Removing the Wave from your Quilt Top

So. . . just how do you add borders or make a quilt bigger without creating that friendly wave.  Once you get the technique, you’ll be so much happier with your final quilt.

First, let’s start with the definition.  The “friendly wave” is a quilt that ruffles at the edges.  This is caused by a couple of things:

  • imprecise or inconsistent piecing 
  • sewing unstable bias edges
  • stretching seams when you add on the next border.

For me, I am not a very precise piecer.  So my early quilts were extremely friendly.  As you can see in this picture, the edges of my blocks are very jagged.






As I add the white border on my strips I am conscious to 1) make sure the border is placed at the smallest point of the neighboring block and 2) don’t pull the border to “make it fit”.  When you push to make the fabric go in different directions, you end up stretching the fabric.  This stretching is what causes the wave.

The longer the seam you will be sewing the more I would urge you to pin your pieces before you sew.  This lets you keep control of the parts as you push the fabric through the sewing machine.

DSCF0315Once the seam is complete, use your ruler and trim the excess so you don’t have color fade through to the front of your quilt top.


In the end, this process takes a bit more time, but if you are challenged creating a “perfect” 1/4 inch seam ( LIKE ME!!! ) both you and your machine quilter will be happy with how your quilt turns out.




About julia

Modern Art Quilter Funky Designer Fiber Art'er Dog Lover
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