Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Question of Borders...

What do you do to complete your quilt top? What makes the flimsy finished for you?
Personally, I believe that a quilt is not finished until I have given the quilt a frame, so finding a border is integral to completing the quilt.

This spring break week I got only a little cleaning done( my clothes closet is much improved and we will get some more of it done next weekend too) However, I did get some quilting done. I have two new quilts that need borders.



Here is a couple of a pieced borders I have made. The chain border is an example of seminole type piecing- it is not complicated just a bit finicky. The results are worth it don't you think? .

The second is on the lone star and it is a diamond pattern. I wish that I had used darker colors in the border as the border sometimes gets lost in the flowers. It is challenging to find the balance -having the pieced border add some extra pizazz without taking away from the overall quilt.
Today's quilt is a photo of a quilt that was made with a group of Jewish women for their synagogue. It is a "Chuppah Quilt" that couples stand under during a wedding ceremony. They wanted to replace one that had become old and tired looking. I am not Jewish, but had been asked by one of the women if I would be willing to teach them how to quilt. I had been quilting for nearly 10 years by that time. As I am a teacher by profession, I thought that this would be fun and a good learning experience. I love quilting and enjoy helping others learn. I have to say, I was somewhat naive about the whole process. Boy did I learn lots of lessons about what I know about teaching and about quilting. Those of you who teach quilting to others, my hat is off to you. Like other kinds of teaching, it takes careful planning, knowing your stuff and a willingness to troubleshoot at every turn. While it was similar to teaching my little ones -it was quite different in many ways. After a year of preliminary quilt basics we persevered and created this lovely piece together.
The women came to this group with different sewing experiences and skill sets so finding a pattern was challenging. I needed to find something where all sewers could contribute equally well without the end product being compromised. Some other design problems included figuring out how to have spaces to tie the corners to the poles. We also wanted to be able to see the design above the wedding couple and have the outside border hang so that the congregation could see the stars of David.

The final design was based on a Magic Patchwork magazine wall hanging for the central motif - the rest was my own addition. The pattern is all paper piecing(the best way to end up with same sized blocks) and the design is a diamond log cabin. My quilting teacher friend L. did a wonderful job of quilting the quilt. The women of the synagogue made all of the 308 blocks and I pieced the design together. The first couple who were married under the Chuppah was their rabbi and his wife.

Spring break has indeed been productive on the quilting front. I finished up the bindings of four quilts that I had quilted at Christmas time. I also finished piecing two quilts that I began last September. One is a Winding Ways quilt made from batiks and the other is a green and blue Wonky Tiles pattern( the Wonky Tiles is from Mary Quilts- making scrap quilts from stash- link is on my blog list. I will try and photograph my new work this week and post them soon.

In the mean time, I will be looking for fabric borders for them. I am going to add some fabric frames,as the central parts of the two new quilts are quite busy. I don't want to take away from their central designs.
I have already visited my stash and chosen some possibilities... Now for decisions....

If you are looking for some quilt block patterns or just some good information about quilting you may want to check out aboutquilting.com

I also have enjoyed exploring the "Quilt with Us" site within connectingthreads.com.
They have a number of discussion groups going and new projects to explore.

Isn't the internet grand?

Have a great week .. Until next time... Happy Quilting...
Regards,
Anna
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