Monday, June 27, 2011

Borders are on, let the decorating begin...

 Side two of the quilt is the columns/modified coin.  If you remember from a previous post, I went a bit nuts on the freehand and ended up with multiple lengths of the columns and the resulting challenge to even the ends.  So - now side one is beautifully square - and side two is a bit more rectangular.

This side now has a triple border - two solids the same as the strips in the center and a scrappy inset.  To make scrappy border, I sewed the remaining strips in somewhat random order and then cut those sets to 2.5 inch widths.  Because the strips themselves were not all the same length, I ended up with a nice variety of short strips which I then sewed together.  I did make a point of aligning the dolphins to be right side up in the border, so there was a little revising to change direction of a few pieces.  The borders on the top and bottom are about 1/2 inch narrower than those on the sides which brought side 2 to a square instead of a rectangle.
 Before adding the final outer border, I did re-square the quilt - and measured for the edges using the length from the middle of the quilt. Happily, I was 1/8 inch or less off at the edges!

Now, the one error I did make in cutting the final lengths was to once again not measure correctly - so what I ended up with is a back for the quilt that is almost exactly the same size as the front. Oops - that will make the sandwiching a little more challenging.  I am in the process now of adding the dolphins to the front border and once those are done, I'll be able to trim the really wide borders for the front to a size that I prefer, and will once again have a front smaller than the back to make centering the quilt easier.
So - here is the finished back of the quilt. I'm very pleased with the scrappy strip in the border, though it became a little stressful to measure/finish. I finally decided to lay the scrappy border on the quilt to align the way I liked best and then trimmed the overlap.
  I did pay special attention to the corners as at one point it looked like there would be large blocks of the same fabric on two corners. Because of the dolphins, I couldn't just flip the strip over - so I pulled a few of the leftover strips out and replaced some pieces on the ends.

I'm thinking about doing a scrappy binding instead of using the dolphin batik on the border, but have some concerns about the bulk of the added seams - so the leftover scrappy strips are not suitable for the binding. Thus, I think I'll stick with the dolphin batik as it will tie both sides together nicely.

The final border work I'm doing prior to sandwiching is on the front of the quilt. I'm appliqueing dolphins along the border as the dolphin fabric in the 9 patches features bits and pieces of dolphins.  Unfortunately, there is not as much contrast as I'd like to see between the dolphins and the border teal, so I'm using a white zigzag to secure the dolphins. Three down, 24 to go...  Last night I tried satin stitch on the first two dolphins and decided that it wasn't the effect I wanted. So I spent several hours undoing those stitches and have discovered why people replace seam rippers - mine is decidedly dull now.  This is my first attempt at applique. One of many firsts with this project.  Hopefully I can finish the applique work this week and sandwich over the weekend.


Impera_Magna said...

Oh my... this quilt is going to be absolutely incredible... I love the appliqued dolphins!

Sue Frelick said...

This looks beautiful, and I love the personalized blocks!

Mary Ann and Mother said...

This will be such a special quilt because of the personalization and also the care you took with the dolphins! Great work!! If you are interested in sharing tutorials, please join us for Toot-torial Tuesdays at Thank you for considering!