Q: I’m making a quilted wall hanging and want to be sure it rests flat against the wall. Should the borders be cut across the grain or along the lengthwise grain of the fabric?
A: Although you might think you’re saving fabric by cutting across the grain (from selvage to selvage), it’s best to cut lengthwise. When you cut crosswise, the fabric edge will have a little more stretch. That might seem helpful when fitting the border to the edge of the design, but if you pull it as you sew – even just a little bit – you’re risking a wavy appearance in the border.
Instead, cut all of your borders in the lengthwise direction. These threads are stronger and won’t easily “give” to the wave! Use a gentle touch when sewing those border seams (no pulling allowed!) and you’ll end up with a nice flat edge that you’ll be proud to hang on a wall.
The same is true, of course, when you are making a larger quilt. Cutting long (lengthwise) is cutting strong!