Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Quilts Without Borders, or Works-In-Progress Wednesday

Hello, Lovelies!  Despite a freak neck/shoulder injury that hit me out of the blue on Sunday, I have still managed to sneak in a bit of sewing amid the bustle of holiday preparations.  I've been carefully cutting this border stripe print for my Jingle quilt, single layer so I can make sure the seam will land exactly where I want it on the stripe:

Proposed Jingle Borders
As you can see, there's a gap between the center medallion and the striped border that will be filled with another fabric and I haven't decided what that will be yet.  Green?  Red metallic?  Gold?  I'm only cutting one strip at a time because I have to press down on my acrylic ruler with my left arm for rotary cutting, and my left trapezius muscle (giant triangle that extends from my left shoulder to the middle of my upper back and all the way up my neck) has decided that the week before Christmas is a good time to spasm...  I'm alternating moist heat with ice packs and taking muscle relaxers and pain meds, but I'm trying to use that muscle as little as possible so it can heal.  Very annoying!  

Something Like This?
I am not even sure I like this idea anymore.  I go back and forth between loving this border print and hating it.  I did use a fair amount of metallic fabrics in my pieced blocks and applique, so this border print is supposed to tie those in, balance out all of that red and green, and make the whole thing look a little less cutesy.  I like how it frames the center medallion like a picture frame, especially if I do a good job mitering the borders.  At this point I need to stop second-guessing my design ideas and just GIT-'ER-DONE, you know what I mean?  I started making this Jingle BOM quilt back in April of 2013 and it deserves to be finished by now.  I'm planning to quilt it with a double layer of batting, add a hanging sleeve, and display it as a wall quilt during the Christmas holidays.  

The other thing I've accomplished -- brace yourselves! -- is that all 36 pineapple log cabin blocks have finally been sewn together into a quilt top!  YAY!!!  I started this quilt in June of 2014 so I've been working on this one for four and a half years already.  This one is going on my own bed, and I've selected a wool batting for warmth and dimension.

Pineapple Log Cabin Top is Finished, Just Needs Borders!
What you're seeing in the photo above is only half of this California King sized top.  When I drape it over the rollers of my longarm machine it drapes onto the carpet on both sides.

I Hope This Isn't Too Big for My Frame!
This quilt is the reason that I chose a 12' frame for my longarm machine, and nearly went with a 14' instead.  I really hope this fits on the frame once the borders are on!  I know it will fit the canvas leaders, but I'm not sure whether the machine needle will be able to reach all the way to the outside edges.  If not, well -- I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

The Plan: One Skinny Blue Border + One Wide Floral Border

My Kaffe Fassett Border Print
So that's where I am today.  I can only spend 10-15 minutes at a time cutting before I start to feel that stupid neck/shoulder muscle tensing and tightening up again, but I would love to get these two tops completed and hung in the To-Be-Quilted closet by the end of the week!  The pineapple quilt sections had been spread out all over the guest room bed and I needed that cleared out so my mom can sleep there on Christmas Eve.  The baby who's getting my not-yet-started clam shell quilt was born on the 14th -- that means Jingle needs to get off my wall so I can lay out the clam shells!

I'm linking up with:


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

what lovely work!! I love the border for Jingle Bells and the Pineapple quilt!! I have been watching this baby grow for years and I love it -- good work. I sure hope your muscles work out and that you well be back to normal soon.

Susan said...

I can see why your waffling on that outer border. For me, it's a scale issue, as I think that outer border needs more heft, as in a bigger print, or wider stripe. But I totally understand the desire to finish it, as I have one in that state also. You'll just have to decide how much time you want to spend on the border vs getting it done and moving on.
As for the inner border, I'm thinking a calm green, not bright. Red would be like arrows pointing to the center, and I don't think you want that. Gold might be ok, but there's already enough in the border frame. Try placing different fabrics in that space to see the overall effect before cutting. Good luck!

Libby in TN said...

You are not the only one suffering neck/shoulder/back issues this season! Take it easy, don't push yourself. I love the pineapples!

Gretchen Weaver said...

I like the border print in the center, I think it adds interest to the quilt. Take it easy with the neck and shoulder. Getting these quilts into the flimsy stage by the end of the week isn't worth suffering, especially if it delays the healing process. You need to be in good shape for the festivities next week!

Ramona said...

Your pineapple quilt is drool worthy! Oh my, but it’s gorgeous! I hope your neck and shoulder feel better quickly. Merry Christmas!

Libby in TN said...

PS: I think we need to form a support group -- Quilts without Borders...

Amanda said...

I've done two quilts that are too large for my midarm. I'm still working on the method since I've only done two but let me know if you want to hear about my few experiences.

Anonymous said...

I love your Jingle quilt! I am still hand quilting mine, ughh! I think the gold is perfect for Christmas and the border is gorgeous. Keep it! The middle medallion I think should have a green border. I also have been watching your pineapple quilt, it will look nice on your bed. A lot of hard work. Keep it up.

Bonnie said...

Both quilts look great. I agree that a soft green (maybe the same green as in the border fabric) would set off the center but wouldn't scream. Your pineapple layout is wonderful. You could check your needle position to see if it will reach all of the areas to be quilted. Is it a square quilt? If not you can run it the narrower way if your quilting design works. It really is a wonderful quilt in the works.

chrisknits said...

Everything is looking spectacular. Sorry for the injury. hope it heels quickly and you can get it all done.

Louise said...

Both pieces are looking so grand! I really like the border print and the 'picture frame' effect. I hope your shoulder straightens up and flies right soon. No fun to be hurting around the holidays. Or any time for that, matter!

Merry Christmas to you and your family :) said...

Read often, don't comment... much. I LOVE the border print. Really does tie it all together and brings a level of sophistication!! I think I would go with the red for the inner border! Keep it simple! I have suffered for more than a decade with neck and shoulder issues and really hate giving up the time for them! Sure takes the steam out of progress.

Anonymous said...

Jingle quilt is turning out really nice - it might be nice to pull a darker green from your fabrics as a narrow border around the center block. It will give the eyes a stopping point and also frame the center. To carry the same theme, I would probably try to use the same color for the binding. Whichever you choose, it is going to be stunning!

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