Pieced Borders

Looking for border ideas? Here are a few. Your comments and ideas and links to other sources are welcome!



Different sizes and layering of squares


Different effects depending on value placement

Squares on point

Various ways to make these. Can also use this concept for blocks on point.

Squares on point use diagonal math for fitting neatly. Here are some convenient sizes: For a
3″ border, cut squares to finish 2.125″
5″ border, cut squares to finish 3.5″
6″ border, cut squares to finish 4.25″
7.5″ border, cut squares to finish 5.25″
8.5″ border, cut squares to finish 6.0″
Make setting pieces over-sized. Seams at 1/4″ are important. Trim after assembly.

Rectangles (that aren’t square)
Flying geese

Value placement and direction can make a big impact.


Again, value placement, orientation, and layering make the difference.


Stripes/piano keys

Stripes, piano keys, rail fences…

I’m only scratching the surface with this. Any block can be used in a complex border. Think about how the block relates to the rest of the quilt, and whether the piecing is simple enough to show well. For instance, I made a gazillion 6″ churndash blocks for my own medallion quilt, and they were too intricate to use the way I planned. Instead I opted for simple 4-patches. You can alternate pieced blocks with plain, or with another style, as well. Using plain alternates gives some opportunity to fix size problems, too.

Lots to choose from!

This exhibit shows a bunch of different blocks that you might like in a border. For other ideas, including braids and woven treatments, see the Quilter’s Cache.


6 thoughts on “Pieced Borders

    1. Melanie in IA Post author

      Thanks. I had fun building the examples and thought I could keep going for a long time! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      PS you are my favorite quilting partner! 😉


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