One step closer to done

/ Tuesday 25 October 2011 /
Last week I finished piecing the blocks for this quilt - it is one giant step closer to being finished but it still needs a border.  It's another old one; I started it in September 2009.  But, hmmm.... the jury is out on this one.
I'm very satisfied to have this one finished, but I'm having difficulty working up enthusiasm for it.  I'm not sure if it looks a little too country for me? I kind of like how the batiks and the cotton prints work together - why don't we see that more often? I chose these fabrics when I started quilting again after my 15-year layoff, and I didn't realize that people don't seem to mix these fabrics very much. Not sure that I would have chosen differently if I had realized it - but perhaps it would not have entered my mind as a possibility.
I took a Jodi Barrows workshop on the Square in a Square technique - it uses a specialty ruler to make all kinds of blocks. This pattern, called Souther Skies, is from one of her books and the blocks were the basis of the workshop.
It is piecing-intensive for sure.  Here is a closer shot of one of the blocks - this star block has corner patches that are each composed of three flying geese that are sewn together, and then this triple-goose bit has four side pieces around it to bring it up to a 4" size.  Making all these geese pieces got old fast!
It's an odd size - about 55" x 77".  So, as I mentioned earlier,  it really needs a border to be big enough to use properly.  The pattern calls for two borders at 4" each.  I'm drawing a blank for what to use.  Blue and red, I guess.  But I'm not feeling the love.  What would you do for borders on this one?
(Don't you love those photos of quilt tops taken from the back? That stained-glass effect is fantastic!)


{ Shevvy } on: 25 October 2011 at 10:49 said...

Wow, I think this is stunning. I know sometimes after you spend a long time on a top that you can stop feeling the love, but really, its great. I love batiks and chuck them in with everything. They add a bit more glow to a top.

{ Pokey } on: 25 October 2011 at 11:12 said...

The angles of the stars and geese sure make this a beautiful quilt! I also appreciate the tiny red print in the background that adds more interesting visual texture. Great photos, too! Thank you for sharing this lovely top ~

{ Jennifer } on: 25 October 2011 at 11:38 said...

It looks great! I'm with you- I'm not sure why people don't mix print and batik more often. I do it all the time!!

As for borders... Some gray batik might look really nice with either the red or the blue. One giant red border never hurt anyone, either.

{ QuiltNut Creations } on: 25 October 2011 at 12:19 said...

It's beautiful!! Love the combo of cotton and batik.

{ elle } on: 25 October 2011 at 12:42 said...

I don't like those mini prints as a rule but the combo with the batik's have sent me to my stash for a look. Luv the look of this quilt.

{ Sarah Craig } on: 25 October 2011 at 13:12 said...

How about a cream border, the same color as the background of your blocks, with a red binding? It's a beautiful quilt, by the way, and I love batiks in anything!!

{ Jan } on: 25 October 2011 at 13:54 said...

Very striking! Maybe you just need some time away from it to fall in love? It is really dynamic; I love it!

{ jessica } on: 25 October 2011 at 14:24 said...

fantastic! the last photo has great secondary patterns going on. so many of your quilts are piecing-intensive, such detail, such precision.. i'm surprised to hear you don't love it ;p
I'd do a red border, a thin cream pieced border, then a blue one. (3", 2", 3") but i'm only suggesting it because I don't have to piece it. oh, and I also love combining batiks with non-batiks. why not?

(btw, google is driving me a bit nuts, not letting me sign in to blogger. don't they know I have a blog to maintain!!)

{ Lee D } on: 25 October 2011 at 16:37 said...

I think it is gorgeous and love the secondary pattern. Needs a framing border in the blue or red, then more cream, then a dark binding. way to get the UFO's done.

{ Eve } on: 25 October 2011 at 17:21 said...

It definitely needs a good border, and I think you'll find it clicks into place for you then. It's already looking lovely. How about strips of various widths, with a pieced border in the middle? A row of diamonds in the various fabrics, for instance, which would tie in with the diamonds you have in the main quilt. I'd suggest making the pieced border first, say those diamonds, and then working out what colours and widths to do the strips on either side of them.

Tamara on: 25 October 2011 at 18:03 said...

I don't think it's too country -- to me, it looks like fireworks.

{ tusen } on: 25 October 2011 at 18:13 said...

Although I have to admit I don't really like batik much, I just love your quilt, so I hope we will get to see it finished.
Great photos, too. I love the stained-glass effect but probably thanks to the batiks your quilt looks a bit like stained glass even on the not against-the-sun photos.

{ Annabella } on: 25 October 2011 at 18:33 said...

Like Tusen, I`m not a batik fan but you may be about to convert me. I think your quilt is incredible and it has an amazing vintage feel to it. Really beautiful.

{ Prof. S (the enchanted bobbin) } on: 25 October 2011 at 21:58 said...

I think this is beautiful; you probably just need a little distance from it :)

So many opinions about borders, and here's mine: I think it would look lovely with a narrow solid border in just one of the colours (red or one of the blues, whatever you like best) and then a nice hefty border beyond that of your natural coloured background fabric. There is so much going on in this intricate quilt top that my impulse would be to let it "breath" and yet still have a little bit of framing provided by a skinny border.

I am a big fan of the skinny border, so I am definitely biased :)

It will be lovely no matter what. Congrats!

{ BillieBee (billiemick) } on: 26 October 2011 at 00:20 said...


{ Kirsty } on: 26 October 2011 at 16:51 said...

I'm so glad to hear someone else struggles to love their quilt at some point during construction! Finishing it is the cure as I find sewing the binding on it somehow rebonds me to the quilt and makes me feel much better about it. I'd go with Prof S (14) - a skinny red 2inch border followed by a big 6 inch neutral in the same background fabric as the rest of your quilt. Whatever you decide, it will be gorgeous. You have done such a wonderful job on it. It is a great pleasure to see it. Well done!

{ Misty } on: 27 October 2011 at 06:57 said...

I agree with everyone else--this quilt is so beautiful! Your piecing is great, too! I have no idea what to use for a border--I'd just take it to the quilt shop and be open to trying anything. You never know what might be the perfect fabric.

{ Dresden Quilter } on: 27 October 2011 at 11:29 said...

It is stunning! It does not read country to me at all. Maybe finding a border that you love, in your style will help you love the quilt more.

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