Handful of Scraps–My Way to do a Border

how to add a border to a hexie quilt, TUTORIALS

Several people have asked me how I’m I going to do this border and can I share how to do it.  I am in no way an expert at written tutorials and I am not a teacher!  But I love to take photos and if you learn by photo tutorials as I do maybe this will help you.  So step by step how I got my first border glue basted in place.  As you can see I start by covering my table – the lines on the mats do not have to match up they are not being used – this is to protect my table from glue.  I had Mike help me stretch out the table to the full length and then he took off and I got busy.  There are a lot of photos in this post.


I took one border (the bottom or the top) and press the whole thing.  Then I measured one inch out and press and fold – this will be my glue basting line so the piece will be straight.


When I was done with that I folded the piece lengthwise and pressed the middle so I would have a line to center.


Next I use my binding clips and making sure I had the cutting matts centered in such a way that they came over the edge of the table a little bit (it is about an inch and a half larger then the table is) I used binding clips to have the fabric fairly taunt.


Next with little bits of masking tape I taped here and there to keep the piece from moving.  You can see the pressed line to even your hexies to.


center your hexie piece and I stabilize with old flat irons – they come in so handy – they are just so heavy!  I have the edge of the hexies sitting on the pressed one inch line.


Aren’t these irons cool – I have the 3 shown but I thought I had 4 I couldn’t find one – where did it go.  Sometimes I use them on the book cases to hold books up.  Found them all at antique stores or flea markets usually about $6-12.


I left my papers in on the very outer row and they will come out later.



Using Roxanne Glue Baste It or washable glue of your choice start to glue the edges – I could only do about a half of this piece at a time as squeezing the bottle hurt my arthritic thumb – do as much as you can when using the glue bottle and rest. I fold the piece back like this while I use the glue then make sure it is lined up and press down – put one of the irons in place to hold it flat take a break and start the next section.


Gradually it all got done and I lined up the irons and let it set for awhile to dry – I had to go out for awhile and then ended up out almost all afternoon – Mike and I met Melanie for lunch to celebrate her new job – after two years as the bookmobile librarian part time at the library she is now fulltime Children’s Librarian over a whole department – she is in 7th heaven – her dream job – after 20 years in retail she is happy.  She hated retail.


If you need to line up more stuff to weigh the piece down as I did before I took off use what you have – I could have pulled out heavy cans from the pantry shelf and it would have worked.


When I got back late afternoon I put everything away – the piece had been dry for hours most likely – I added some flat flower pins to make sure it didn’t come apart just in case – some pieces could pop up the glue doesn’t always hold 100% after all.  Use matching thread and applique to the border.  I will applique leaving about two hexies on each end so when it comes time to add the borders on the sides and miter the corners I will have room to work and then stitch those corners down last.  I use a tiny whip stitch not a blind stitch – you applique as you wish – you could machine stitch if you want – I want this quilt to be by hand so I am hand stitching.  I hope this can help any of you that need help visualizing how to do this.  I kind of just make up my rules as I go – I do not make a quilt with the intention of every entering a show – I could care less about entering shows but I do appreciate all of you that do.  I like to have fun with my quilts and perfection is not for me nor is the stress of wanting a quilt perfect.  I don’t mind mistakes.  Always keep in mind that my tutorials are just the way I do things and some professionals might think my way is crazy LOL.  Linking to Tweety Loves Quilting today.


(I am compensated for any purchases made through my links.)

17 comments… add one
  • Marianne Apr 1, 2017

    Very interesting method! I don’t have a table long enough here, and that is the key, isn’t it? It would be too hard to do this on the floor (at least at my age!). I had a quilt I wanted to applique a wavy border onto a straight border but couldn’t figure out how. Now I know! I like your iron method.

    Congratulations to Melanie! I hope she has fun in her new job. The children’s librarians I have known have always been very creative people. Every year I do one or two storytimes in the town forest with ours now. He plays the bagpipes and wears his full Scottish regalia to get the kids up to a clearing. I follow at the end of the crowd with his book bag. Everyone loves it, including some grandmas who come just because they like kids.

  • Swooze Apr 1, 2017

    Rolling right along!! I like your method. Smart!
    Swooze recently posted…Chronicles of Sandra Find of the CenturyMy Profile

  • Deb Apr 1, 2017

    Well this was fun to see, especially with the antique flatirons! 🙂
    Deb recently posted…Catching up and a little quiltingMy Profile

  • Doreen Apr 1, 2017

    Very good method, I say!!!!! Always wondered how you did that border addition. LUV your work. Congrats to Melanie on the job. It’s such a blessing to be able to do what is in your heart AND get paid for it!!!

  • Liz Apr 1, 2017

    I make my own rules as well. Thanks for sharing YOUR way!
    Liz recently posted…New acquisition…A MiniMy Profile

  • maxine lesline Apr 1, 2017

    Great tutorial… really. Those flatirons have many uses….I used mine years ago ( I use that phrase a lot now..) to hold down one side of a needlepoint frame onto a table edge so I could use both hands to needlepoint. Happy for your daughter.. happy work is a happy life… well, mostly.

  • Dottie bishaw Apr 1, 2017

    Thank you Karen for showing us how you do it , very interesting. I have to remember this post when I need it, it seems so easy the way you explain it, especially with the great pictures. I had to laugh when I saw the old irons, I collect them too. I have five now and each one is different. I use the Lapel stick for glue basting, because it’s easier on my fingers when I need to glue baste since it just glides along. I got it from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Congratulations to Melanie on her new job, how exciting. You are just zipping along on your projects!

  • Alida Apr 1, 2017

    Thanks for the tutorial, I have always wondered how to do this, and your method looks great! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Kathi Apr 1, 2017

    I love love love when you show how YOU do things… I also am not a teacher but enjoy sharing my method when I have something like this interesting to share! I will also be interested in seeing exactly how you address your corners on this… I love seeing how YOU do things when it comes to quilting for sure! Nice that your sad irons (and other quilty things) got to get in on the glue basting drying time too!!! lol I do stuff like that as well 🙂 Thanks for writing and sharing … Kathi
    Kathi recently posted…Hand quilting, Machine piecing, and Designing too!My Profile

  • Kat Apr 1, 2017

    Very clever of you, might as well use what we have on hand. That what many of us do. Great new about your daughter, happy for her

  • Colleen Apr 1, 2017

    Thank you ever so much for sharing the method that you figured out and that works for you. I especially like that you are able to have your borders straight without having to use the stripe design on the fabric, I most likely would have used that stripe then go crazy when the stripe on the other 2 borders could not be used although with the stripe running the same direction for all borders mitered corners would look especially nice.
    Any way your quilt top is looking so lovely.
    I just finished a baby boy quilt top I started 5 years ago ( for a different baby) today I bought the batting and backing and a huge box of pins I hope I have enough(?) pin basting on Monday ( no room here ) and I am hoping to also make 3 fabric Easter baskets with a bunny theme 15 days to get the baskets done I have a little longer to finish the quilt (due date 5-10-2017 a May baby)
    Again thank you for taking the time and effort to show how you get the job done i had no clue until you did it
    In sunny warm California

  • Mary Apr 2, 2017

    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!
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  • Belarmina Apr 2, 2017

    Karen gracias por compartir,
    me gusta como organizas tu trabajo
    buena semana

  • Rebecca Grace Apr 2, 2017

    Thanks for the tutorial, Karen! I think your method is great. It looks like I could use the same method for an inner clamshell border, right?

  • Rebecca Grace Apr 2, 2017

    By the way, your spring flowers are beautiful!
    Rebecca Grace recently posted…Technology Toys for a Renaissance Girl: iPad Apps for Virtual Quilting, Music, and Design InspirationMy Profile

  • LisaS Apr 2, 2017

    It was great to see how you do this. I’ve got a hexi quilt that I will need to appliqué to a background/border soon. This will definitely help.

  • Sarah Apr 7, 2017

    Thanks for sharing – I guess this means it is time to get my hexie top out and go to work!

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