Sunday, April 6, 2014

Final Border Blocks

The last, pieced borders for my Lifetime quilt go only on the top and the bottom.  These blocks at 7 1/2 inches square are larger than the side blocks and sit side by side with a 1/2 inch sashing to separate and frame them.  At the ends of the border strips are star blocks anchoring each corner of the quilt and reflecting the star idea of the center motif.  In the Illustrator drawing the stars are all the same, but in actuality, each star is different.  All these blocks were paper pieced if I remember right.

Top Border in Illustrator
As you can see, the center presented a problem as it is not quite long enough to accommodate two more square blocks.  This is where some creative fun comes in.  The first design was supposed to go with the floral border idea that was long defunct.  I love the cardinal, but he is better off in a tree than in my quilt.

Open star with bird (Ick!) in Illustrator

It seemed like a good idea once, but I tossed it and began to play with other ideas.  Here is the final, paper pieced open, tilted star:

Final open star in Illustrator

In the Illustrator version above the background opacity is reduced so I could see to plan the background pieces.  Now to put it all together. I didn't have quite enough fabric for the 2 1/2 inch framing border so I stitched a 1/2 inch border first in a different fabric and then added the wider one.  I still came up short so used a different fabric (same as the 1/2" border) in the corners so it blends as though it were part of the original design.

"Lifetime" top is done!

All Done!  Doesn't that make you feel all squeaky clean?  Ah, really not done yet as it still has to be backed, batted and quilted.  Stay tuned for what I did for a backing.

TIP:  Misfit spaces are a great opportunity to turn your creativity loose.

TIP:  There are loads of ways to solve fabric problems in borders and there are books available full of inspiration.  Piecing them is cheaper than buying yardage if you have something suitable on hand, or piecing may allow you a smaller purchase if you have to buy more fabric.


  1. This is really an amazing quilt. I love the pineapple style blocks in the right and left borders. I also admire how you solved your problem in the center of the top and bottom borders. The bottom one almost looks like a butterfly. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful colours, love reading about your design idea!

  3. Oh, my, your quilt is stunning. It would definitely take a lifetime for me!

    1. It took awhile to make this, but considering that I was raising a grandson and taking care of two elderly mothers, I happily worked on it when I had time and space. No rush. I look at it on my bed and sentimentally remember those years. They were busy, but good.

  4. Spectacular! I can definitely see why you call it your Lifetime quilt.

  5. This is lovely. It must have taken ages because there's so much detail in there. The mix of fabrics and designs work really well together. Congratulations!

  6. How beautiful. You are a real talent and I love your idea about being creative in the boarders - piecing too is more beautiful than plain fabric. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Beautiful design and layout!

  8. How beautiful and also how creative you are!! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  9. I do like your spacing solution. I am always happy when a mistake or odd size causes me to find a better detail than I had originally planned.