Monday, November 15, 2010

Border Wars

Are you like me and sometimes have a war going on in your head about whether to add a border to a quilt, and if you do, what should it be? Sometimes, no border is better but other times....  Do you feel a temptation to go the easy route and either ditch a border or just slap on any old thing and call it good, even when you know the quilt needs "something more"to make it fabulous? Surely, I am not alone here! 

My Hope Valley Hexagon Quilt is screaming at me for a border.  So, I spent some time over the weekend coming up with something fun and funky to fit both the fabric and quilt pattern. I'm pretty excited about it, actually, so thought I'd share my progress with you and maybe even some pictures of how I made it......
 Here's a section of one of the borders before I attached it.  You can see that it is made with random angles of the Hope Valley prints on a light grey background. There's no rhyme or reason to the spacing of the triangles
I'm getting ready to sew on the borders and add another little surprise.......  I think I'm gonna like it and am glad that the quilt won the war!

Here's how I made the funky border for anyone interested in trying it.

 First, I cut my Kona ash fabric 6 inches wide and then chopped it up into random lengths. Using scraps from the center of the quilt, I cut triangles in various angles by "eyeball". Some sections have only one triangle and others have a triangle added to each side.

Next, I pinned the triangles RST onto the background, folding the fabric back before I sewed it to be sure that it would completely cover the grey underneath. (Don't skip this part. Guess, how I know that!)

After sewing on the triangle and pressing, I turned the section so the background side was up and using my ruler and cutter, trimmed off the printed fabric even with the background.
The last step is to fold back the triangle onto the front and cut off the background underneath to make a nice quarter inch seam allowance and eliminate bulk.

Here's my finished section.

I continued to add small sections until my border was the length I need. That's it!  So fun to make!  Better run.... I hear my machine calling!


  1. so fun Carla! Can't wait tosee this all put together. This is going to make your quilt so unique.

  2. Your quilt looks fabulous! I love that border. Can't wait to see the finished top.

  3. I like the border very much. Very creative. I'm glad the border won the quilt war. :)

  4. Love your border! Such a fun compliment and contrast to the orderly hexagons. Look forward to your next show and tell!
    ; )

  5. Wow, I like that border! Great job.

  6. Love it, Carla! I try not to cop out when it comes to borders....but, ya know. :-) Thanks for the how-to. When I saw the border strip, I was trying to guess which way it would go on -- it would almost look like shooting star points if it was turned around, but I like how it points the attention in to the middle of the quilt. Fab!

  7. This is fabulous! I have some sort of mental block when it comes to borders but this I could do. Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to see the finished quilt!

    Jennifer :)

  8. Carla, I love it! You are so creative!
    I read an article about modern quilting that suggested what made a quilt "modern" was the lack of borders. Since then I've been trying to notice what quilts I see as modern and whether I agree with the "no borders" idea. Your border blows that theory out of the water.
    Thanks for always inspiring.

  9. Thank you. I've done a Heartstrings quilt top and was wondering what to use for borders. This will be just right. I'll try it today. Thanks for the clear instructions.

  10. HI!!!! Wow!!!!! I love your border!!!! Very artistic!!!! Thanks for the instructions too!!!!! I think it would be great on a lot of quilts!!!! Very fun!!!!