Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Border decisions

A good border can really add to a quilt.  And a bad one can just make it Eh.  I thought I'd share a couple of quilts where I struggled with what to do on the borders.

This quilt started out as a baby quilt, but my daughter and I liked it so much I decided to make it bigger and keep it.  I talk about it in the AZ retreat post.

I wanted to add a border but could decide on one that worked well with the center.  It is such a dramatic design, I wanted something that set it off.  I tried a solid black to match the sashing, but that looked strange, like it was floating.  Then I did this pieced border.  In my head it looked great, but in person?  Yuck, it didn't add anything at all and even seemed distracting.  And so I ripped it off.  I think I'll just stay with the narrow black, though it will make quilting a bit harder.  I'll have to be especially careful to keep it square on the quilting frame or it will get trimmed off when I square up.

This quilt I also tried a solid border - again not good.  It just didn't add much.

So I tried a pieced border again.  This time I think it works. The quilt itself feels scrappy and the border goes well with that.  I used some of the miles of piano key scraps I make from the fussy cut trimming.
A little more about this pattern.  It is from a video by Jenny Doan at Missouri quilt company, called Exploding Block due to the way it is constructed.  I like the pattern though decided I didn't like the bias on the outside edges created in her construction method.  So I just cut the triangles with the grain going the normal direction.  I started with my precut 4.5" squares as the center, so all I had to cut was the white and then the corners.  I even used up some large precuts from previous novelty swaps.  The best thing about this pattern is you chop the points off, on purpose.  Yippee.  Here is a close up of the blocks on my design wall before they are sewn together.  Fun block to sew, scrappy result.  I'll be doing this one again.

What I did this spring.....

Hole in the Wall pattern by Eleanor Burns.  I got this pattern off the donation table at our AZ retreat and had been holding it for a while.  I didn't use the construction method in the pattern as I wanted to use novelty fabrics (of course) and needed to keep the direction of the fabric consistent.  I used mostly large scatter prints to camouflage the seams as much as possible.  As mentioned before it is always fun to collect and arrange novelty fabrics by color.  Makes me feel like I'm playing with jelly beans.

Pattern from Connecting Threads, double pinwheel.  The border used up the left over triangles from previous projects.    I'm not all that pleased with how the contrast works in the pinwheels but it was an interesting experiment.  If I ever do it again, I think the center pinwheels need to be solid or TOT and not novelty.  The novelty in the middle of novelty looks too busy or muddy.

This was just a fun quilt to use up scraps.  It goes together quickly and doesn't have any points to match!

Majestic Mountains.  Unlike the previous quilt, this one has LOTS of points and seams to match  But it was still fun selecting the fabrics, working on the contrast.  Cutting is easy as you put a light and dark square together and cut on diagonal, sewing is easy too.  It's just putting the blocks together gets fiddly, pressing the seams open works best between the blocks.