Friday, September 02, 2016

Gwennie-Inspired Medallion QAL - Star Border Reveal!

 I was so excited about this month's assignment of stars in this next border!  But it hasn't been an easy-breezy task, for some reason.  As much as I love liberated stars, I really struggled with these borders this month.  And I barely finished in time.  And now I'm posting a day late, but better late than never!

For lack of a better name, I've named my two quilts Wide Basket and Tall Basket, at least until I can think up better names!  (I'm open to suggestions)

Wide Basket 30 1/2 " x 30 1/2 "

I decided to work on the Wide Basket top first, as this quilt seems to be harder for me to design and work on.  Possibly because of the limited number of fabrics and colors?  Using solids?  Who knows?

I didn't have a clear idea of where I wanted to go for this border, which makes progress hard to achieve.   And it was like pulling teeth Every. Single. Step. of the way.  But I dug in my heels and made it work, gosh darn it.  I'm not entirely happy with it, but I can't tell you why.  This quilt is the epitome of Gwen's liberated adage "If it's too short, add to it and if it's too long, chop some off."  I had to do some of both this month.

I made stars, to get started.  These finish at 4 1/2 inches.

I made some more stars.  I played with placement.  Nothing clicked for me.  Then I decided that I didn't want stars all the way around the quilt.  I want this quilt to get taller, not wider.  (I did achieve square, so that's a step in the right direction.)  So I tried coming up with other ideas of what to do. Meanwhile, we were having a heat wave and it was too hot to be upstairs in the quilt studio.  So I only sewed in the evening when it started cooling off.  

More rickrack sounded good.  I like that.  Then, after I made one star of each fabric, there were still big gaps around the border.  So I started looking through Gwen's books.  Aha!  How about some strings?  Sounds good to me!  So I made strings.

For some unknown reason, I cut those strings too short.  Now what?  Add to them, of course.  And that is why my strings have an inner border of the gold.  To make them fit.  And it works.

These two stars look like they're holding hands while they dance!
If you look closely at this photo, you can see that I had to add to the strings to get them to fit the length of the border.  I was concentrating so much on design that I had no brain left for math to get things to fit together properly.  So, I totally faked it.

This green star is one of my favorites.  I accidentally grabbed the wrong green for that one star point, and now it is even more liberated!  It makes me smile.  ;)

So now I have to really put on my thinking cap and come up with something to fit the prompt for September: "something fishy".  That sounds challenging.  I have a glimmer of an idea though, so hopefully this month's border might go easier.

Wendy at the Constant Quilter has given us the 5th and final prompt for the QAL and here are her thoughts:

Being from Maine, my theme choice for the final border is
“Something Fishy”
As with those who have gone before me (Lori, Cynthia, Cathy and Katy), you can interpret this as loosely as you like. Here are a few examples:
Fish fabric or appliques
Sea birds (they eat fish!)
Marine mammals (they eat fish too!)
Lighthouses (they see fish)
Boats (they catch fish)
Ovals and triangles (i.e. fish shaped)

So, Wendy's kind of left it wide open.  Possibilities!

Next up for some stars was the Tall Basket quilt.

This was my start.  I wanted to use the black polka dot fabric that I have in the center of each little log cabin for this "starry" border for some cohesion and to calm down that busy quilt a little.  I made very scrappy stars, because I love scrappy best.

Again, I didn't want stars completely surrounding the quilt top.  These little stars finish at 3 inches and take about 1/2 hour for each one.  They're fun to make, but they're not fast. 

Tall Basket 27" wide x 30" high
I love the way this came out!  I made the stars "dance" in the border, just to liven things up.  It's such a wild quilt top that ordinary just won't do.

side border detail

top border detail
Now to come up with "something fishy" for this top too!  Again, I have a little "seed" of an idea.  Hopefully it'll work out!

Be sure to go visit Lori's blog Humble Quilts to see the link-up for all the participants in the QAL.  There are some wonderfully fun and liberated medallion quilts being made!