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Ideas for a really unique border?

Ideas for a really unique border?

Old 11-09-2019, 06:11 PM
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Default Ideas for a really unique border?

Any ideas for a unique border???

This is my One Block Wonder (aka kaleidoscope) quilt top which has lived most of its 12 years of existence in and out of a pizza box hoping not to always be a UFO!


For me, the hardest part of the whole quilt was arranging the darned blocks! Cutting and sewing was easy - trying to get them to at least look like they were playing together in some kind of arrangement... not so much!

When they were still only blocks i periodically felt guilty about them not being a quilt. When the guilt was too much, every once in a while i would throw the blocks on the design wall or on the floor and try to arrange them. They always ended up back in the box.



One New Years Eve when it was snowing and blowing so hard that i could barely find the house again while out walking the dogs, i decided to try arranging the blocks one more time. I already decided that i wasnt making any more blocks for this one because it was so hard to come up with a layout. I was resolved to just work with what i had - maybe making a smaller quilt or a wallhanging. Anyway, it must have been the most boring New Year’s Eve of my life (or maybe the 51st time to arrange the blocks was the charm) but i finally stumbled upon something i could live with! �� The blocks are now - finally - a quilt top!


I was wondering if anyone here might have any ideas for a really unique border for this quilt??? The customary border i have seen for this type of quilt consists of 6” borders on all four sides of the quilt of the “mother” yardage to showcase the source of the blocks. While I dont think there is anything wrong with that, i am really leaning toward coming up with a really special border for a quilt whose completion has eluded me for so long! I guess what i’m saying is that i am hoping for this quilt to go out with a bang instead of a whimper! ��


Just because i think it “should” i probably need to include enough of the “mother” fabric to be recognizable, but maybe not overdo it. In consideration of the need for some kind of spark to make things “pop” i shopped for additional accent yardage in most of the key colors. The quilt itself reads a little dark, but so did the original fabric i cut the blocks from.

Somewhere in my mind (a dangerous place) i have a lot of ideas right now but not much direction! Everything ranging from a wider border on just one side, to splitting the border on top/left and bottom/right into separate regions of something or other!



The borders could include some/all of the accent fabric, the “mother” fabric, and maybe small fussy cut blocks on point of the bear, eagle, etc. Any ideas???

The “mother” fabric is from the Moda National Park Series (Yosemite). My husband and sons are wildlife enthusiasts and it just seemed to be a good idea at the time. Hopefully they have all forgotten about it by now and until i can come up with something to get it outta the pizza box one last time!

You all are so creative and accomplished (and encouraging) i was hoping maybe you wouldnt mind if i bounced this off of you... All of the dark blocks made it really hard to arrange but i did the best i could. I do like making the blocks, but next time im going with the psychedelic talking flowers and be done with it!!!

Thank you in advance for any suggestions that come to mind ��

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Old 11-09-2019, 06:23 PM
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I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions for you on the borders for the quilt, but I wanted to say that I think you did a great job of putting the blocks together. I googled images for one block wonder quilts and there are a lot of ideas out there that are more than simply a border of the mother fabric. I saw one where there were blocks to the side of the main images in the mother fabric (what would be your bear, eagle, etc) and then an asymmetrical layout of two narrow borders in a black background. It looked pretty cool.
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:28 PM
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Thank you so much, Tish - i‘m not much of a “googler” 😊 but sure will try to look that up!
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:43 PM
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When I look at your fabric choices, the dark green calls out to me. And by the way, when I've done these One Block Wonders before, I've used the original fabric to make a pillow sham. I do enjoy seeing the original with the quilt.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:03 PM
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You're a hoot. I enjoyed your post as much as your photos. It made me giggle, and all your references to that pizza box made me think of a unique--albeit, terribly goofy-- idea for your border.

Wanna hear my goofy idea? Pizza slices and pepperoni circles. You've got all those triangles that look like pizza slices. You've got the colors of pizza toppings: bacon, ground beef, spinach, tomato sauce, mozzarella, pineapple, mushrooms....

Okay, I'm being silly. You've got that image stuck in my head and right now I'm hungry enough to live 12 years myself inside a pizza box.

Time to think "outside the box." haha.

All kidding aside, I'm thinking the sky blue border first (narrow) then wide golden border to brighten the whole thing up and draw the eye from inside to outside, and bind in forest.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:39 PM
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Thank you so much, zozee! Well, sometimes ya just gotta figure out a way to laugh or you’ll cry your eyes out! Believe me, most of the time this quilt was no laughing matter... when i started making the blocks, at first i was like “what were you thinking”??? But turns out the cutting and sewing was a piece of cake compared to getting it laid out.

I like your idea to start out with the blue, gold, etc and then just build out from there. Maybe i can jump start myself by making a few of the animal blocks first and then reverse-engineer back to the border to see where they might fit? I work backwards a lot when i’m making a quilt, so i must just like doing everything the hard way!

As for everything else you said... you just made me hungry!!!
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:46 PM
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Maybe just lay long pieces of various colors around the perimeter to see what pops?

I am the queen of Complicating Matters. If there's a way to make something simple just the opposite, I'll figure it out.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:40 PM
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AprilM ... so glad that you persisted, as the result is spectacular!
As for a border ... I'd be tempted to go borderless, framing it up with a simple binding.
No idea what size it is now, but if too small, it would be a lovely wall hanging.

Yes, the mother fabric is nice to include as a reference, but that does not have to be on the front.
By chance do you have enough, to use it for the backing? or part of it?

What a nice collection of go-with fabrics you have assembled.
If not for this quilt, they could be used for another quilt, that coordinated with the OBW!
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:55 PM
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Oh that’s just gorgeous!!!! I really love OBW’s & Yours is wonderful! This may sound crazy but...what about a 1.5” inner border of a narrow stripe on an angle? Does that make sense?Lets just say I can totally picture it and it’s amazing! At least what I see is Please let us know what you decide on.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:57 PM
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I'm sure you are so glad to have it together! Congrats. What about one of your accent colors as the main border, using a fussy cut bear or something as cornerstones in the border. Simple, but still effective. Or maybe a couple different accent fabrics in a thinner width for a multi-border feel, that would total the size of a single cornerstone
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