Attach Applique Border Before or After Applique is Complete?


I am currently adapting your wonderful floral 10″ border (from Reflections of Baltimore) to use with four 16 inch blocks designed by Gabrielle Swain.  My question is this:  Do I applique the borders BEFORE attaching them to the blocks, or AFTER I applique? 

 If doing the applique first, how do I ensure the borders will not stretch and become distorted?

 Thank you for any input. 


Reflections of Baltimore Quilt

Hello Marilou. Good luck on that border. It was a VERY long time ago when I made it and I remember it took what seemed like forever to stitch. You are a girl after my own heart to undertake such a project…I think there a very few of us that undertake long projects these days!

Anyway, at the time I stitched that border, I had the same concerns you have voiced and so I appliqued the border after it was attached to the quilt center. If I remember correctly, it was cumbersome, but not impossible to

These days I applique my borders separately and add them at the end. When I plan applique borders I purposefully plan the border so that in the place where I join the border pieces, I can stretch or reduce the fit if needed, i.e., a stem that can be lengthened or shortened to adjust the fit, or place a flower, or other large piece, over the joining seam.

Border of Autumn Fair Quilt. The seam joins where the striped background fabric changes direction....near the grapes and lemons.


I have not looked at the Reflections border pattern in a long time, but I believe the design changes often enough that you should be able to adapt it as I described.

Good luck! I would like to see your finished work!

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>