Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Folksy Flower Fun

From the start to completed quilt top, this one has already been in the works for 2 yrs! So glad I put it on the 17ufosin2017 list as that really pushed me to make some real progress. This one was easy to procrastinate on as I was always having the jitters over whether my off-point borders would have too much bias and ruin the entire outcome.
Folksy Flower Medallion is a finished quilt top!
They almost did! Using this sturdy black fabric on the outside border is going to be a lifesaver, I can already tell as it helps keep all the inside stretching issues fairly contained. As mentioned in my last post, there was a question over whether or not to continue on to another border. The more I looked at this quilt, the more it was prodding me to end in a grand finale of sorts. I played and played with the the lighter colors from the centerpiece plus other colors in the quilt and finally sat back and thought, 'Maybe if I just take off the black border, add on a wider one for better balance and perhaps add a bit of applique?'

Well, that led to me deciding that I definitely didn't like how the blue and black border looked fading into the black outside border, especially if it was to be wider and have more detail involved. So in my auditioning with fabric phase, I cut a couple small blue triangles and laid them on top of the corner black triangles, hoping to see what it would look like if I took that border apart and finished the repeat properly.
Looking at the borders before the blue triangles...
In trying to get them properly positioned, I sort of dropped them and they turned the wrong direction. Before picking them up, I realized it looked like they were poking out of that little border like little arrows, which instantly made me excited. Yes! Love how that makes the corner series of borders just a little more interesting, adding an extra sizzle of energy! From idea to actual implementation, the size of those triangles went up two or three seam sizes until finally I was happy with the way they presented. As you know, I'm a big fan of making quilty things larger.*wink
A simple addition
Just adding the triangles onto the inside border completely changed how I was viewing the outside border. Ditch the outside border applique idea! From those little blue triangles, it was a simple jump to deciding to sew together a filmstrip style border {loosely interpreted as such}, which would help pull those little black square elements from the center clear out to the outer border. I do so love finding interesting ways to repeat elements in a quilt.
Sewing on a skinny little border
From there it was a very tedious effort of measure, measure, measure, cut, sew, cut, pin, pin, pin, pin and sew some more. In order to make the filmstrip wrap around the corner, I had to sew on every length of the border individually rather than sew the three parts together and sew all-as-one {like I normally would for efficiency's sake!}. Ugghh... Bear in mind that the inside measurements of this quilt are not exactly in lock-step with the outside measurements. Yeah. Lets just say that this was equal parts creative math and keeping my fingers crossed it wouldn't end up in a giant, stretchy border mess!
Trying to make sure the squares wrap around the quilt
properly, adding a bit more of the lighter fabric on the corner...
Sigh.... Like I said earlier, the sturdy black cotton worked very well in keeping the outside border straight and true. Those little light colored strips were only 1" before seams so I'm not sure any of this would have been possible without the good quality of that particular piece of fabric! And so you can see, Folksy Flower was able to get a simple, but snazzy, outside border which better pulls the entire look of the quilt together. I adore how it pulls the eye right back to the center of the quilt {my very favorite part!} and also repeats the little squares element. While I do like the corner borders a lot, they were never supposed to be The. Focal. Point.
And it's a finally a finish!
As I've often said, there's really no 'right' way to design a quilt, no matter what people might unintentionally imply at times--there are simply preferences! Putting our in-the-works design efforts out on a blog {or in a group setting etc.} for input and comments can make us feel terribly insecure about moving ahead the way we want. But only if we let it! People are simply reacting to what they can see in our pictures and/or completed efforts, often trying to offer up a helpful viewpoint or idea, but too, they are only reacting based on their own experiences and preferences in mind. They can't process the instinctual feelings we're dealing with in the same way and more importantly, they aren't as invested in the outcome, which is always, at root, a very personal thing! Is this going to be a nice quilt--so lovely--or is it going to feel like a 'me' quilt?  You decide which ideas to take and incorporate or which to leave behind and that's that. At the end of the day, we have to be big enough to enjoy the conversation without feeling pressure to conform or perhaps we'll need to skip the agony of indecision posts and just post the final pictures. There! That's what I did, like it or lump it! Anyway, enough with the creative cheer-leading. I'm sure many of you get tired of my rants!

I almost forgot with all my focused border work the past few days, but it's time to link up to July 17ufosin2017 over at Pomegranate and Chintz! {Meredithe always has such good eye candy} and this linkup has been an excellent push for me to work through some stalled UFO's. Along with checking Folksy Flower off the list, I also made good progress with Vintage Coxcombs and also my Peachy Cameo Medallion. These three were just supposed to reach quilt top stage so not quite as much time involved a complete finish. Tho there was a true-blue-all-the-way-completed quilt in the month of July too!  Learning Curves finally bit the dust and is now crossed off the list as well. Yay for progress!

Also linking up with Linda and Julie for sew, stitch, snap, share #9! Do make time to check out Linda's beautiful quilt for some good summertime inspiration!


  1. A striking quilt! And yes, my eye was indeed pulled right back towards the centre, very clever! I'm finding putting progress pics up on the blog is a great way to share & learn from each other. And lately, I've got braver, starting off a few things without knowing where I will end up when I'm finished!

    1. Oh, and thanks for linking up to 'sew stitch snap SHARE'

  2. Definitely a "YOU" quilt--i love those little rounded petals...
    hugs, Julierose

  3. From those little blue triangles that totally make that border element come together, to the film-strip finishing border, you've once again hit a home-run with this top. It's so "you" and it's obvious how much thought and inspiration went into this totally unique creation! Love, love, love this one!

  4. It's a wonderful finish, Audrey! The border solutions are brilliant, and totally worth the effort. A really fun quilt!!

  5. very striking. There is so many interesting aspects to this quilt. I look forward to coming back to see it quilted. I have clicked all the way over from New Zealand for Sew Stitch Snap Share.xx

  6. great finish! so glad you decided to get this one finished you did a wonderful job on it love the colors and design

  7. Wow - these borders are a fabulous finish for your wonderful medalion center. I love it!

  8. Audrey una terminación muy bonita
    me encantan tus bordes tan trabajados

  9. Love the way this quilt looks, it is so individual. And the border looks very good. Warm greetings

  10. I so enjoy seeing your quilts, but even more, I learn so much from your blog posts in which you explain how you make decisions. Inspiration and education--Thanks!

  11. So much fun seeing how this beautiful quilt evolved!! The border is perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Isn't it amazing what a big difference a small border can make? That pink filmstrip pulls everything together in a way I couldn't have visualized. I love it!
    I really enjoy coming here and seeing you talk about your process. The discussions generated in the comments add to the fun, with all sorts of ideas tossed around. It's always interesting to see how many different approaches and outlooks there are to a design... hmm... I was going to say 'problem', but perhaps 'fork' is a better choice of word.

  13. I so agree with your philosophy. It's always so tempting to make a "pretty" quilt to please your fellow quilters! What's difficult is to blaze your own path--the path that speaks to your soul, even if it isn't perfectly pretty. Personally, I have invented an imaginary audience that uncovers my quilts 100 years from now and decides I was a genius. I quilt for me and them.

  14. Well worth the two years wait - your quilt is a beauty! So interesting to read this post, I love your words on feeling is it a "me" quilt, agree completely! It's good to have feedback from our fellow quilters but in the end it's our choice, only we know the effect we're aiming for.

  15. Wow! That border is perfect and sets off the quilt so well! Congrats on another finish. I do love the way you're so open to your quilts speaking to you. I must learn to "listen" to mine more.

  16. so worth all the thought that went into this a real beauty you are certainly completing a lot of UFOs

  17. What a terrific finish. Funny how those little blue triangles knew just what to do. I really like how they go outside the lines. Repeating that tiny square element was a great idea. Pulls your eye right back to the center.

  18. Wow! That *is* really snazzy, and the perfect border finish. I really enjoyed reading about your process to find that finish for it. Well worth the effort, for sure. I also went and looked at Learning Curves - what a neat quilt, and the perfect photo spot for it! I actually rather like that loose board in terms of the shot. :)

  19. The time you took to figure out that final border was time well spent. It's very clever the way those little squares bounce your eye back to the flower. I like your thoughts about making 'you' quilts - you seem pretty good at sticking with your instincts to me.

  20. Congratulations for your Folksy Flower! 👏👏
    What great ideas you had for the corners and the beautiful border! When looking at it I have the impression the flower is opening or "exploding" in slow-motion, there is definitely movement in it.
    Best wishes!

  21. So much to love about this quilt: the diamond in a square arrangement is my favorite, the light-hearted corners evoke a Summer of Love charm, the film strip border, the colors. I could rave forever.
    Thanks for sharing details of your process with the borders. If this one needs a home... ;-)


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