Beautiful Braid Quilt & How to Avoid Stretching Fabric

This pretty braid quilt is a Wedding quilt. It has an embroidered border with the couples names & date on it (I try not to post photos with names). I’m just posting the close ups since its a gift.

The piecer ran into some challenges when making this top that many of us have also faced, fullness and wavy borders. As you can see in the photos, these issues can be overcome and result in a beautiful quilt. Of course it is much easier to avoid the trouble ahead of time if possible.

Most of the quilts I see with surprise challenges result because of bias edges. A braid quilt can be one of them. Even with the closest care, they can easily stretch along the bias edge when sewn. I often see this with setting triangles on quilts where the blocks are put on point. Its the nature of the fabric to stretch on the bias edge. When this happens the best cure is to fix it, take apart the borders & ease in the areas that have stretched & then reattach the borders. I see this a lot on quilts & have had a few of my own. I’m no expert on piecing but I get to see so many quilts laid out flat on a perfectly square machine and am often faced with figuring out how to make a quilt flat and quilt-able. Only so much fullness can be quilted in & its less than many believe.

How can this fullness be avoided? If you know your putting a quilt on point or angle, the best offense I’ve found is to liberally starch the fabric beforehand. Be gentle with handling when piecing. Make sure the presser foot is not too tight where its stretching the fabric when sewing. Also, I suggest making the stitch length a tad longer. Try to always put the solid piece of fabric on the bottom side & the pieced fabric on top when sewing. Finally, do not pull against the fabric when sewing, let it feed itself through or even push slightly the fabric towards the needle.

In the end what everyone wants is a beautiful quilt like shown below. What we all prefer is to not have to take the top apart & have to do a fix. The best option is to anticipate that a quilt has edges that are bias (cut on an angle) and will stretch. Take the extra care up front & save some time in the long run.

Isn’t this just a beautiful braid? The quilting design is PS I Love You, she chose a champaign color thread & provided Warm and Natural batting. I think they newlyweds will love it!!

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