Generally speaking, the main point of interest in a quilt is what's in the center .. the main pattern, so to speak. That's what initially catches your eye.
But the quilt top needs to be finished somehow and many times adding borders is what sets off a superlative quilt from a simply well-done one. So, that's another facet that needs a decision: what kind of border? how many? There are so many to choose from. And while there are classes that can be taken on sampler quilt blocks, you only get one decorative border per quilt. Until .... summer of 1994. My local quilt shop offered a class on a quilt top that was made up entirely of border patterns! This was exactly the kind of class that is lacking from shops' repertoire.
The blurb from the instructor's packet reads, "Welcome to a new type of adventure. Now that your quilt top is complete and you are trying to decide on what to do to your borders, I hope this class will be of some help. We will be working on 9 different borders, but will be discussing many, many more. I hope that you will come away from the class with a new understanding on how to arive at the "just right" border for your quilt. The class will be divided into 3 sessions. The firstst week we will discuss borders in general and how to break them down into simple blocks. [We sewed one section as homework each week.] The second week, we will work on upper left corner section and the third week will be the lower right corner section."
This structure worked well for me, as I had an absolute deadline to commit to. Each week we were to have completed the required section of borders, so that by the end of the 3rd week, the quilt top would have been done. And I actually did finish the 3rd week's sewing .... but you see ... there was no 4th week to show up at .... so the last, final, finishing narrow borders was never sewn on! No deadline, no sewing. [sigh] And it's really so simple .. it's all straight cuts and standard sewing! By golly .... I didn't remember I was on the 1 yard line with 3 downs left to go! Why, I just may finish that last finishing border .... real soon. [grin] No, really .. soon .. [smile] I think the quilt currently hanging in our stairwell is due to be rotated out of circulation and this would be a spectacular replacement ... maybe just as soon as the remodel is done. [smile]
The sample the instructor had on display was beautifully color-coordinated, which certainly goes a long way in attracting your interest. However, I was in one my 'I'm feeling incredibly guilty about buying more fabric' stages (fortunately, it never lasts too long) and I decided that my challenge was to make this quilt using only fabric I already had on hand. This was feasible because each border section only used a small amount of fabric. It would be a good way of using up a (minor) part of my stash. :-)
Unfortunately, I don't have fabric samples at this time for a close-up inspection. It took me forever to delve into my stash and pull all the fabrics that would work well together and at the present time, my fabric stash is somewhat unavailable (we are in the process of remodeling so that I get a newer, bigger sewing/craft room and an honest-to-goodness business office. As a result, my fabric stash is ..well.. stashed all over the house).
The quilt is divided into 3 sections; within each section were 3 border patterns. The background fabric for the entire quilt is an off-white fabric with white marbling.
|Upper left corner section|
|Middle diagonal section|
|Lower right corner|
So, what exactly is there left to be done? Two outer borders. The first narrow border serves to "stop" the eye from travelling. The *main* reason it hasn't sewn on is there are problems with inadequate seam allowances on some of the blocks already assembled, producing blocks that aren't aligned correctly on their outer edges. I was annoyed when I discovered that and I wasn't exactly sure how to compensate for it. I put the entire project aside.
Years and years and YEARS have gone by. Nothing has been done to correct the problem. Eventually, I will need to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. Eventually. :-)