Friday, March 27, 2020

How to Make a Picture Frame Border

Today let's learn how to make a picture frame border, just like the one used on The Second Life of Quilts.

how to make a picture frame border

I was shown this technique in Noriko Endo's class in Houston last year, and thankfully remember how to do it. It's made from two pieces of fabric, with no seams showing in the corners, and is more suited for mini and small quilts.

closeup of a picture frame quilt border

The only stitching visible is the straight line stitching along the inside edge of the frame, giving the piece a great finished look.

So how do we do this? First, cut two pieces of fabric the same size as the mini quilt, placing right sides together.

fabric for a picture frame quilt border

I'm using the solid backside of this piece of fabric as my right side - I'm not to fond of the print for my border. The point is to choose what side you want showing in your border, and make it the right side.

Next, determine the width of the border. I chose 2" for mine, and I would suggest nothing over 3" unless you plan to quilt in it. I marked in 2" from the edge all around.

marking stitching line for a picture frame quilt border

Stitch on the drawn line, then cut out the center 1/4" away from the stitched line.

inner portion cut and clipped for a picture frame border

For turning purposes, make a small clip in the inside corners.

interior cut out of a picture frame quilt border

Press, and turn both wrong sides of one border edge up. Press the seam to one side. This helps to create a crisp seam.

setting a crisp seam for a picture frame quilt border

Turn the piece that's on the inside over on top of the other, matching border edges. Carefully press at the seam.

pressing the borders of a picture frame quilt border

Continue around the border, repeating the steps for each side. When done, place border frame on top of the mini quilt, pinning in place.

placing a picture frame border on top of a mini quilt

Stitch a straight line 1/8" from the inside edge of the border.
Prepare binding, pinning to the outside edge. Stitch both the binding and the outside edge of the border down at once. Finish the binding as usual, and ta-da, you have a picture frame border on your mini quilt!

picture frame border

Happy Quilting!

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  1. Very interesting! Thanks so much for the instructions.

  2. Great tip and tutorial; thanks for sharing!

  3. Very cool! That is not what I expected on how to make that!!

  4. Thank you for sharing. It makes such a nice sharp edge.

  5. Wow! I never saw this before. I really like the look for small wallhanging pieces. Thanks for the details.

  6. Great tutorial and thanks for linking up!

  7. Thanks, Susan. I must try this.

  8. This is such a great idea. I have to make a mini quilt for a challenge this year so might give it a go.. Thank you

  9. Very interesting. Thanks for the tutorial... :) Pat

  10. Great tuto, thanks for sharing! No more mitered corners ;)

  11. Hi Susan! What a cool tutorial. Yes, let's learn how to make a picture frame for a mini quilt. I can honestly say I'm going to give this a shot next time I make a new door hanging. That should be soon as it's been a while since I've made one. How fun - I'm going to PIN this, for sure. Thanks for linking up this week! ~smile~ Roseanne


Thank you so much for just made my day!