Working on a Quilt Border

Sewing is just more fun with friends, even if they are on my computer screen. I can still hear their voices and see their faces, and we all get a lot done. I’ve been hosting virtual sew days for several small groups, and I enjoy them all. This time I was working on a border for my To The Nines quilt, sewing patches into units of six to complete the angled rows into the border.

It didn’t take long to get the eleven units I needed made.

I started sewing the border units together, then I came to the corner and realized I would have an all white border in two corners. That seemed like too much white.

I auditioned doing some squares in the corners to break up the expanse of white. I showed it to the virtual group, and the consensus was to do the scrappy squares in the corners.

I arranged the sections and began sewing the borders onto the top as I got one made. As you can see here, the parts with the squares went on the star blocks, and the solid white sections went on the 9-patch blocks. This completes the square rings around the stars.

We started talkng about food at one point during the day, and I mentioned we were going to order take out from Outback Steakhouse. This is the Blooming Chicken, a chicken breast filet, breaded with blooming onion breading and fried. Yum! I could only eat half of it with half the salad, then rest went for another meal the next day.

So, the next day I finished putting the borders on, and immediately didn’t like it. The corner squares distract from the lines of the square rings.

The white blocks catch the eye, making the middle seem like a confetti dump. The cohesiveness of the pattern is lost. Plus, that border increased the size by 16 inches on both directions, making it a monstrous size.

So, I removed the border blocks. I know, an entire day’s work down the drain, but I just think it looks better without the pieced border.

All is not lost, though. I’ll use those border sections to make new 9-patch blocks for the next quilt. I’ll certainly make more To The Nines quilts for Quilts of Valor. For those interested, this pattern is for sale on My Patterns page. I use half square triangles in that pattern for the star points. So, now it is loaded on the longarm. Taking it back to a smaller size also meant I could use a light blue wide backing that I already owned, and really wanted to use for this quilt.

What are you sewing this week?

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21 thoughts on “Working on a Quilt Border

  1. Mary Stori

    Love how the quilt turned out and thankful we live too far from restaurants to do take out. It’d be cold and soggy before we got it home! Think of the calories I’m saving!

  2. Sherrill

    I have, unfortunately, uncovered several PHD/WIPs so will hopefully will be able to polish at least a couple of those off soon. Also prepping bullseye blocks to make with Mary at Country Threads. AND trying to get some quilts wrapped up and ready for donation. Then there are the ‘begun’ quilts……. ugh. LOL

  3. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    The quilt turned out great. I like it both ways – hard to choose!! That Bloomin’ Chicken looks awesome! I may have to give that a try when I go for therapy next! At least stop by and bring it home!

  4. Rosemary B

    this is a very sweet quilt. I love star blocks.
    borders are wonderful and I always have to think about many ideas and then decide.
    I have a few quilt tops waiting right now for the final decision.

    We live near so many restaurants. We have been making the effort to get delivery or pick up at many of our favorite small restaurants at least three times a month. Which is fine. Since 2013 I have been caring for my parents and some how that collided with my revelation that I hate preparing meals. I am so fortunate that hubbs does not mind my simple meals now. My favorite places to get dinner are Panera, and a local restaurant called Blue Ridge Grill. Both meals are so much food,
    I have been hand sewing binding a few quilts, getting them off and out.
    Then, so many many works in progress.
    Happy Monday

  5. Linda B

    I am playing around with a little applique/embroidery on a pre sewn cloth. I suppose as a table topper. Experimenting to see if I like this method of applique. And something to do in the evenings in front of the TV. But daytime…still working on tax prep/year end stuff. Yuck.

  6. I know I’m in your picture, but I didn’t pose very prettily, did I? 🙂 It was fun to participate, though – thanks, again for doing that! I can’t join in this week, but hope to again soon. Your To the Nines quilt looks great – I like what you did for the borders.

  7. AJ

    Sigh, one step forward and then the next day stepping back. We all have had those days and yes, I agree it was a good move. In my opinion, the border works when there are an odd number of star blocks (it looks great on three sides) but that last side with only two stars just doesn’t seem right.
    It’s always encouraging to me when other quilters struggle with choices and then explain why they make their decisions. It helps me when I need to make choices. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Cindy Roth

    Great quilt. Here is a tip. After the quilt is pieced and before you put it on your quilting machine, put a line of stitching 1/4 inch from each raw edge of the quilt. This will help hold the seams in place and prevent the seams from pulling apart when quilting the quilt. I do this with any quilt that has pieced borders or no borders with lots of seams.

  9. Really lovely quilt. I’m sure you’ll find another way to use that border, so don’t think of it as wasted time. Never wasted time, just pre-planning work for the future! BTW – I agree with you on your virtual quilt retreats. They are a great way to quilt with others, to make new friends, to find inspiration and stay connected to our wonderful world of quilting which you help make so much fun.

  10. Totally agree the border was a distraction and took away from this beauty! I have never eaten at an Outback restaurant. (none around us) Would love to try it some day. Working on hand piecing log cabin blocks … have a lovely week 🙂

  11. June Neigum

    Like your quilt. Maybe just a thin border of a plain color for the eyes to rest on would be an alternative for your next one. That border will come in handy on another quilt for sure.

  12. Much better without the border, but who knew until you tried it! I started piecing the extra blocks for my F2F3 quilts. I have six different blocks cut out, but quit because I was starting to have trouble remembering what blocks I had selected!

  13. Joan Sheppard

    This star quilt is awesome! Going to the Veterans Hospital tomorrow. Hard to see a hospital with hundreds of people there – all soldiers that have served in a war on foreign soil. Young, old, men, women. Thanks for your dedication to making these quilts of Valor.
    Still cleaning! Thanks for the nudge – found SEVERAL bags of medium size pieces of polar fleece. Most pieces about the size of a tissue, so I sewed them together and made 6 small kennel blankets for the Humane Soc. Good for cats and dogs and easy to clean – I just hate having to completely clean my machine after sewing fleece. My overlock went toes up and I’m trying to decide new versus repair. I leaning a lot toward one that self threads but do I really need it? Thanks

  14. Michele Bretz

    I agree when you changed your mind on pulling off the old border. Looks so much better the second way. Wonder if you know if they do QOV for a brand new widow since her husband never got one? If not, I’ve asked the widow to save his clothes and I will make her a memorial quilt. He was my 1st Vice Commander for my KWVA Chapter and a dear friend.

  15. Nancy Bekedam

    I was thinking that border was a great addition! But too big, is too big. The final quilt is a beauty as well! And that Bloomin’ Chicken–who knew! My stomach is growling at 8 AM!?!

  16. Trial and testing. Sometimes you have to do it to find out what works and what didn’t. The final quilt works well and as you say, the border blocks will not be wasted. Good result.

  17. Susan Nixon

    Thanks for the picture of the bloomin’ chicken – you mentioned it on our retreat day, too, so it must have been good! It certainly looks good. I would love to have them make a Vidalia bloomin’ onion. Yum! I liked the quilt top both ways, and a soldier will, too.

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