Monday, March 16, 2015

Putting Some Very Traditional Looking Borders Together....

I figured it was more than time to put the some borders on this quilt top. All the baskets are from Wendy's Basket Galore BOM {a very fun but wowsers, also occasionally a rather complicated exercise in making basket blocks}. After finishing, they desperately looked to be needing some companion blocks.
Getting a striped border....
I loved the look of Wendy's blocks combined with applique, so I roughed out some ideas on paper and finally came up with my own free style red and green applique blocks. I'd been wanting to make a whole red and green quilt for a very long time, but didn't have enough drive to make it happen. Working with only two or three colors in an entire quilt just seems painfully tedious to me, no matter how brilliant the outcome! I can only say that my boredom threshold must be very quite low?
And then a floral border....
I ended up trimming the applique blocks down a bit more than I had hoped for as a couple basket blocks were half an inch smaller than the intended size. Half an inch doesn't seem like much, but it resulted in cut off points on a couple baskets and almost no room around the sides of a couple applique blocks. Thankfully this quilt is more than busy enough to absorb all those little 'oops' areas!

I went with a reproduction style stripe for the inner border as it ties in very nicely with the other reproduction prints in the baskets. It my opinion, it also makes for a {striking} framework for the busy middle of the quilt, especially paired with the pieced setting triangles. The entire unit just helps to pull the eye out and then move it around the quilt, all without getting mired down in the organized busyness of the middle.*wink Whether it works or not, it sounds good!
A finished quilt top!
I know the colors in the striped fabric were a bit iffy for some people, but when the red border was added on, it fit together like it was always meant to be. That red fabric was one of the few pieces of fabric that I actually bought more than a fat quarter of all without knowing the {future} intended use--just because I was in love with it! I've tried using it on numerous quilts before and never felt that zing of perfectness until this particular quilt. Sometimes you just know that a certain fabric will be very necessary to the success of a future quilt.

So.. I have a question. Mostly because I read a very negative post awhile back that I've been wondering about.  Does the use of a small inner border and then a larger floral border always date the quilt maker {say, back to the 80's, early 90's}? Is it one of those design elements that instantly signal 'I didn't have any better ideas, so I'm using the old fallback; ie, I'm lazy'? 

Personally, I think it does sort of instantly stamp our quilt with a certain look of traditionalism because, let's be honest, it's been done to death! The thing is, like any other time honored design element, it does have its uses. I feel that, if done properly {and isn't that the elephant in the room!}, it doesn't have to look like a haphazard, lazy sort of design decision and can wrap a quilt up with a sort of very pretty bow. I'd love to know what you think and no.... I won't be getting the least bit offended if you don't agree with me!

Update: These questions are pertaining to quilts we see in general! Sorry to put you on the spot by not being clear. I am very happy to put these particular borders on my quilt and call it a good choice no matter what others might think. I'm just questioning quilts we see being made hither and yon, by friends and at shows etc. Is there a feeling of 'hmm... that was a very uninspired finish for a quilt'?

37 comments:

  1. I think this quilt looks fabulous! I adore that red border print and regret only buying a fat quarter of it... It's such a fun and happy quilt - I look forward to seeing you work your quilting magic on it :0)

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  2. I think it was done properly here. It really completes the quilt. Love the applique blocks with the baskets. Really I just love this quilt.

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  3. That is a wonderful, happy quilt!

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  4. I love all the bright red, gold and green in this quilt -- it is so cheerful. All your borders are perfect, and I am relieved that you went with the squares in the setting triangles! There is a great feeling to this one, I think it is one of my favourites. :D

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  5. I have seen plenty of quilts with a small inner border and a print for the outer border and not done by someone that was doing it in the 80's or 90's. I think you should do what makes you happy when it comes to borders. Quilt making should be fun. I do not much care for a pieced center that is not very big and then plain borders one after another to make the quilt bed size.

    Your applique blocks have the prim look I like and a very good complement to the basket blocks. I have saved the patterns but like many others I have saved, who knows when I will have time to make them!

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  6. I like how the borders look a lot. I feel that whatever works for a quilt is ok. I don't think there is a "dated" look to anything--it's all in how you visualize your own work.
    beautiful finish hugs, Julierose

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  7. Wonderful quilt! The two borders are perfect, as are the baskets, big flowers, and pops of yellow all around. It will be even more stunning with your beautiful quilting.

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  8. I don't know if the two borders "date" a quilt or not, I think some quilts need those two borders and some don't, the borders you have used certainly suit the quilt. A pieced border would be another option but then it would draw attention from all the lovely blocks in the centre.

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  9. In the past (beginning with a preposition - gasp!) I've talked myself out of making certain quilts because I was afraid it is a color or pattern that no one will want to inherit. My oldest daughter has no patience with the CW repros. I think I've finally come to terms with my need to create. I'm not making things for someone else - I'm making them to please myself. And, if they don't appreciate my color or pattern choices then that's their problem (after I'm gone.) I blissfully listen to my own muse. The border issue should be what pleases you.

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  10. It works so well here! I love your combination of blocks, setting, and borders. I think a pair of thin inner border and wider outer border is classic. It doesn't always date the quilt and I think it can be the perfect frame for the center. I also think it looks good on a bed. I like suprises in the border, but I like classic too. SO it entirely depends on the quilt (and what mood I'm in!) LOL

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  11. I am one that prefers no borders to that traditional narrow and wide border. It can work but on every quilt you make it gets boring The red fabric is perfect for this application and has just the right colors with that wonderful stripe to pull it all together. You did good!

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  12. pienso que toda la colcha es una maravilla!!!
    guarde las cestas para un futuro
    al ver estas ¡¡¡que ganas de empezar!!!
    saludos

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  13. Not by me! I think it is great and amazes me how the three I've seen (Wendy's, yours, and mine) how different they all look. Nice job! I love the borders.

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  14. Sometimes the borders are serving the purpose of stopping the eye to not detract from all your work in the center. I must be lazy because I've done no border or plain borders, but never a pieced border. I do like them, but not every quilt calls for the piecing. Just MHO! Love your work!

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  15. I had never thought of that question before. But I can see how different styles and trends might be more popular during a certain time period. We certainly date antique quilts like that. We're influenced by pattern designers, the fabric manufacturers and by what others are doing. And I can tell by reading the above comments that many of us just go by what the quilt is telling us and by our own likes and dislikes. Yours by the way looks great with the two borders.

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  16. Your quilt definitely works! I don't know why I don't really like the combination of primary colors plus green in real life, (maybe too many cheap plastic toys) but in quilts it's what I keep being drawn to over and over. Beautiful, fun, and full of activity! In regards to borders, I haven't been quilting long enough to know much, but it seems to me that the wide floral border is actually much earlier than just the 80's? Something like colonial style? I think that it CAN put the quilt in that time period, especially if done with 80s colors as well, just like we think of a certain green for 1940s quilts, or how we will probably think of grey for 2015 quilts. :) But I don't think a dated quilt is bad, unless the person who made it has run out of creativity and is unsatisfied with their own work. :) My grandmother made doubleknit polyester square quilts till the day she died in the 90s, complaining by the end that she had to go to Goodwill to find polyester clothes because the fabric store didn't sell it anymore. :) Her quilts are dated, and I LOVE them; nothing else quite says durability and warmth like a thick, tied, pastel double knit polyester quilt. ;) sarah@forrussia.org

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  17. A) I love what you did with your quilt. B) I am inspired by innovation. C) Who really cares what the naysayers...say? I hope we make quilts that thrill the maker and let the style fall where it may.

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  18. A big Phooey to anyone who is negative about people's design choices. It's a look that works so why not use it. I guess it depends on the quilt, the fabrics and the individual creator. I love this quilt with it's fun applique and colourful baskets, and it's perfect borders!

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  19. About quilts in general, I never think about whether one is "dated" or not. I think about how it feels to me. I haven't made so many quilts, but each one calls for something different. I love all kinds of borders and sometimes I think a quilt doesn't need a border. I am just so impressed with all of them, each one gives me a thrill.

    About YOUR quilt, the first thing I noticed today was the large, close-cropped applique and I marveled at your creativity because framing them that way gives the whole quilt an extra punch. Compare it with the idea of appliques that are uniform in size to the baskets: your way is much more exciting. I've never seen it before but now it may become popular. And then you remind us that it was thanks to an error! Great discoveries are often the result of errors and that is the case here. Good job! And I love the border fabric, too! It is a good argument for purchasing the extra-special luscious fabrics for quilts of the future.

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  20. I think each quilt top should be taken on merit and whatever works is what works. Love yours by the way!

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  21. Love those borders and that striped fabric! And all that bold redness!

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  22. I don't date a quilt maker by their border decisions. I think that some people are border people and some are not. I'm not but I don't know why. I also don't think borders denote any laziness on the part of quilt makers although I have to admit I sometimes do instantly think lazy when I see some "modern" quilts but that's not because they used or didn't use borders but because it sometimes looks like they were too lazy (to my eye) to make enough blocks to finish a quilt properly.

    I think your freestyle applique really makes this quilt as well as baskets that I always love to see in quilts. If I saw your quilt hanging up somewhere in total I probably wouldn't have even noticed the borders but would have kept my eye looking around in that lovely center area. (Well, that's what I did when I first glanced at your photos before I did any reading.)

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  23. Wow! What a wonderful quilt. I am curious about the negative comment on double borders. I have been quilting since 1965 (yes, I am ancient) and I have used double borders hundreds of times. I love the look and have never thought of it as being "lazy". Anyway, I think you should always go with your "instinct" because yours is sensational for sure.

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  24. Love the applique with the pieced blocks. Beautiful, colorful quilt. I think quilts dictate what is needed - borders, no borders. But I would agree that 'styles' definitely influence the use. Like with Modern quilting now that typically doesn't use borders. Love your choices!!!

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  25. The striped border adds movement to the quilt while the blue in it brings out the blue in the baskets. The red border is a nice finishing touch that is very rich. I love your free style applique. The last time I did free style it was Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

    Each quilt needs to be finished differently, and I'm sorry, but some just scream for borders.

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  26. First off, your quilt is gorgeous, and I think it just wouldn't be the same without the borders. I'm a great believer in letting the quilt tell you what it needs. I know most modern quilts don't have borders, and I get what you're saying about "dating" a quilt. For some reason, I feel that same tug toward the 80's when I add a border.
    When I find a great piece of fabric (like your red) my first thought is always "that would make a great border". Ha! It's how I first learned to quilt and it's kind of stuck in there.
    Most non-quilters who see your quilt wouldn't notice one way or the other, they just see a beautiful quilt. It just comes down to doing what we love.

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  27. I'd never stopped to think about borders, but I think I agree with you, in that the double border does tend to give a look of the traditional but this can be the right approach sometimes. (The one you show here is a case in point.) I realise I have never used one, but shall look for an opportunity to give it a go.

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  28. I love your borders on this quilt, especially the stripe. Some very scrappy and/or modern quilts look fine without borders. I think it totally depends on the quilt. I do think they look dated (80's-90's) when there are five or six borders on them (ala Thimbleberries) just to make them fit a certain size bed.

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  29. I've always been happy with any quilt that I've done with two borders - one small and one proportionally larger. I think it offers a nice visual 'stop', particularly if the interior is on the busy side (i.e really scrappy). It may look 90s to me because I began quilting in 1991 so I'm okay with that - it's of the times. It also lets me showcase a fabric that I loved too much and was reluctant to cut. I think you have a really good sense of balance when it comes to your work - don't doubt yourself!

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  30. The quilt is lovely and looks very good with the borders. How to finish a quilt is so personal, I do not know about it being a dated look. On this quilt it looks great.
    Greetings

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  31. I never thought about it before. I, like others have said, let the quilt speak to me. I lean more towards plain solid borders and binding. Talk about boring and unimaginative. LOL. I like the thin and wider border on quilts. I think it looks very polished. Debbie

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  32. I think these borders are perfect for this quilt. Each quilt is different and requires a different approach. I will admit sometime I am lazy and just ready to finish and don’t do a border at all.

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  33. Lovely quilt, the borders make a great finish for the red/green plan! I'm definitely in the camp of let the quilt talk to you --- I find each quilt calls for the borders it wants. I don't think borders, however applied, date a quilt. It's a matter of whether they add something to the overall look or balance of the design. Sometimes that extra smaller border is needed to provide some "breathing room" or a frame for the quilt center or the quilt edge.

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  34. From my point of view your quilt is perfect with these borders. I did not know anything about those theories, and I am not sure if I understood well but anyway I do believe that we should finish a quilt the way we feel like.

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  35. I adore this quilt and the excitement it evokes! I do not feel like your borders make it feel like a "dated" quilt. Your colors are wonderful, it makes me want to make this quilt!

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  36. I think the only rule for borders is that they should add something (interest, calmness, etc.) to the quilt. I spend a great deal of time, not to say money, on a mat and frame for a picture. I spend even more time considering what my border will be on a quilt, or if I even need one.

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