Monday, February 22, 2010

How my borders grow


No this isn't a gardening post...this is how I can make what started out as a quick and easy border into a week-long angst session.

Started out with a plan to finish up some leftover Baltimore Album blocks. A quick finish to start off my quilting year. First there was the squaring up disaster - I trimmed one side of a block 1/2 inch too short (duhhhhh.) Fortunately I had extra leftovers so I just put the too-small block into the orphan bag and called in the first substitute. I figure in the end only I (and now you) will know.

The blocks went together fine. I was even able to find the fabric I bought for the border over 13 years ago! (that number 13 foreshadows what is to come....) I laid it out on the dining room table with the single wide wild dark paisley border to show my DH. He just said yuck. Then it hit me...that is why this has been a UFO for so long. My blocks started out sort of muddy and dark then I added more and more clear colors. The clear colored blocks made it into my first album quilt while these darker blocks racked up frequent-flyer miles in a pretty white box that has moved across down the east coast and twice across the Atlantic. I made my mind up that I didn't want yuck...so back to the fabric stash.

First I cut a ribbon strip from a medium red fabric that there is a bit of in the quilt. (yes, I have fabric that old in my stash...this is housed in the applique cabinet where fabric doesn't turn very quickly! - pun intended!) It did brighten up the paisley a lot. But it gave the whole thing a very formal feeling. I'm just not like that anymore.
So out came this plaid from the same time period - brighter and less formal...but also just a bit boring.

Then I remembered the little HST leftovers from the Carolina Christmas quilt (ok from working on the Carolina Christmas...another one to finish this year!) I have a large baggy filled with these in reds and shirtings.

They make it all a bit scrappy. Sort of a mulit-generational quilt feel...someone found their grandmothers UFO applique blocks then added some HST and a border. I like it...I think...what do you think? Do the HST need another border like with this dark green? or should I pull in a bit of the gold/cheddar? This is definately more fun looking...oh ya, and a lot more work....

So this is my conundrum for the week. Fortunately DH is out of town on business for a couple of nights so I can leave all these good ideas draped around the living room as I make up my mind!

17 comments:

sewprimitive karen said...

I am so sorry about the miscut on the block! I think you should make the border the same as the block backgrounds. The others look too dark to me.

julieQ said...

I always get stuck on the borders...love the 1/2 square red triangles, and maybe a lighter border??

Loris said...

This is a conundrum...and to have your quilt assistant unavailable makes it more difficult! Fortunately (?) you have us :-)
I'm a plain kind of girl and like the plaid and plain red inner border however...I think Karen's idea of putting background fabric out there as a border is very interesting. Do you have enough to audition it? Hope your 'help' returns soon.

SubeeSews said...

I like the plaid, then the paisley for my second choice. The triangles seem too light.
Subee

Julie in the Barn said...

I don't think the HST do much for the flavor of the quilt. Much as I like pieced borders, I just don't think they suit the album blocks. I like the red strip and either the paisley or the plaid. I agree with Karen that some bsckground fabric (or similar) added to the border would frame it nicely.

Kathy in FL said...

I like the red border and the HSTs border, then maybe a light border the same width as the red border and then the plaid. I know! How many borders does one quilt need? But it's just a suggestion...

Michele said...

I think the HST are too bright, and even "whimsical" looking to look well with the other fabrics. You have so much work in the applique blocks, don't they deserve a that compliments them?

sewkalico said...

I was pleased someone else suggested a lighter border. The instant I saw it, I thought that if it was mine, I would do the narrow red then a wider cream and then bind it in the plaid or even the paisley...

paula, the quilter said...

I was going to say that it was hollerin' at me about a sawtooth border, and then I scrolled down and saw the HST. Close enough! I agree with the background fabric as the outer border. Think of the quilting that can fill it!

AnnieO said...

I like it just the way you have it laid out. Those triangle-squares do perk up the design a lot with their white/cream halves. Good for you that this Teenager is being given detention and a deadline...

qltmom9 said...

I like the HSTs and the perky red. I think red on the other side also...not the green.

Lucy (in IN)

Michelle said...

I always do multiple borders on quilts. First of all it's an easy way to enlarge a quilt! And then you can add very narrow borders, like 1/2" which can really bring a quilt together.

I don't think I've done a quilt with les then 3 borders in years and years.

I love the pieced border with the other 2 borders...looks great with the appliqued squares.

*karendianne. said...

Sio,

I read this when you first posted but didn't comment because I was somewhere lost in time... :)

But I did return. I returned because I'm so taken with this really neat post about your borders and how you're working with your stash and leftover piecing. This is so completely COOL of you!!!

Kucki68 said...

I like the dark green extra border. I think cheddar would draw too much attention to the border.

Nines said...

Love your work in progress!

Rose Marie said...

What would the HST's be like with the paisley border? I think just the HST's and one more border would be enough.

Kris said...

I like Karen's suggestion to use the background fabric as the border. If you use the red stripe that will set off the center and make it really stand out beautifully. One other suggestion -- (please take it as that) -- can you replace or add to the white flower on the center block? It sticks out like a sore thumb. Sorry to be critical. Your blocks are beautiful and I love Baltimore quilts. You did some wonderful applique.