February 11, 2016: Designing an appropriate border; Red and Green quilts at the NEQM

Greetings!  I have always liked interesting borders and frames on pictures and, since becoming a quilter, have felt borders are an important element of most quilts.  I’ve always spent considerable time and energy planning and making borders for my quilts to enhance their overall appearance and impact.  When creating a border one has to be very careful that it looks right with and carries on the theme of the quilt center.  Here are several examples of borders from my quilts:

21116 borders#1 21116 borders#2 21116 borders#3 21116 borders#4 21116 borders#5 21116 borders#6

21116 borders#7 21116 borders#8 21116 borders#9 21116 borders#10 21116 borders#11 21116 borders#12

Borders are on my mind because I completed the center of “We Are Stardust” 5 weeks ago and I have been trying to design a border for it since then.  I spent several hours looking at quilts in books, magazines, and on-line for inspiration.  After studying my quilt for a considerable period of time, I finally realized that a folk art style border would be best with the reproduction fabrics and that some type of vine border would be better than something related to outer space.  I had wanted my stars to look like they were floating in space, however, depictions of constellations and galaxies didn’t seem right!

I finally proceeded to cut borders 10 inches wide and put them up on the design wall (click to enlarge):

21116 too wide border

My first thought was that this border was too wide.  When my husband came in to look and made the same observation without any prompting from me, I knew we were right.  I decreased the border to 8 inches.  By the way, the black border fabric is directional, adding to the complexity of cutting the strips – some had to be cut crosswise and some lengthwise from the fabric.  That was true for the setting triangles as well.

I thought perhaps a straight vine with leaves might be right so pinned those on to take a look:

21116 narrower border+option#1

Right away I knew the 8 inch border width was much better, but after looking at the straight vine for a couple days decided I didn’t like it.  I tried another option:

21116 border option#2

Much better in my opinion!!  I proceeded to make the bias strip stems with my Clover bias tape maker and pinned them on; it was a challenge to measure and get these on evenly as there are 5 stems that overlap (click to enlarge):

21116 border #3 -stems pinned

And here’s a close up of one of the stems with leaves and berries stuck on to see how it will look:

21116 border#4 with leaves and berries

I like it!  Now – for one border at a time – I will proceed to applique all the stems to the background, make templates for the leaves, choose fabrics for and cut out the leaves, baste them down and then I can really start stitching!  Lots of applique ahead – 5 stems per side X 4 sides = 20 stems with about 14 leaves per stem = 280 leaves, not to mention berries scattered here and there and there will also be a stem in each corner to connect it all.   This will certainly take several months and I will post pictures as I go along.  Getting to this point has been a bit of a struggle and I’m feeling happy now with the result.  It’s not fancy but I think it is right for this quilt.

Here is what I have for the circle doll quilt:

21116 dollquilt circles

I was going to have all red circles but decided that was too boring.  I need 20 circles – set will be 4 across and 5 down.  This should not take too long!

Hand quilting on Stella Nova is nearing the end!  I will likely make the binding this weekend.  I’ll show a picture next post.

Today I’m going to share some pictures of the red and green quilts that were on display at the New England Quilt Museum at the same time as the Japanese quilts (I still have a few of those to share in another post.):

21116 red and green#1 21116 red and green#2 21116 red and green#3 21116 red and green#4

21116 red and green#5 21116 red and green#6

21116 red and green#7 21116 red and green#8 21116 red and green#9 21116 red and green#10

Two weeks ago on my first weekday off work Al and I went for a drive on back roads through rural New Hampshire – it was a gorgeous sunny day with a deep blue sky.  We planned to visit a special shop and ended up coming home with this:

21116 accordion#1

What’s in it?

21116 accordion#2

A new (used, but new to me!) accordion!!  Believe it or not, there is an accordion shop, The Accordion Connection, about 45 minutes from here.  The next closest one is probably hundreds of miles away!  My old accordion was pretty old and I’ve had it for 30 years.  This one is the right size – small! – and sounds a bit richer than my old one.  The keys are not yellowed with age and it’s in nice shape.  This was my gift to myself upon retirement.  It’s been really fun to play and I’ve enjoyed having more time to play it.

Many thanks to everyone who comments on my posts – I love hearing from you!  I try to respond to each one.

Be grateful, be kind, and cherish each day!  Gladi



6 thoughts on “February 11, 2016: Designing an appropriate border; Red and Green quilts at the NEQM

    1. gladiporsche Post author

      Thank you! So far my semi-retirement is fabulous! For now I’m glad I’m still working those 20 hours each week, but the 20 hours off feels like such a luxury! Gladi

  1. mvquilters

    New accordion, new direction for your quilt lectures. Not many of us get to hear that kind of music….. Gives you a different hook than Joe the Quilter!

    1. gladiporsche Post author

      Thanks! The thought of weaving my accordion playing into my quilt trunk shows never crossed my mind. I’ll have to think about that, however, I sound best when with my Quatro Formaggio compatriots and have major reservations about performing solo so don’t think it will be happening any time soon! Gladi

  2. Wendy Caton Reed

    Oh yes, that border is perfect. Can’t wait to watch the progress on this one. And, congratulations on your find. What a treasure. I’m sure you make it sound lovely. I do love accordion music.

    1. gladiporsche Post author

      Thank you, Wendy. I just pinned 70 leaves to the first border and will baste those down over the next couple days. Then I’ll be sewing leaves, instead of circles, every day for the next many weeks! I appreciate your enthusiastic support for Many Moons. I absolutely love your cheddar background for the botanical sew along. Your blocks looks fabulous. Sometimes I wish I’d decided to participate, but I know I made the right decision to focus on my current projects instead. Gladi


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