Wednesday, April 24, 2013

border challenge 2 ready

My border challenge class meets again tonight, and my homework is done just in time. I have never changed my mind about a quilting project so many times as I have in the last few weeks regarding this...

This month our assignment included three parameters. My border must include this color...

The charm square is the actual color sample I received, and the fabric beneath it is what I chose to match it. It isn't exact, but close enough. The method the instructor used to assign our color was a bit cruel. She had a charm pack of near solid, tone-on-tone prints; we were instructed to pass it around and choose our favorite from the bunch. I selected a lovely lavender/rose color that I knew would coordinate nicely with the other fabrics I had already used in the center and first border. But of course that would have been too easy - once we had all picked a color we were instructed to pass it one seat to the left!  That's how I ended up with this burgundy color.

The second requirement we were all given was to include a shoo-fly block somewhere within the second border. This was again determined by one of the students choosing a random number that corresponded to a page in a book of quilt blocks.

Lastly, we all "counted off" into four groups and were assigned a shape to incorporate independent of the shoo-fly block.  My group got "squares" while others were given circles, triangles, or rectangles.

I knew I could live with the color assignment since we can use as much or as little as we want within the border, so I set about trying to sketch some color and block options...

I decided on this non-traditional placement of fabrics for the shoo-fly block based on a modern quilt image I found on Pinterest.

My original plan was to alternate the burgundy and teal 6" blocks for the entire border, but I really disliked that look. The scale was too big and the coloring was all wrong...

Then I settled on a smaller 5" shoo-fly block for just the corners, and used a very similar nine-patch variation for all the other blocks. This way I could incorporate many of the same colors I had already used, but still meet all three requirements: burgundy color, shoo-fly block, and squares. Woo-hoo! This is the part of the border I'm really happy about.

But I felt like something was needed to separate the flying geese from this border, and I could quite find the right fabric. I love this yellow print, but no. And the teal solid is nice too, but again, no...

Maybe the brown/blue spot from the tree trunk?  Still not quite right...

I finally landed on this Paperweight print from Kaffe in Leafy. I'm not completely convinced that it's the best choice, but I'm counting on being able to repeat it again later to tie it in better. It does draw out the grass green in the center and highlight the greens in my flying geese. But as I look back through these photos, maybe I didn't really need anything to separate the two? I don't know.

Another thing I'm second-guessing is leaving out a small burgundy cornerstone where the green borders meet. Probably should have done that...

It does make me smile that the border is a little diary of some of my favorite fabrics. You can see the Emerald Kite Tails backing from my Twinkle quilt above, as well as some wine bottles and bookshelves from a recent line of "Grand Tour" prints from David textiles.

And below you can see some small bits from the Amy Butler tunic I just finished (a full report on that later) and the teal flowers leftover from my daughter's college quilt.

My homework isn't 100% complete though. I'm planning to add a final border (1" - 1.5") of the burgundy to the outside edge to "seal off" these blocks before adding the third border. But I've got to get some more of the burgundy. I guess a half-yard isn't always enough!

If you've read all the way to the end, congratulations! This is a particularly wordy post, but I wanted to document all the pondering and deciding and undoing it took to get to this point. I'm not loving it yet, but one of the main reasons I took this class was to break out of my comfort zone and challenge myself to be more fearless with color and patterns. Whew... only three more borders to go!

Oh, and it's up to 41" square now. 


  1. Love the green paperweight inner border: IMO it's perfect. What a fun project... makes me want to go play in the sewing studio.

  2. I too like the green paperweight fabric and love the whole piece that you're working on, medallion quilts are on my favourites list, and on my List To Do.

  3. I'm realllly behind on my blog reading (still getting used to reading in Bloglovin')....I wanted to keep up with your gorgeous read clear to the end!


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