10/09/2016

A Bit About Borders....


Sometimes  I notice stitchers do things because it's the way it's always done and don't seek a better or more inventive approach.  I can count myself among these stitchers even though I'm trying to expand my horizons.  The first time I saw blocks assembled so that the sashing, border, and blocks were harmonious as a work of art was when the late Leslie Erhlich assembled her blocks from a fan round robin...


This is on a dark brown velvet and the laces were hand dyed by Leslie to pick up the colors from the block.. As you can see the sashing is anything but simple and is embellished with stitching that extends into both the blocks and the borders and unifies the entire piece. Notice the detail in the lower corner.

This round robin goes back a long, long way.  It's easy to pick out the blocks I worked on as I always painted a special button for each.
The majority of times CQers assemble blocks with a simple sashing and a "ho-hum" border...like the majority of quilts.. Either there is a sashing between the blocks or the blocked are abutted to each other and most often the borders are simple bands of color...

Not that I don't appreciate the work and beauty of these quilts but I am always stunned by the occasional quilt that goes beyond these parameters.









And this is certainly such a quilt..  But even though the border has all the elements of the quilt, it seems to get lost.
I like a border that stands on its own and is also an integral part of the quilt.











When I do  a spider web I go to Helen Stevens for inspiration and when I am about to do a border my "go-to" person is ALWAYS Allie Aller.  Like the quilt above the border in Allie's has incorporated all the elements of the center but at the same time it stands alone while it enhances the quilt as a whole..








This crazy quilt is also Allie's and an entirely different and unique approach to borders. The entire pink outer border is highly embellished.















If you follow her quilts on her blog you will see her borders are all tailored to each quilt and add immensely to the entire piece...  Again the outer border on this quilt is highly embellished which is a point I'm trying to remember as I start thinking borders for the anniversary quilt.


But her ultimate borders were the ones on this quilt which went to Houston a couple years ago..  It's difficult to see in the complexity of this border in a photograph.  Not only is it complex it is all hand embellished.

















 
 
This shot of it hanging on her design wall gives a better idea of the work involved.



























But one of my favorites is this small quilt that is itself an elaborate border for a piece of embroidery. I love all the diverse elements in this border.  It's my inspiration as I'm choosing trims and elements for my anniversary.  I marvel at the light fabric near the center that has the huge floral elements and works beautifully.  I would have never considered it in a million years and I just love it.



Here is a close up of one section and you can see how Allie combines seemingly unlikely fabrics and trims.  The lace above the stitching looks like ordinary machine lace from a curtain or tablecloth.  I've always wanted to use this piece as an inspiration for a bag.  It's the diversity of elements that speaks to me and I keep coming back again and again to look at it.







I just recently visited Allie's blog and she's starting a new project and laying out these trims to consider.  Here I was yesterday considering just ONE woven trim and a couple pieces of cording.  I'm going to have to give this a lot more thought..  and the next time you're assembling blocks think of Allie's borders...


6 comments:

Willa said...

Nice retrospective on borders. Allie is a master. I love innovative borders too Gerry!

Shirlee Fassell said...

Great information! I love Allie's quilts.

Allison Aller said...

You are so kind, Gerry! It is so much fun to see my work through your eyes. thank you!

Marilyn said...

One of the reasons that I like to make books is because I suck at borders. But maybe I'll learn one of these days. Probably the most adventurous border I have done is on my dresden plate cq. I'll send a picture of it in an email. Plain borders but I dressed them up a bit with fmq

margaret said...

some beauties here off to check out her blog now, I fo have one of her books which is very inspiring and thinking maybe it is time to make another crazy quilt

FredaB said...

Hi Gerry

I was lucky enough to see Leslie's quilt at my 1st. CQ retreat in Colorado. I was so impressed and in awe of her work. The funny thing is I am thinking border right now for one of my pieces and last week I started thinking of Leslie and her dyed border.
Deju Vue. I wish she were still with us.

Hugs
FredaB

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts