The vast majority of the quilts that I sew are edge to edge pantographs or free-hand. On some occasions, it is more desirable or necessary to quilt the borders with a separate design. I just had a quilt with piping between the border and quilt body, which would have caused a real problem with overall quilting. I seem to run into trouble creating baggy areas in the backing, regardless of sewing sequence that I select. I have tried quilting the body of the quilt first, then the borders. I have tried basting the edges (as I do for edge-to-edge quilting) and doing the borders all around, then the body of the quilt last. Neither method works well to prevent the backing from sagging in the unquilted areas as I progress. It is very difficult to tell that problems are developing until I'm past the point of no return.
I would like to do more separate borders and custom quilting, but have found that the only method that works for me is to do a little bit of the borders and quilt body as I work down the entire quilt. This is more time consuming, especially if I want to change thread color. It is also more difficult to maintain the continuity of the border designs and requires frequent tie-offs.
I have never tried turning the quilt to do borders, but feel that this technique might not be the solution anyway.
Is there a more tried and proven approach that won't get me into trouble?