Sunday, April 18, 2010

Playing with Borders

Empire Star Transformed

I transformed an Empire Star block into a new block and designed this quilt top 13 April 2010.

It needs a border.

What if I extend the pattern out in this manner using black fabric?

The black provides a dramatic frame to the quilt top, but it still needs something to complete it.

What if I replace the black with colors from the quilt arranged in a kind of checkerboard?

This extends the pattern nicely, but it is not a border.

What if I go back to the black and add a small white border?

This now looks complete to me. The white is less a border and more a background for the pattern and border to rest on.

What if I give the second attempt a second chance and add a checkerboard border using the colors from the quilt?

This too feels complete.

I like both these solutions. The black is more dramatic and would make a good wall hanging. The checkerboard is homier; it would make a good bed quilt.

For more border ideas go to My Posts by Subject in the sidebar on the right and click on Borders.


  1. I like what you did , extending the blocks and it is fun seeing the border ideas. Different borders really change the look.

  2. Marj

    Borders do change the look, sometimes substantially.

    In the two quilts above the borders extend and develope the quilt pattern. The result is that the original pattern is more or less confined to 3 figure eights in the center of the quilt and the borders are the bulk of the quilt; they are what grabs our attention.

  3. Wayne, I like what you did, too. These are two different looks, but they both "contain" the inner design nicely. I think that's why the first design felt unfinished...the design just ran out to nowhere. Now the design is contained bu closing the loops and by putting the rectangle around it (either the small skinny black line or the checkerboard). Nice! Both are great. I wonder what would happen if you changed the black to a dark purple and/or dark green/blue (depending on which line was being extended)...

  4. Stephanie

    Closing the loops tied up the loose ends and completed the design. What often happens to loose ends is that a border will be placed smack up against them and the pattern feels cut off rather than completed.

    Changing the black to purple or green/blue would be an interesting experiment. Increasing the number of inner pattern blocks would be worth experimenting with as well.