Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine # 44 / Interlock: Preview

thread-talk1Hello Friends, I finished a quilt for shipment over the weekend.  This quilt is a little different than the ones I normally do because it is a quilt without borders.  The border-less quilts have gain popularity lately, and I have been requested to make several of them this year — stay tuned for announcement of official features!


Quilting border-less quilts presents different challenges in that the assuring thought of trimming off the borders to square up the quilt after quilting is NOT there.  So it is of paramount importance that your pieced quilt top is squared up and flat even before quilting.

Here are a few tips for quilting border-less quilt using a domestic machine:

1.  I found that using batiks that are of higher thread count instead of regular cotton helps with maintaining the square-ness of the quilt.  I have made border-less quilts with both types of fabrics.  With the regular cotton fabrics, I just make sure I starch my fabrics and block patches during the construction process.

2.  Use a lighter weight batting for easy maneuver — I use silk instead of cotton (I actually already use almost exclusively silk anyway).

3.  Before I quilt, I also trim my batting and backing even with the quilt top, and zig zag around the quilt corners with loose zig zigs.  That tends to keep the corners from getting wonky being pulled in the quilting process.

4.  Simple quilting scheme that doesn’t require you to pull and scrunch your quilt in all possible directions that will end up distorting the square-ness of your quilt.  Simple grid-quilting along the major straight lines of the quilt works really well.  Normally border-less quilts tend to look more contemporary, so it is okay to not quilt feathers. :)  As much as I adore feathers, I become Ms. Practical when it comes to quilting border-less quilts. [Now, it is not the end of the world if your quilt is distorted in the quilting process.  You can always wet your quilt and tweak and pull and shape the squareness of the quilt that way.  I just choose not to have to fight that battle.]

5.  I quilt with slightly longer stitches when quilting in the ditches when it comes to quilting border-less quilts.  I find that there is less puckering, thus the square-ness of the quilt is preserved.

I hope these tricks make quilty sense to you.  I am sorry I don’t have any pictures to show you because none of my border-less quilts are officially published yet!

So, what is your feeling toward quilts without borders?

Before you leave, do also tell me how your Christmas is shaping up.  Guess what I will be doing burning the midnight oil tonight…


Miss Baby was funny earlier this week when she discovered there is something in her stocking.  Last year, I had to dump out the contents of her stocking for her.  This year, all she is concerned about is that “there is some-bing in my stocking!”  :)

Thanks for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later.




7 thoughts on “Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine # 44 / Interlock: Preview

  1. Wendy, I like your “quilty-sense” (just like “spidey-sense” only not as creepy).
    Thanks for the info! I have made a borderless quilt ages ago and just machine quilted a straight crosshatch thruout. Back then, I didn’t know how to block and starch and such. Now I know better. I usually always add borders to my quilts. but I do like the borderless quilts, too.
    The quilts I am working on….a king sized strippy quilt started in Summer of ’10 and a floral applique by hand started in July of ’11. No quilts this year for Christmas. Only toys. I’m being the good grandparent.
    I wish you and your family a Merry Little Christmas!

  2. “Bing in my stocking….”——that’s about the sweetest thing I’ve heard in ages…as a new grandmother I can hardly wait for him to say anything. This was adorable…thank you for sharing!

  3. I’m glad there’s some-bing in her stocking, too. We never had stockings growing up but we’ve had fun incorporating them into our kids years…

  4. I do love border-less quilts and you are so right-on with the loss of “square-ing forgiveness”! I leave it up to each quilt I make as to whether there’s a border(s) or not and the mood I am in!!! My gift progress is chronicled in my recent blog postings. Finishing up several wee table quilts for hostess gifts. In order to cut back on some of the gift buying frenzy, we adults do not exchange gifts at this time. None of us are in need, certainly, so hostess gifts (small) become more appropriate/reasonable. I do appreciate that. Am enjoying these days. Just finished the Christmas letter so will get that in the mail shortly. A little baking will take care of the finish. Blessings……

  5. Thank you wendy for the tips…i’ll keep this in mimd. I havn’t done any borderless big quilts, but have tried mig rug borderless..i had trouble at the i’m sure i’ll do a loose zig zag…

  6. The looks of borderless quilting is very appealing to me, but there are definitely issues with the squareness of it all. Your hints are excellent.

    Miss Baby is going to be so excited about Christmas this year. It will be wonderful.

  7. I just finished a borderless quilt and I stay stitched about a scant 1/4″ around the entire perimeter prior to layering and pin basting it. This kept it square and stabilized the seam ends that would normally be contained by a border.

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