Borders make the difference

Borders can make all the difference in a quilt top which just doesn't seem right.  My heart quilt was way too "hot" - it just seemed so extreme once I put the heart blocks with the black and red lattice/cornerstones.  Do you remember the heart blocks?  They were featured in this blog.  Then I showed how to put the top together in this post.  And now here we are almost a month later!  However, it is nowhere near Valentine's day 2014 so I am doing fine.  See how good I am about rationalizing fluid deadlines?  But hey, I had shopping to do.  I needed a border that would cool down the sharp contrast between the blocks and the lattice work.  Plus, I wanted to make it look a little snazzier, a little more up to date.  I just wasn't satisfied with the top, I liked the blocks but not all together.  Sometimes when the pieces are better than the whole, you can save it with just the right border.

choirez1Here are the three fabrics I had to choose from.  I put all of them next to the top.  Which one would you have chosen?  If you have trouble deciding, I always do the elimination method, I kick one out first.  I wanted to have the quilt look a bit more modern, a medium value to counterbalance the dark/light values and bring in all the colors.  I decided the grey and black flowers needed some red and the fabric wasn't very modern next to the top.  I threw it out first and put it with my stash of grey fabrics.  (Which now that I think of it, I need to replenish the solid greys, stop, focus Kathy!)choicre2

Now I was down to two fabrics and this was a hard choice.  Both had the medium cooler value I was seeking.  Both had the red and the black in there.  And I liked both!  What to do, what to do!

When I have trouble deciding I always take each fabric and make it look like it is the border and this made me choose the Hip 2 b square fabric.  It just looked better.  I was a little afraid that the dots wouldn't choirez3break up the bowling shirt vibe I was getting off this top.

When you spread out a fabric just the right way, it looks almost sewn and you get a really good idea of what it will look like all put together.  Phew, found a fabric I liked and eliminated the competition.  But I did like that dot fabric so I decided while it wasn't enough for the back of the quilt, I could use it on the back.  I love the way people piece the backs now.  I had a bunch of that red Merimekko fabric left over from the heart quilts I made my daughters.  This quilt was wider than 54" so I cut it in half lengthwise and cut a 12.5 inch strip of the dots.  It wasn't as long.  Rats.  Wait, I had some leftovers of the border.  And voilà the back.  bacrez

There is a reflection in the picture and I didn't realize it until I had the back on the Gladys and it was too late to take another picture.  I was so enthused with piecing this back that I briefly considered cutting up the red panels and inserting more in them but I made myself stop.  What I had done so far was from necessity, I wasn't really looking to have a reversible quilt.  (However, it's an interesting idea for a future quilt!)

Now all I have to do is quilt it.  It won't be as fast as the boy quilts.  Oh yes, thanks for asking I did finish quilting the second Space quilt.  I had to so I could load this one on and here it is.  I am very pleased that the borders make the difference, the value is much better and it's perkier.


I am floating the batting and the top right now but there is a part of me that wants to clamp that top on the other roller.  It is quite a bit bigger than the boy quilts.  I just started floating tops with those two and table runners.  I liked the control it gave me so much that I am thinking I will keep it up.  But just to make sure, I came down from the sewing room and left it there to "marinate" while I make sure that's what I want.

I have about ten days in front of me with no babysitting of Zara as my daughter is on Spring break.  Will I get more sewing done or does having limited time actually make me more productive and efficient?  We shall see!  I will also show you this quilt when it is all quilted and bound because right now I am wondering, which fabric will I use to bind it.  See why this is such a great hobby?  There is always something to think about!  The binding choice isn't as important as the borders which did make the difference.  Phew!

Sew happy!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and will keep reading my blog. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.


Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

  • Recent posts

  • Monthly Archives

  • Categories

  • Follow on Bloglovin
  • Follow me on Pinterest

    Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Advertisement: