby is going to be a boy or a girl I did
a wavy edge. Jenny: Ok. Perfect.
Darlene: So I’ve got all the bases covered. Ok so I have the scallop tool which allows
you to do scallops from four inches, with a small one. And they do come together in
a package. Of 12 inches with the big one. And everything in between because we need
these to be flexible that we can fudge a little bit.
Jenny: Ya. Darlene: If we need to do that.
Jenny: Absolutely. Darlene: So I’m going to show you how to
mark the edge on this quilt. And first of all you need to and you could do this to a
quilt top. You could mark your scallop in case you wanted the quilt to fit a design
into each of the scallops. But I Jenny: So you would never cut it?
Darlene: I would never cut that shape because Jenny: Before it goes to the quilter.
Darlene: They would hate you for it. Jenny: Yes they would hate you for it. So,
so if you want, like if you want certain quilting in your scallop then you would go ahead and
draw it on there first. That makes really good sense.
Darlene: Exactly. Jenny: That’s a really good tip.
Darlene: Yes because they like that, they like that shape
Jenny: That perimeter Darlene: So they know where to fit the quilting
design. Jenny: I just do edge to edge so I’m all
over the top. Darlene: So then it doesn’t matter.
Jenny: It doesn’t matter. Alright so now how do we, how do we figure this out? I saw
you fold it. Darlene: First of all we need to measure it.
Jenny: Ok Darlene: And don’t worry I’m not going
to make you do that much math. Jenny: Not that much math, my reputation precedes
me. Darlene: 29 inches so that would be 58, correct?
Jenny: Ok Darlene: 58 inches.
Jenny: That was good. That was good math for the morning.
Darlene: Now the next part is very technical. We’re going to just take our finger and
do this. Because you might want little scallops. You might want giant scallops or something
in between. Usually you have in your head an idea of whether you want little ones, big
ones, whatever. So I’m just going to casually count them out. One, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine. Ok so we had Jenny: 58
Darlene: 58 divide by nine, let me see Jenny: That would be nine times six is…no
nine times five is Darlene: 45. Nine times six is 54. So it would
come out to Jenny: Nine times six is what? 54, nine times
seven is 63. So we’re right in the middle of that.
Darlene: Yes, so approximately 6 ½ because Jenny: Ok
Darlene: It never comes out evenly. Jenny: No not exactly
Darlene: And it doesn’t need to Jenny: I love that.
Darlene: And these tools are very flexible. You can say, Well it’s close to 6 ½ . It’s
marked in quarter inch intervals but you can round it up to the nearest half or quarter
inch. Jenny: I’m trying to get this flat so you
guys can see this. There we go. Darlene: So here I am. I have it set at
Jenny: Now I love this. Let’s take a look at this because this has like little slits
Darlene: And it locks in place. Jenny: And it locks in place so that, so that’s
really helpful. That is fun. I didn’t see that when you first had it out so it was like
a little squirrel caught my attention. Darlene: So now we start marking right at
the corner. And we want to start right at this edge. We can mark
Jenny: Now do you put this here or do you start it, I mean
Darlene: We want to start it like this Jenny: Ok
Darlene: And we want this right to the edge. This goes right to the side edge. And this
amount should be about the same. You can measure it
Jenny: Alright let’s move this up here so we can make sure that everybody can see this.
Darlene: We could measure this amount or we could just eyeball it
Jenny: Ok Darlene: I prefer to eyeball it
Jenny: Alright so then we’re drawing those on.
Darlene: Yes and you want to use like a washable or iron out marker. This is the friction pen.
Jenny: And again you’re going to, so you make sure that little edges stay about the
same and this stays, the top of the scallop stays right at the edge of the quilt.
Darlene: So now I just start and mark the next one and so on. But I don’t mark all
the way across because I might have to fudge a little bit in the middle because of our
division problem. The one simple division problem did not come out
Jenny: My simple division Darlene: Perfectly
Jenny: I really can multiply and divide, just so you know.
Darlene: But we want to be able to fudge this in the middle. Ok now I would start from the
other end and work towards the middle and then one or two scallops in the middle.
Jenny: Put the Darlene: Just a tiny bit smaller
Jenny: Oh ok Darlene: Or a little bit bigger. Whatever
it takes to even them out. And no one will ever know.
Jenny: Right. Darlene: As long as you keep it similar. Now
we marked one edge but usually quilts are rectangular so our other edge is going to
measure a different size Jenny: A different measurement, ok
Darlene: So it makes Jenny: Ok so when you go on this edge now,
do you do the same thing? Do you start with this?
Darlene: Well first we have to do the measurement again.
Jenny: Oh ok. Darlene: And do the dividing. But it makes
sense if we had, I forgot how many scallops we had. But we may need to add or subtract
Jenny: Six Darlene: A few scallops
Jenny: Oh, ok. Jenny: Now tell me, do you have any tricks
to doing the binding? Darlene: Well number one, it has to be bias.
Jenny: Ok. Yes anytime you go around a curve, it’s got to be on the bias.
Darlene: It’s got to be bias Jenny: Now bias just means that it’s on
the 45 degree angle of the fabric. Darlene: Exactly.
Jenny: So it’s not terribly hard. But show us, what do you usually do? How do you do
your bias? Darlene: Well you start with whatever size
piece of fabric and you have to have it opened up, ok?
Jenny: Alright. Now I usually start with a half a yard. Do you or does it matter?
Darlene: Half a yard will give you quite a bit of binding.
Jenny: Ya half a yard gives you 280 inches of bias binding.
Darlene: Wow. Yes, so half yard is plenty. We have more than that here but it doesn’t
matter. And what you need to do is cut a 45 degree angle off. And you have a ruler here.
Jenny: I do. Darlene: It doesn’t have to be a huge one
but it does need to have 45 degree markings no matter what brand of ruler you use you
will have a 45. So I would line that up on the cut edge here or else here. It doesn’t
matter. That’s going to give you your 45 and then I will cut the corner off. Put this
aside for scraps. So then it’s going to look like this. And then you can continue
cutting your binding. Just cut, cut, cut and sew them together.
Jenny: Oh that’s very cool. Now if you’re left handed you’re going to start from the
other side. Darlene: Exactly.
Jenny: Alright. So that’s, that’s for those like me. Because I’m like, Wait I’m
not sure this is going to, you know. Darlene: Right so you would just start at
the opposite corner and work this way. Jenny: Alrighty. Now when you go to sew on
your binding. Darlene: And by the way I cut a single binding
for this because Jenny: That’s right you told me that.
Darlene: A single binding is going to work much better as you go around those curves.
It’s, the double binding tends to twist and pull and stitch differently. But a single
binding will just lay down nicely. And in the V where the fabrics come together you
don’t want too much fabric in there. And that’s where the single binding comes in
handy. And people say to me, But it’s going to wear out, oh no. And I say, Well don’t
you give your quilts away? Jenny: It can wear out with someone else.
Darlene: If you do, it’s not your problem. Jenny: Oh that’s terrible.
Darlene: It’s not your problem. Jenny: That’s terrible. I still do a double
binding because mine are just washed and washed and washed but, and when I get to this middle
part, you have a special way of doing that. Darlene: Yes I pivot there
Jenny: Oh ok. Darlene: But now you would do something different.
Jenny: I do do something different. So when I get this, this middle part right here. So
I’m just going to cut this, even though I haven’t basted it because I am going to
put a scallop on here like this. And so this is how your scallop is going to look, that
little, that little pivot in there. And I will sew my binding on here and when I get
to this part I just pull it as straight as I can get it and sew it straight across. And
then when you let that go, it makes its own pleat
Darlene: Right. Jenny: And so for me that works, that works
really easily. But you know a lot of people worry about that, you know that little flap.
And you, you do, she just does like a little layover fold there. And because it’s single
fold, it lays down really nice. Darlene: It, it folds really nice and looks
nice front and back Jenny: So basically what we’re trying to
tell you is there’s more than one way to do this. You know there’s lots of ways to
do borders and bindings and things like that. This is just another way, another, another
help for you if you will so you can finish your project.
Darlene: Try things. Jenny: Absolutely
Darlene: But it is key to have a bias binding, a straight you will not
Jenny: It will not work on a curve. Darlene: It just will not.
Jenny: If you’re going to, if you have straight edges use a straight binding. If you have
curved edges you have to have a binding that curves. So that is key.
Darlene: Now one more trick I’d like to share is how to do the wavy edge
Jenny: Oh ok, let’s show that. Great idea. Darlene: Ok so here’s our
Jenny: We’ve got it prepped Darlene: And I just, I’m just going to pretend
that I’ve done the measurement and I’m at 7 ½. It doesn’t matter what size you
have. And I would start marking the exact same way, right to the edge.
Jenny: Alright let’s come over here to the middle again and make sure we can see that.
Darlene: Ok you’ve marked one. Now the second one would normally go like this
Jenny: For a scallop Darlene: But we’re going to just flip it
over Jenny: Just flip it over and it makes
Darlene: Oh gosh that’s so hard Jenny: I know, that was really cool. I don’t
know how she is going to do this. Darlene: But we want that measurement to stay
the same there. So we mark our inner curve and then we go back to this and mark the other
curve. Jenny: Oh that is really cool. That is really
cool. Darlene: Oh this is so hard. And people really
like binding this edge because they don’t have the V.
Jenny: There’s no point. And I love to use this for a boy’s quilt. It makes a boy’s
quilt, you know, it oo ahs it up as well. That is awesome.
Darlene: And it just gives your quilt that extra wow factor.
Jenny: It does Darlene: And you think, oh that’s so hard
but it really isn’t. It literally takes you five or ten minutes to mark the quilt
for a scallop or wavy edge and it’s no sweat. Jenny: That actually makes it a lot easier.
And, and these kind of quilts, these block quilts, people love these. I think people
overlook these. But they love them because they’re not afraid to use them. It represents
comfort to them. They can throw it in the car. They can wrap up in it and watch television.
You know, I mean this, this makes, it just makes a nice quilt. And then this added makes
it so much Darlene: It adds so much. And if you’re
scared to try it on a real quilt get yourself some pre quilted fabric and just practice.
Jenny: And then you’ll wish you’d done it on the real quilt because it will be perfect.
Darlene: Exactly. Jenny: So we hope you enjoyed this today.
We taught you how to put on a border, how to make a scalloped edge, how to make a wavy
edge. Thanks so much for doing this Darlene: You’re so welcome. I really enjoyed
my stay here. Jenny: That’s awesome. We’ve got to figure
out how to finish up our projects. We’ve got some, some works in progress don’t we?
Darlene: Too many Jenny: And there’s something. So we hope
you enjoyed tutorial today on finishing up your quilts from the MSQC.