Friday, August 08, 2008

Decisions, Decisions!

"What are your favourite colours these days?" I asked S on the phone recently.

I had a pretty good idea what the answer would be, but it's always best to check. When you're a few weeks shy of six, your favourite colours can change as often as your underwear.

"Pink and purple," she told me.

Aha! I love it when I'm right!

So the hexagons are all together --- finished today. Seen here guarding my messy sewing room closet from prying eyes!

But as any quilt maker knows, that doesn't mean I'm done.

I'm thinking borders here.

Pink and purple borders.

Which is where you all come in! Time is of the essence. It really needs to be finished finished by next Friday.

I've decided on the first border, a pale-ish pink batik with shades of purple.

Where I need help is in deciding what to use for the outside border.

What do you think of this combination?

I'd bind it in the same dark purple.

Or, how about this wild batik,

which I would attempt to tame a little with a dark purple binding.

I could also drive to the quilt shop tomorrow and find something there.

Or one of you might have a brilliant suggestion which wouldn't require me to drive anywhere. Because if I go to the quilt shop, there goes the entire day!

When her little brother got his quilt in the mail, S confided to her dad that she would like the next quilt Grandma made for her to be a star quilt too.....

But Grandma doesn't do encores. Especially when they'd take as long to do as that one! So hexagons it is. I've used each fabric at least twice so she can have some fun matching them.

OK, I lied! There are a couple in the bottom right hand corner that don't have mates. I was getting desperate at that stage, OK?

Oh, and one other thing. Is there a formula for how wide one's borders should be for the most pleasing effect? I'm always making it up as I go along, but in this case it would be good to at least be aware of the "rules!"


Tanya Brown said...

I confess that I find piecing hexagons intimidating. You must have the patience of one of those proverbial saints!

My vote is for the first exterior border rather than the batik. The batik is beautiful, but its complexity begins to compete with the rest of the quilt top. That is, unless you've already used the batik, in which case I will change my mind and declare that the batik was really my first choice all along.

Your star quilt is stunning. There's something about pairing clear, saturated colors with black that really makes them pop.

sMC said...

lucky S. Love the quilt. Agree with Tanya the second is too busy imho. Try a narrow dark purple then the pink then the purple. Have sent you an email with a mock up I did to show you.

Molly said...

Tanya, it was easier than I'd expected. Kinda fun in fact!

Birdy---Your suggestion was brilliant. I was in denial about how washed out the pink looked against the hexagons---because I wanted to use it! You and Tanya were right about the wild batik. I knew that, but have trouble trusting my gut, without backup....Your suggestion, with pics, no less, is perfect! That's what I'll do.

Thank you both for talking me in off the "ugly" ledge!

Kacey said...

While I am absolutely in love with batiks, I agree with Tanya. The second purple border draws your eye to it, rather than to the center of the quilt. I have all the "P.S. I Love You" quilt books. They are baby quilts (I love them) in three different sizes. The borders they use are cut 2 1/2 inches and 3 1/2 inches. I would love to send you copies of my favorites --- if I had an e-mail address. You can reach me at Perhaps you can delete my e-mail address by deleting the whole comment.

Isabelle said...

I couldn't possibly comment, being too impressed by your quiltiness, but one day I too will make a quilt. When I retire. In the winter, when I don't have to garden.

Lucky S.

meggie said...

Lucky, lucky S. Sure she will 'love hers best' once she gets it.
When you mentioned 'rules' I cringed! Are there rules??

Molly said...

Kacey---your comment sent me running to my sewing room to find one of those books which I'd bought for a song a few months back at a quilters' flea market. I'd forgotten all about it!

Isabelle---I can picture your quilt---all the beautiful colours we've seen in your garden---but no orange!

Meggie---not rules, but guidelines, like balance, and proportion, and having the wits to check with your quilty friends before ruining all your hard work with a wild and completely unsuitable purple batik border!

Ali Honey said...

Sounds like you have already had good advice from those before me. Good! Please show us how it looks complete.

Anonymous said...

It's just gorgeous. I like the first purple fabric and agree with the other that the second is too busy.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Molly I'm dittoing (is that a word?) the 3 borders, narrow dark purple/pink/purple. There's a wonderful math principle (Fibonacci's Rule) which I couldn't explain here (I used to teach math!) and a thing called the Golden Proportion (don't run screaming!) but I usually use something like 1/2/4 inches. I just like the way it looks. :) Blessings, marlene

Anonymous said...

The golden rule is always do you like it. You are not making it for anyone but yourself and the delightful recipient. GO with what looks good to your eye. Rule makers / guideline makers can mind their business!

PS I like the first one, but I'm only saying because you asked otherwise I can mind my own business too.

Thimbleanna said...

I like the fabrics in the first choice best -- but then you know that's the best choice already judging by all of your other responses! When you find the rules, just remember, rules are meant to be broken!

Kacey said...

There are lots of quilt books with rules or suggestions out the ears.... some of them are worth paying attention to. (like not ending a sentence with a preposition) My first quilt teacher told us, "Quilts are meant to keep people you love, warm!" Mostly, I think you have to please yourself and use good sense. If something doesn't look right to you, it probably isn't right.... you just know.... you don't have to have a reason. Among the important rules I learned are: exact quarter inch seams, press the seams towards the darkest print, try to make sure seams are pressed in opposite directions so they "nest" together, press as you go, if you have an obvious mistake...fix it before you go any further or you will always see it, grade your fabrics into dark, medium and light....use a "ruby beholder" if uncertain as to color group, use appropriate prints together (don't try to use batiks with tiny calicos, etc.) wash and iron fabrics before using, be careful of really dark prints (they tend to fade with time) and a million others. They aren't really rules, but meant to make your quilting life easier. Something I discovered last winter is Lavender spray startch from "Mary Ellen Products" online. It is expensive, so I only use it to iron my quilting fabrics, but it really keeps them from fraying and gives them a bit of body while you are working on a project.

Kacey said...

Hi Molly, I put up a post with some of my recent quilts. (You inspired me) I screwed up my link to your site, but I'm working on fixing it right now.

Stomper Girl said...

It might just be the computer monitor at my end, but I thought the first border made that lovely batik pink look sickly, whereas the second one, though a busy pattern, was more complementary. But as I say, this is not reliable and only you will know because you see the actual colours. I also see that I am the only person to go for the second combo and that I am a non-sewer so I'm pretty sure I'm not to be taken too seriously....

Molly said...

Stomper---I think anyone who owns a purple coat is qualified to offer an opinion on these purples!
The deed is done-----dark purple[narrow], then pink, then dark purple [wide] as advised by Birdy. And I'm very pleased with it, smug almost! The longarm quilter person has it, and promised it'll be done by Wednesday...

fifi said...

I so wish someone in my family could make such rainbow quilts. I have quilt-envy.