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When you add a long border requiring more than one fabric length, what type of seam do you use...straight or diagonal and why? I am curious as to the pros and cons of each type of seam. I normally use a straight seam but have seen some using a diagonal seam.

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I don't think there's a rule. I try to cut my borders from the length of fabric, no seams (one solid strip) if possible. (One advantage of this is it isn't as stretchy as a cross-grain strip.) If I have to piece the border, I use a straight seam. If there's an obvious pattern to the fabric, I try to match the pattern. Binding is another issue, because I make a folded binding, where you end up with four layers of fabric. A straight seam on the binding of this type would cause all the seams to coincide, so you would have lumps. A bias seam spreads the thickness out over several inches. If will be interesting to see what others have to say.

Have never used a straight seam.  Always a bias.   My thought is tension on a bias would be less than a straight seam.   I agree with Peggy,,, I always try to purchase yardage so I can use a solid piece, but sometimes it doesn't work out. My bindings are always cut bias and I only use a 1.25 cut, so its very narrow.


I always use a diagonal seam.  I feel it looks best.  It seems to blend and makes the border look less awkward.
I like to use the diagonal seam-it seems to hold shape (doesn't stretch or pucker) and I think it adds a bit of texture!  How about the rest of you?
I too prefer to have enough fabric so that I don't have to have a seam unless I'm purposely doing a pieced border.  However, for those times that I do have to do that, I use a diagonal seam and I make sure to center it on the side.  I also try to only do that when the fabric has enough of a print that the seam won't show once the top has been quilted. 
I use a diagonal b/c I had read that the eye is more apt to skim over the bias join than a straight one.  That was certainly true about joining binding strips at the end even without the "bump."

I had never even heard of using a diagonal seam on a border until this discussion.  I don't think I've seen one in a quilt either.  Apparently I'm not paying attention!  It makes sense that it would be less noticable on the diag. 

I hardly ever have yardage and piecing the borders doesn't bother me.  (Piecing my pieces is common here if I am short fabric.)  Even if I have yardage, I have a hard time cutting that long strip along the selvage.  The only time I do that is if I'm forced to because of a stripe or directional fabric.  I think it is just stubbornness on my part. 

I always piece my bindings on the diagonal so as to avoid bulk when it is folded. 

Thanks for this discussion.  I'm always learning something new and will have to start considering piecing my borders on the diagonal. 

I'm with PQ on this one. I have never noticed if someone pieced a border together.  I am not much on wide borders of one fabric, so I guess that is why I haven't run into this problem.  I really prefer borderless quilts or quilts that have been made out of pieced blocks.  I always use bias and use folded 2.25 to 2.5 inch fabric for my bindings, once folded that brings the actual binding to about 1.25 and I always finish with a forty five inch diagonal seam.

I do know that if something is quilted heavily enough as in my Hawaiian quilt the seams disappear and the quilting takes over.

I use a diagonal seam and the reason I do is because I find my eye isn't as drawn to a diagonal seam as it is to a straight one.  JMHO.


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