Saturday, January 20, 2018

Change the Border, Change the Quilt

"Our true nationality is mankind." H.G. Wells

Bordering the Spiderwebs
I sewed the scrappy little spiderwebs.  Despite the waviness of the edges, the sides are the same length; a border will stabilize it. That's where it got interesting.

There's just enough of the white print... but it looks dull and unfinished.
Border ideas for spiderweb quilt
Top left: spiderwebs sewn
Top right: white border only
Bottom left: narrow purple inner border
Bottom right: narrow blue inner border

The blue works better and gives some needed definition. Funny how quiet the white print looked before it was cut into kites. Now the spiderwebs are lost on this print. Using it as a border just makes things worse.

Perhaps a quieter white would do the trick.

Back through the stash for another border choices. White microdot is certainly quieter but just looks empty against all the busyness. I wish I'd noticed it before cutting the kites; it might have worked well there. Also, the inner border is a pretty blue but that shade doesn't add to the conversation.

Another border choice for the spiderweb quilt

Finally I really sat and looked at the fabrics in this top: red, pink, white, blue-green, green. The turquoise green grid print has languished in the stash for several years. Even though the color makes me smile, it's never fit anywhere. But look how well it blends with the lighter green stars. So... I used it for a single border. No inner border at all.

Spiderweb baby quilt top with sea green border
What a difference these potential borders made. The "wrong" ones deadened the quilt but this turquoise green gives presence to the spiderwebs. The reds, whites, and pinks are {almost} back in place rather than moving all around the top. The color actually corrals and heightens all those other greens and prints.

Hopefully my perseverance in taking time to select the right fabric for the border is a harbinger of many more good decisions in 2018. {Let's ignore my typical "full speed ahead" questionable choice of the pink and white print for the stars. That's so last year.}


Dining with the Locals
While visiting Dallas last week we had lunch at the Communion Cafe. What an interesting concept. They converted a auto repair shop waiting room into this sophisticated cafe serving excellent coffees, teas, and entrees.

Communion Cafe

The auto bay conversion is even more striking. Large tables and sofa groupings in the front allow people to freely interact. Behind them is a closed area available for hire as a work space. It's arranged so you can safely leave your work there although it's as light as the outer area due to more floor to ceiling windows. The combination cafe/co-working space/meeting place created by these young owners excites me. I wish them well.

Co-working space at Communion Cafe

We seem to dine at former auto shops frequently. One of our favorite local hideaways is Maga's Restaurant.

Maga's Restaurant

Maga cooks while her sisters wait. She's an excellent chef. {Her chicken tostadas are my favorite.} An original mural and interesting artwork adorn the interior. When you attend Quilt Festival Houston, you can get here on MetroRail {with a 12 minute walk at the end} or on the bus {with only a two block walk.}

Mural at Maga's Restaurant

Speaking with owners and staff is one of the many joys of dining at independent cafes. I wish there were more of them. Of course, in order to have more, we must patronize them regularly. Where's your favorite cafe or coffee shop?

Enjoy the day, Ann

36 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your considerations for the border fabric. The turquoise that you chose is a winner. It enhances the star shapes while containing all the busy-ness. We prefer to patronize "independent" eateries, too.

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    1. Thanks for writing, Nann. This was just some scraps but I'd like it to look better. What I thought would work was not what actually worked. I'm glad there are others who prefer independent cafes.

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  2. You’ve convinced me that I need to spend more time considering options! Interesting eating establishments! Much prefer to see old buildings cleverly reinvented than more development.

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    1. Now if I could just convince myself to take the time each time. I agree it's fun to see how people change these old buildings and they certainly have lots of life in them.

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  3. So interesting to see the permutations for borders before you made your final choice. It was definitely the right fabric and colour to choose. It really brings out the blue and turquoise stars and also the pink flowers on the white background ones. Such a pretty quilt. Well done for finishing it.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Once I find the right one, it's so obvious but I was very confused about what would work and the quilt was looking worse and worse.

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    1. I'm glad you liked the post, Karee.

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  5. The turquoise green is perfect for your stars, it really sets them off! I too have been making spiderwebs, but I htink I'll opt for no border.

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    1. Oh, boy. It will be fun to see yours. These are truly scrappy leftovers but I still wanted them to look good. I think the white print for stars was a mistake but it seemed quiet when I first sewed them. Good recovery.

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  6. As I was going from picture to picture with your explanations I thought to myself, "I think I'd try turquoise or aqua as a border." But, I would never be so bold as to tell you what to try so I figured I just wouldn't comment. Then. . . . . you found the perfect fabric and sewed on a border that really makes this quilt sparkle. Great minds think alike (ha!).

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    1. Except yours works better. It took me a while to figure this out and you got it immediately. Thanks, Better Twin.

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  7. I can never settle on a border so don't most of the time although I can see how they add to a quilt.

    Since my husband and I worked in restaurants (and met while working at one) for part of our early working life we don't actually enjoy going out to eat but prefer to whip up epicurean delights at home.

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    1. I just like borders so it's worth the effort.
      What fun to create epicurean delights at home. I just cook regular stuff. And sometimes wish I had a chef.

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  8. The border fabric that you selected works very well! The cafe looks and sounds delicious :)

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    1. Thanks, Deb. I'm glad I used it here. It made a big difference. Both the cafes are good but Maga's is my favorite. And it's closer to home. Ha.

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  9. That border is the perfect choice - it does make all the difference in the quilt. I don't think we have any auto shop turned restaurants in my area that I know of, but I don't eat out that much. It does sound like a fabulous concept.

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    1. Thanks, Shasta. Turquoise made the difference.
      I’m so impressed with the younger generation. Such vision and willingness to experiment.

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  10. I like that teal border on the baby quilt!

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    1. Thanks, Angie. I think it works well, too.

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  11. Thanks for showing us the rejects as well as your final choice. I often think I know what I will use to bind a quilt, but if I audition I always end up with something else that works much better. This turquoise enhances the spiderwebs and helps to make everything look very coherent.

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    1. Not every idea turns out and I prefer to see what doesn't work as well as what does. My "binding box" is usually full of the choices that didn't work out. It's interesting how often they work for another quilt and like you, how often I thought they were the right choice.

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  12. Love the colors in your spider web andI your final choice for the border! Those resturants are so cool, I'm getting hungry ....

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    1. Thanks, Claire.
      It was fun to see how they remade the spaces. So much better than constantly tearing things down.

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  13. Definitely a good choice ! The turquoise green makes the difference.

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    1. Thanks, Sophie. I'm glad I figured it out at last.

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  14. It's always surprising to see how a quilt will talk to us -- you are so right about all the borders you eliminated. And, the one you picked works really well. I like to audition borders. It's often a surprise to see what does work.

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie. They were wrong but I was so sure they'd be right. Ha.
      You have a good idea. I think auditioning is the way to go. Nothing like seeing them next to each other.

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  15. Glad you found a home for the turquoise. It's the perfect border!

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    1. Thanks, Em. I guess it was waiting for this space.

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  16. Wow! Way to make the quilt 'pop'! I so enjoyed seeing some of your previous selections and how they just didn't add to the conversation. So many times our initial ideas are a dud and it's tough to work away from that original thinking. And I don't think the white microdot was a mistake at all. It looks like you used it very well and made it look even better than originally planned! There's always an extra spring in my step when that happens!

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    1. You've written about problems you had with some of your quilts. This is just a quick little quilt of real scraps but I was amazed how differently it could look. And yes, my original ideas are frequently duds. Nothing like seeing the fabrics next to each other. You're right; I feel so good getting this right.

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  17. Yes, what great joy when we find the right piece of fabric - really makes the whole quilt come together and sing.

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    1. The quilt does sing now, Lynn. Thanks.

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  18. Wonderful little Spider Web quilt, the sea green border is a winner.

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