Do you often end up with wavy borders on your quilt? Is your quilt often not square? Here’s some hints and tips to get a perfectly flat border and quilt top - which your longarm quilter will love you for....
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Do you struggle with wavy borders on your quilt tops? and more...

Do you struggle with wavy borders on your quilt tops?



Do you often  end up with wavy borders on your quilt? Is your quilt often not square?



Here’s some hints and tips to get a perfectly flat border and quilt top - which your longarm quilter will love you for.

How to measure and attach borders to your quilt top to end up square!
It's not unusual for the four edges of an unfinished quilt top to all be slightly different lengths because the edges
of quilts are often stretched out of shape a bit during construction and pressing, or if you have many seams even
the slightest difference in seam allowance can make a big difference.
If the quilt is skewed a bit and you measure the sides of the quilt to determine the border length, the quilt will be just be out of square as it was before borders were added. Never just cut a strip of fabric, start sewing at the top and trim off the leftover at the bottom.
If the border is too long, then the sides of the quilt will be puckered or wavy, and if the border is too short or tight, the middle of the quilt will bubble. If the border is not sewn evenly along the whole edge of the quilt, it will cause waviness in some places and tightness in others and just will not sit flat.

These instructions for measuring and sewing straight borders to a quilt can be used to add any type of border, plain or pieced/appliqued.Goose Heaven

Straight sewn quilt borders, also called butted borders, are quick and easy to sew—that's probably why they are the most often used borders for quilts.
Borders are usually sewn to the two longest sides of the quilt first and then to the remaining two sides with the final two extending straight across the ends of the first borders.

The steps are:
1. Measure the quilt from top to bottom through the vertical centre.
I like to also measure at both side edges - add the three measurements together and divide by 3 to get the average. (a+b+c /3)

2. Cut two border strips that match the measurement exactly, using the average width you've just determined.
Borders made with crosswise grain strips can be more stretchy than lengthwise grain border strips, but either type is suitable. if you need to join strips to get the measurement, do this first, press seams open (or use a bias seam to reduce bulk) and then cut to size.

Extra Tip: Sometimes you will find that it's best to add top and bottom borders (or shorter borders) first to avoid the need for piecing those border strips.
Use the same method, but measure horizontally first and start at the Short sides. Determine which borders to sew first to make the best use of your fabric.

How to Sew the First Two Borders to the Quilt
1. Fold one of the borders in half crosswise to find its centre point, using your fingers to crease it slightly at that spot.
Do the same with your quilt to find the centre point. Finger press. (You can use a pin or marker to mark them also)


2. Place the border along the side of the quilt, right sides together and  centre points matched. Pin through both layers at the match to keep fabrics from shifting.
If the quilt is quite large I would also mark the 1/4” and 3/4” marks along both the border and quilt top. Do this by
folding in half and then half again to crease these points.
3. Match and pin the bottom end of the border to the bottom edge of the quilt with raw edges even, then match and pin all of your crease marks until you reach the other end of the border pinned to the quilt.
4. Add extra  pins at close intervals in between your quarters and ease in any fullness to coax the two lengths
to match.  Raw edges should be aligned along the quilt's entire side.
5. Sew the border to the quilt with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, removing pins as you approach them to avoid bending pins and breaking needles. If you have extra fullness, sew with the longest piece next to the feed dogs and this will really help to ease it in without puckers.
6. Press the seam allowance towards the border.
7. Repeat for your opposite border.

Sew Remaining Two Borders to the Quilt
1. Measure the quilt from side-to-side through its horizontal midpoint and top and bottom edges, including the
width of the first borders. Find the average and cut or piece two borders that length.
2. Fold a border in half (and quarters if large) crosswise and crease. Pin again matching all of your crease marks.

3. Continue as you did with the previous borders.

If you are adding more borders to your quilt repeat the process above.
Using this method will give you the best chance of a perfectly square flat quilt top - even if your piecing was not

Go forth and make square flat  quilts!


happy quilting

hugs from Helen


Lets get real studio tour

So Terry Atkinson and Gudrun Erla put the call out to us to show our ‘real studios’- not perfectly cleaned, beautifully presented, out of a magazine images, but instant as they are now..


let get real

I considered that I really can’t show you this – my studio is simply not fit for human eyes – I can’t really show you how messy I am and what a state we are really in.. But then….. maybe it could make you feel better about yours – AND, maybe it may make me stick to my word and show you the new and improved version soon….

so first you can watch mine- please watch mine first as all the others will just make mine look even worse…

It is a little rushed (trying to keep them short and sweet) and very organic (sorry no expert videoing skills here today)  but you’ll get the picture of just what state we are in…and how and where I work.



then pop on over to some of my friends tours and see how they work – it really is interesting….

Terry Atkinson | Atkinson Designs
Gudrun Erla | GE Quilt Designs
Annie Unrein | By Annie
Celine Perkins | Perkins Dry Goods
Deanne Eisenman | Snuggles Quilts
Debby Ritenbaugh Brown | Debbie Brown Quilts
Katy Cameron | The Littlest Thistle
Nancy Scott | Master Piece Quilting by Nancy Scott/
Pat A Sloan | Pat Sloan Voice of Quilting
Shari Butler | Doohikey Designs
Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill | Whole Circle Studio
Scott Hansen | Blue Nickels Studio
Lynn Carson Harris | Lynn Carson Harris Blog
Shelley Lynne Pederson Robson | The Quilted Forest

keeping it real here….. please don’t judge me – less tidying time, more stitching time

happy stitching

Hugs from Helen


A day of friendshipand Christmas cheer

Yesterday saw our final event for the year (well maybe we’ll squeeze one more in online)


Our annual Christmas gathering – a time to celebrate, share, inspire, stitch, learn new things and enjoy beautiful friendships and company.


The tables were all set with good cheer and a black and gold theme this year.


Lot’s of lovely gifts and goodies for our stitching friendsift-box

Surprises packing in small packages..the-crowd

and lot’s of beautiful stitching friends who travelled from all over Australia.

reen-salad     coleslawchoc-bark     fruit-platterOf course an abundance of beautifully cooked and prepared treats from my lovely girls and helpers – thankyou to Tessie, who baked all week, Adrienne (scone maker), Linda (the best friend and energetic helper you could ask for) Molly, Tilly and Arabella.. I have the best daughters ever!

mini-pavssticky-dateMuch stitching was actually achieved and as I upped the challenge on the two new projects there were even a few new tips and techniques to learn.sitching-happily


Our two projects were the

le fer tote bag – a little zipped bag designed to hold your mini travel iron for workshops and retreats – this bag has a hexied top lid, embroidered sides and the easy stitch on top lace zipper.

le-fer-tote-cover-pic3le-fer-tote-openYou may have made the Taffy Apple, Two fruits or Temora traveller projects before – well this is another in my sewing bag series and will join the team nicely. It and a few leftover patterns are available now while they last on the website.

OH  - and because the lining can be a little tricky on this bag I have done  a step by step photo tutorial for this project on the website – it may also help with the Taffy apple construction also.

Our second project – and our Christmas project this year was

The Cardinal. This is a small but very sweet table runner featuring my applique method. Yes those little dots are only 1/2” – but we did include them diecut in the pattern. You do have to trace and cut the leaves and the bird but the dots are precut for you.  cardinal-styledthe-cardinal-closeThe-cardinal-cutoutThanks ladies for another beautiful day – and yes I will think very carefully about your feedback for next year! May you all have a wonderful stitchy Christmas and a wonderful festive season with those that you love.

hugs to you all




SEWPINK-bloghop-square- opt - revised

I was honoured to offer to contribute to ByAnnies #sewpink initiative to support Breast Cancer worldwide. As someone who has known and continues to support many close to me fighting this dreadful disease it is something dear to all of our hearts. I sit with you all with a 1 in 8 chance of also fighting this fight one day – but with all the promotion and education, and funding for research it is heartening to know that there is now a 90%+ survival rate.

Early detection is the best tool we can have, and I have designed a fun project to remind us to ‘check the bumps for lumps’.  Yes I know, its not the most pleasant biannual trip we have to do, having our breasts squeezed between a  vice – but its a small few minutes of discomfort to hopefully save a lot more down the track…

In Australia, most women after 40 can get free annual or biannual screens – so there’s no excuse. Of course in between these screenings we should be regularly checking those bumps for lumps.

Here are a couple of links if you’re not sure how to

So here is my little project for you – Check the Bumps for Lumps

it uses my Easy EPP method (or you can use your own preferred method) and

some raw edge applique

breast cancer cover piczip-it-up-bagzip-it-up-bag-insidezip-it-up-bag-standing

I applied mine to a ByAnnies very useful Zip it Up bag. I made up the outer pocket piece – quilted the three layers and then appliqued my EPP’d  boobies by hand, then used my eye as a guide to place the steam a seam prepared letters into place. Then I fused to secure. The pocket then just made up as per the bag instructions from Anni.

It’s a great little bag with zippered pockets on the outside and mesh and clear vinyl pockets on the inside. The whole thing then zips up closed so you can fill it with everything you need and nothing will fall out. Im hoping my new little laptop will  fit in my outside pocket as I made the large version.

For my day in the bloghop Im offering the Check the bumps design as a free download.

Alternatively you can purchase the kit which has the preprinted applique paper, steam a seam, and the fabrics (same or similar to what Ive used) and the printed layout guides and templates.

ByAnnie are donating 30% discounts on all things pink as per the links at the bottom of this post.


The #SewPink Initiative was created by LLC to raise awareness for breast cancer during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. They have pledged to raise funds to donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through sales and promote action through giveaways.
For more information please visit their official #SewPINK information page:
To donate directly visit:!/donation/checkout
To see the calendar of events visit:
ByAnnie will be donating 30% of profits on all SewPINK items sold on their web store. You can search for SewPINK items on their website or see the list of items here:

Hugs for today



#Stitch for sisters

You may have seen our recent High Tea Stitch for Sisters event? Jo and I were very honoured to pull this event together in two short weeks and have over 75 ladies attend, stitch, share, laugh, cry and make a difference.


Our event supported both the Love Your Sister campaign and the Ultimate Foundation of Hope. We did it to celebrate our survivors, support our fighters and educate all Stitching Sisters.

lys heartUltimate Foundation for Hope Logo

We raised over $4000 which will be donated to both organisations – thankyou so much ladies and we know you enjoyed a wonderful day.

2019-09-15 00.19.122019-09-15 00.29.542019-09-15 00.33.562019-09-15 01.30.042019-09-15 01.31.262019-09-15 01.32.422019-09-15 01.33.082019-09-15 02.08.272019-09-15 02.08.47IMG_8806

I quickly designed two projects especially for the day -

This little stitchery which could be used for anything – but I have attached it to the top of a lovely thread box kit by Rinske Stevens… to keep my Presencia threads in. I used a lovely Cottage Garden hand dyed thread to give it the lovely depth of colour.



The second project I had actually designed for a wonderful Project being led by By Annie for Octobers Breast Cancer awareness month #SewPink. Check back here on Friday for all the details.

stitch for sisters square

Thankyou to all the ladies who helped make our day happen, all the sponsors and donors who contributed and to all of our generous guests who came, stitched, bid on auction items, bought raffle tickets and just cared.

hugs for today


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