Advice, please!

/ Tuesday, 6 September 2011 /
Spiderweb top
What a great feeling it is to reach some closure on a WIP!  This spiderweb quilt was one I started last year in an on-line bee.  I got eleven blocks from Canadian quilters and slowly did the others myself.  That string routine gets old quickly, and I find I can only do a little at a time.  But I finally reached what I think is a good size for this quilt.  It measures 60" x 60".
Closer look at webs
But wait.  Is it really a good size?  I feel like I would like it to be just a touch bigger.  Not so much bigger to justify another round of blocks, but just a modest border.
Obligatory back view
Here's where I need your help.  Can you give me some ideas about what kind of fabric I could consider for a border for this quilt.  I don't have enough of the green background (it is Amy Butler's Bali Gate, in case you are interested).  Right now I am thinking about something of the same value, although perhaps not the same colour, so the effect is one of extending the background rather than delimiting it.  But I am open to ideas - what kind of border do you think would look nice?
Spiderweb 60" x 60"
I plan to back this in a nice flannel, and I am looking at this spiderweb quilt to to replace this one that no longer lives with me.  It now lives with my daughter in a tiny dorm room at McGill University.  If you think that it has been a sobfest here this past week as we wander around our house wondering where we left our hearts, you would be right.  The empty nest is a pretty rotten deal, if you ask me.
From the rear

30 comments:

{ piecemealquilts } on: 6 September 2011 at 09:30 said...

First, this is gorgeous! I love that you chose a print background fabric rather than a solid. It's unexpected. I normally like the idea of a border that extends the background, but in this case I don't think it's a good idea. Because your spiderwebs along the edges are incomplete, extending the background (even with something the same value) will look odd, like the webs were cut off mid-air. A harder, darker border would be better, giving the webs something to attach to, a reason for them to be cut. I also think that because the quilt is so busy (in a good way!), a plain border might look odd. What about a narrow containment border followed by a pieced border of strips (a piano key border)? Yes, it's more sewing, but it might tie the outer edge to the inner part better.

{ Cheryl Arkison } on: 6 September 2011 at 09:33 said...

I love what you chose for the background! Very cool compared to a solid, as is commonly seen.

And I've got to agree with piecemealquilts. I would do something to extend the look of the spiderwebs, not the background if you want a border. Maybe a 4 inch piano key all the way around? In similar fabrics to the spiderweb?

{ Claudia } on: 6 September 2011 at 09:37 said...

Sorry about the empty nest ... I'll be there with my first in a couple of years.

Lovely quilt, Lesly. I'm a small person, so a 60" quilt is a good size lounging quilt for me. I think a print in the style of the green Amy Butler would look fine. Pink would look great (if you're into pink) about the same value as the green. Maybe a very narrow border in a dark/bright color to bring the two areas of the quilt together.

{ Linda at Roscoe's Ma } on: 6 September 2011 at 09:45 said...

This is a beautiful quilt! I like the first suggestion, as well. Give the empty nest some time. Believe it or not, it has some good parts too. I hope your daughter is happy at school and on solid ground with the great upbringing you have given her. You are definitely still needed...just in a new way.

{ Sharon Pernes } on: 6 September 2011 at 09:51 said...

What a great quilt! If you want to make a quick border I would pick a border color that is dark and matches a spiderweb piece. Maybe a navy pr red. I always think that dark borders are better to frame the quilt.

{ beth } on: 6 September 2011 at 10:05 said...

No advice about the border....but thinking of you as you get used to your daughter being away. If it goes like it has here....she'll be back after the college years for a bit and you'll be surprised how FAST those years go!

{ Debbie } on: 6 September 2011 at 10:08 said...

oh....I don't have great advice for a border, but I can relate to what you are feeling....the empty next certainly is challenging - especially at first. More than once, I've wailed, "I want it like it used to be!" Blessings as you move forward.

{ Donna~~ } on: 6 September 2011 at 10:38 said...

The empty nest is hard, and I think really hard, because it isn't going to change. Enjoy the college breaks as much as possible, and try to establish routines (like Sunday phone calls with the kids, or monthly dinners, or a summer getaway, or something that is a routine/tradition) that you can look forward to and they will just "fit" into their lives without thinking of it after a point. My neighbor established bi-weekly dinners and it works really well--I wish I had done that because now it's always a struggle to fit into their schedules. And try something new and exciting just for you or you as a couple. It's important to figure out who you are (and want to be) now without the kids. (And make new friends with fellow empties--like me.) Not sure about the quilt's borders, as I like it as is. But if you want a border that's nondistinct, I would choose a fabric with 2 colors similar to your background, but a different scale (I think smaller) and in your very favorite color that would look nice with the backing flannel. If you feel you want a narrow border between the two, I'd go with a 3rd color that is the same value range as the other two borders, but I'd likely try a million fabrics to find the right ones.

{ SoSarahSews } on: 6 September 2011 at 10:46 said...

That's very nice! I really like the background. I think a light blueish aquaish border would be nice. There are a few in the webs that really stand out and it compliments the green well.

{ Sarah Craig } on: 6 September 2011 at 10:59 said...

I would probably look at something like a Kaffe Fassett print or maybe one of the Silent Cinema prints - something a little busy for the border that will make it look like the spiderwebs just decided to form a rank and file out of! But I'm a hippie.....

It's a beautiful quilt, and I'm sure whatever you end up doing will be perfect.

{ Little Island Quilting } on: 6 September 2011 at 11:06 said...

I'd go orange binding.
Can I just say this is an absolutely gorgeous quilt. I love it. And as I am finishing up a spiders's web quilt myself, I know how much time it takes to make one of these.

Beautiful.

{ Lisa } on: 6 September 2011 at 11:42 said...

I agree with Little Island Quilting, I would go with an orange or peach border.

As for the empty nest, it is a tough one. Took me about 6 weeks to not feel so sad, but then I realized I could do whatever I wanted to, when I wanted to! They come back and forth a lot, so don't fret too much. the quiet is disturbing I know . . . . but sometimes it's nice to hear your own thoughts.

{ Leila } on: 6 September 2011 at 12:10 said...

I would also go with a darker border. I think a bright pink would be great!

{ lobsterdesigns } on: 6 September 2011 at 13:28 said...

Delightful quilt! I'd suggest a very narrow strip of white, and then a simple scrappy border in the medium to dark fabrics from the cobwebs. Simply a row of strips, pieced end to end rather than piano keys style, would be lovely. You'd either want to make them reasonably wide, or have two or three rows laid brick-fashion.

{ Stephanie } on: 6 September 2011 at 13:29 said...

I really like piecemealquilts idea of a narrow containment border and a pieced outer border. But I also think that 60 inches square is a really good size for a couch quilt. So if you wanted to skip the border idea I'd do what Little Island Quilting said and go with an orange border. That would be so beautiful.

Also, I almost cried reading about your empty nest! My one and only son just entered high school this year. I'm cherishing these moments for sure.

{ Rachel } on: 6 September 2011 at 14:39 said...

Beautiful quilt! It's too bad you don't have any more of the background fabric because I think that would be perfect for a border and wouldn't distract from the spiderwebs.

My daughter is also living in a tiny dorm room with two of my quilts. She's in Lethbridge and we're in Edmonton. Sob fest at my house last night as I dropped her off yesterday and then drove home alone. I'm too young to have an empty nest!

{ Lara } on: 6 September 2011 at 15:04 said...

It's gorgeous. I think its perfect just the way it is :)

{ LOTJE } on: 6 September 2011 at 15:25 said...

I really like the colors, and the timing of this quilt in late summer!
For all it's worth my idea would be to add a broad green/white little polkadotted border. Much the value of your other green background, a bit lighter probably. And then into that I would extend the spider webs, using orange/pink/blue quilting...
Have fun deciding what to do!!

{ Annabella } on: 6 September 2011 at 16:31 said...

It`s absolutely stunning - I would say green (but then I love green) and I also love the suggestion of orange too. I LOVE IT!

{ elle } on: 6 September 2011 at 16:34 said...

You almost tempt me with this one, Lesly. Luv the green print. I'm no help, I'd complete the outer webs and bind with red. ;^) And, oh, in spite of the tearing when they go, they do come back. Ask me how I know!!!

{ Jennifer } on: 6 September 2011 at 17:19 said...

nest schmest. time for a sewing room! (too soon?)

i like this string quilt and disagree with almost everyone about what type of border it deserves. a fat, navy blue border would look just lovely. but not a solid; something with texture like a hand dye or a blender batik.

i find 60x60 to be just too short to lay on the couch and be all the way covered up. i like mine to be closer to 70 or 80. if you put a 6" border around you'll extend the size quite nicely.

good work, and i didn't even know you were working on this?

{ Leanne } on: 6 September 2011 at 20:38 said...

I love your quilt! I love all the ideas given here too, so I am sure you will make the best choice in the end. I hope you feel better soon as new routines happen at your home and a new and great long distance connection grows between you and your daughter.

{ Glenda } on: 7 September 2011 at 01:39 said...

I used to rub my teen age daughter's feet when she got home from work and we'ld talk. I still miss that and she's been married for eight years and we have two grandchildren!! Those passages can be tricky to navigate. Children are home grown, heritage quality for sure. And just when they become the best friends you ever had, they graduate from high school and leap into life's waiting arms. Oh my, I'm becoming so philosophical. You will get so that you can eat her favourite meal again and watch her favourite show.
It's Gods way of eccouraging you to pray for your daughter, these constant reminders of her.
Now about that quilt. I love patterns that extend to the edge. I would likely bind it without adding a border, unless you lay fabric beside it and can't live without it. I would call it Glass Spider because it really does look so much like stained glass from the backside.
My mother is losing her memory and sewing is s skill so dependant on memory it seems. I am encouraging her to name my quilts because it is another way for her to feel "the thrill", even if vicariously.

{ fabrications2B } on: 7 September 2011 at 01:59 said...

First and foremost, I feel your pain. My youngest left 3 weeks ago and my daughter lives on the east coast down here below the border :( my sewing room was the third bedroom where the action used to be. Now is just me back there! My tv of radio is on all the time! But I must admit, my fab benefit is not worrying about dinners! My hubby is happy with eggs or peanut butter and jelly sometimes! And no laundry! ( ok, so I sped through 5 charity quilts this week-just to keep that "hum" moving !)

ok, color: I think a lavender/white small moving print would be great! Enjoy and thank you for your inspirations as I am just beginning my quilting journey!

{ rooee } on: 7 September 2011 at 05:20 said...

i would go with a big hot pink and orange kaffe fassett border.....wild and crazy.
absolutely beautiful quilt!!

{ The Calico Cat } on: 7 September 2011 at 08:16 said...

Being the mother of a toddler, I can only imagine you pain through the lense of the future.

I find 60 inchs square to be a bit short... Do you have enough green to do just one more row of blocks? That is my only idea... (I like it without a border & am afraid that many borders might look too much like an after thought...)

{ Jenniffier } on: 7 September 2011 at 15:24 said...

I think a fun contrasting/dark solid would look great.

{ Caro } on: 9 September 2011 at 10:57 said...

This quilt is gorgeous. It was well worth your work! I don't think I would use a border and would do darker color binding.

LeAnne on: 14 September 2011 at 12:03 said...

I love your quilt.. It is bright and happy... I don't think you need a border at all.. So many times we get stuck with I need borders, but I think your quilt is fabulous , just the way it is... Like a garden... I think I would quilt spider webs in the blocks too.. Enjoy, you did great. :)

{ Sheila } on: 21 September 2011 at 15:19 said...

Beautiful quilt , such an interesting design and I love your fabrics ,good luck in choosing a border .

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