Bethany Reynolds

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Matching Prints for Borders

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Have you ever needed to match seams in a printed fabric for a border? Perhaps you have a crosswise striped fabric and need a border strip longer than the width of the fabric. Or maybe you're piecing a lengthwise border, and don't have the yardage to cut the border in one piece. Seams in borders can be distracting if the pattern doesn't match, especially if the fabric has a design with an obvious repeat.
Rainbows and Rickrack, from Magic Quilts by the Slice has a seam in the border on each side. Can you find the seam in the detail above? Piecing a nearly invisible seam is not hard.
Begin by studying your fabric and deciding which part you'd like to use for the border. Don't feel locked into the border dimensions given in a pattern. Choose your border based on the fabric design and what is best for the quilt.
The instructions here are for a border cut across the width, but the same approach will work for lengthwise piecing too. Cut your first border strip. Square off one end, trimming away the selvage if it is a crosswise strip. Lay the trimmed end on the remaining fabric, and find the first place where it matches. This will probably be several inches in from the selvage for a crosswise border. Line up the trimmed edge carefully and mark the fabric above and below the first border strip so that you can see where to cut. Remove the first strip, and cut the second strip, using the marks as a guide and also measuring the width so that it is the same as the first strip.
 Press under 1/4" on the trimmed edge of the first border strip.

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