Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feb Quilt - Week 3 - On Borders

Time has really flown this month, hasn't it? I hope you've gotten your Broken Dishes blocks pieced together if you are following along in this month's challenge. Some of you have already finished or made the top -  see some photos here on my Flickr group. I think it's great that so many of you made the alternate version with the embroidery or used your imagination and came up with a quilt that is similar to the one in the book but also a little different. That's part of the challenge part, you know. The quilt for next month will also have an alternate version.

To finish up this month's quilt,  you should be putting on the borders if you haven't already done that.

I love making scrappy quilts with simple blocks and lots of different prints. Overall, I think scrap quilts work better if they're kept simple. I will sometimes use a busy print for the borders, but even then I tend to be conservative and so most often go with a smaller print or a calmer fabric so the border doesn't take away from the main part of the quilt and compete for attention. Some quilt borders demand attention.  Decide whether you want the border to shine or the quilt center to stand out. A busy border print may not work very well on this month's quilt so I would recommend something more subdued.

If the blocks in the quilt are rather busy with a lot of different prints and not enought contrast, the eye won't know where to look and will dart back and forth between the center and the border and then get tired and look away. If you use contrast to make the quilt interesting and a few but not too many busy prints, this is what makes us linger on it and then perhaps fall in love with a certain quilt. That's why I chose a relatively non-busy border for my original Broken Dishes quilt. If you are set on using a certain print for your  border, sometimes all you need to do is add sashing to separate the blocks and then you can use your busy border print.

Or, you can do what I did. I was not going to do another broken dishes quilt this month but I came across  my ugly squares from awhile ago -  remember those? Some of them had already been sewn into half-square triangles and then into the blocks.

Please don't e-mail me to tell me that these are not ugly prints. You have your ugly prints and I am entitled to mine : )  They are ugly to me and I would not have bought any of them alone. They came in a packet of pre-cut squares with a lot of really pretty squares and I am trying to make the best of them, LOL. Perhaps an Ugly Quilt challenge someday?

I paired the ugly prints with some pretty ones.

This was a lot of fun and forced me to go "outside my box" a bit, if you will. You see this in antique quilts all the time.

My, they were busy, with all of that "ugly" fabric, so I added setting squares to separate the blocks and this is what it all turned into -  a not-so-ugly quilt!

While the actual top does not look ugly, you can see what I mean about choosing the borders carefully and not using a busy print. Even though I liked these particular prints shown here, you can see that they would not work well in this quilt at all. I get crazy dizzy just looking at it!

The red is much better and perhaps would be okay if I used a dark inner border as well. Still too bright I think.

This purple print is the one I like best. Pretty? Yes, definitely not so ugly. Soft and muted enough so that it doesn't detract from the quilt but lets it "speak" without interruption. And it picks up that other purple in the quilt. Maybe an inner border in indigo.

See what a little separation among the blocks can do? A very good solution for a very busy quilt.

Reminder: You have 9 days and a weekend left before we begin another small quilt for March. That month's quilt will be from my book Remembering Adelia. My feeling is that many of you already have this book, but if you don't, I  have copies available on my website or you can check your local shop or amazon.com. If you do not wish to buy the book, perhaps you can borrow one from a friend? Or maybe get it from the library. I'm looking forward to making another quilt with you!


Christine said...

I have been forcing myself to only use fabrics from my scraps for these challenges. I felt it would give me more of a child's quilt look. It is forcing me to put fabrics together I wouldn't have otherwise and I'm starting to like it!

Julierose said...

I have been trying hard to just use scraps also (except for backings...) Sometimes, I think any ugly print can be "Tamed" into submission by just cutting it up--I do like those prints (in fact, I have some of them :-)) but that's what makes everyones' quilts so unique.... (by the way--don't you HATe the new "prove you're not a robot" codes? they are really hard to decipher....Julierose

Susie said...

It always amazes me how those ugly fabrics lose their ugliness by just cutting them into small triangles and stitching in a scrappy quilts. It happens to me all the time. You just never know, do ya?

Marla said...

Hey, as Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville.com says, "If it's still ugly, it just isn't small enough". LOL

February's challenge all done, quilted and bound and laying on my antique treadle machine. My January one is a table topper for my kitchen. Can't wait to see what March will bring. These are so addicting Kathy! Thank you for doing this and getting me out of my "box"!

Lesley said...

Thank you for sharing how you chose the borders. I don't always follow the guidelines, but now I realize I probably should. I will definitely be ready for March!

Heartsdesire said...

It's amazing isn't it that just by using that softer border fabric, everything calms down and a beautiful little quilt emerges. You really have a knack for putting these things together, and I try to follow your guidelines without being to matchy matchy. Those poor little ugly fabrics have now found a wonderful home.


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