Disappearing Hourglass Quilt – Stretched Borders

I’ve been working on this disappearing hourglass quilt for my Mom since late 2015. The blocks were a little challenging for me in my first year of quilting so I kept putting it aside. I wanted to finish the quilt in time for my Mom’s birthday this year. Her birthday has since come and gone, but it’s the thought that counts right?

So, for the past few months this has been at the top of my priority list. I gave myself some deadlines and finished the blocks and pieced the top fairly quickly. Unfortunately, I hit a creative roadblock when it came to quilting. I often struggle to come up with quilt designs. After a month of pondering I decided to do some swirly leaves to match the designs on one of the fabrics in the quilt.

My MIL has a long arm machine (which I am ever so grateful for) so after my little one was in bed I headed over to load up the quilt. Believe it or not, one year olds don’t have any respect for the concentration required to quilt on a long arm, so I have to schedule my quilting around her sleepy times. All was going well until this happened…

Uh oh…that’s not good. The borders are stretching when I try to baste the top to the bottom. I rolled the quilt up and sure enough, the borders are crazy stretched. The batting was a little short too, clearly I need to work on my measuring skills on multiple fronts.

I guess I should go back a moment and say that I didn’t exactly follow a pattern for this quilt. I watched the Missouri Star Quilt Tutorial, which was great for the individual blocks and then I decided to figure out the borders for myself.  I’m kind of a dive right in and learn from my mistakes type. So when making my borders, I just kind of winged it. I figured it would be easiest to make a super long strip of fabric (much like you would when making binding) sew it to one edge and trim as needed. Yeah, that was a bad idea in retrospect, as the borders had more stretch than the rest of the quilt.

I hung my tail between my legs, took the top off the long arm and went home to seam rip the borders so that I could redo them. Seam ripping is usually very frustrating but almost always worth it. Like the time my SIL and I spent a combined five hours seam ripping quilting out of a Christmas quilt she made. Why did we think red thread on white fabric was a good idea?

My MIL gave me some excellent instructions on how to make the borders correctly, measuring the middle of the quilt to get the correct length for the borders. I ended up cutting a solid three inches off all sides in order to shorten the border length. No wonder it was wonky! Here is a before and after:

I’d love to say the rest of the quilting went off without a hitch, but at some point, I did try to quilt without a bobbin in the machine. Eek…good thing that wasn’t in the actual quilt top.

So that’s where I’m at! Here is the finished quilt. I just need to sew the binding on and then hand bind, which is very relaxing for me, thankfully.


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