Here is where we left of. The center was all pieced and ready for embroidery to add some finishing touches to each applique. The embroidery stage went swimmingly, but then it came time to design the border. And here is where I got incredibly intimidated. I wanted a border with flowers and plants growing up and around, bringing the quilt to life.
Something like this, but with vegetables:
This amazing quilt is called Meadows of Black Forest by Ellen Heck. And no, there is no patten, I checked.
But I really can't design that kind of border myself yet, I am NOT there. I originally was going to do some beans for the border from a pattern book I have:
But I sat down and looked at that and decided that I really, really, didn't want to do that much hand applique.
So then it came down to a pieced border. My quilt is only 42" right now and I figure it needs to be up to 60" to be a useful lap quilt. So I needed to come up with a border that was 10" on either side, that didn't feel like it was dwarfing the center of the quilt, and that didn't feel boring either.
I also wanted something that showcased my color palate and the gradations of each fabric that I have at my disposal.
I will spare you the hours of my clicking around a million websites for border patterns. I messed around with a number of options and ideas in indesign, and here are the final two options:
While I love the idea of incorporating New York Beauty blocks, they detract from the design too much. This second one showcases all my quilt colors and still allows the center to shine. I like how it also carries out the diamond motif that is in the center of the quilt.
Then came the math time...luckily the math was less of a headache than I thought it would be. The inner border will be 2.5", the diamond border 4", and the outer border 2.5". Here are my calcs:
Totally random jotting of numbers, but it works!
Now the diamonds were a bit tough because they need to be 4" across, which means each side will be shorter. Plus there's seam allowance to consider...if you're like me and this gives you headaches, here is my very simple solution:
I printed out a full-size version of my blocks, drew in a 1/4" seam allowance, and measured the result. Works like a charm, and no crazy calculations involved!
So began cutting time...
...with help from my assistant....
After I had cut an introductory amount, I laid out the quilt to make sure things were looking right. Then I realized there were two ways to lay out the border:
In the top one, the diamonds go against the background but with the main quilt. In the bottom one, the diamonds go with the background and opposite to the quilt. Luckily I can stitch most it together before I decide which way it should go.
As a side note, we have some kitten guests in our house right now! Here is one, Pink Eye!
So far they haven't been allowed near any sewing supplies :)