Saturday, June 11, 2022

Nanu Nanu! Borders Are In Progress for My Retro '80s Building Blocks Sampler

Y'all, PROGRESS IS HAPPENING on my Retro '80s Building Blocks quilt!  I foundation paper pieced my 6" border corner blocks yesterday:

6 inch Border Corner Blocks Completed

The fabrics in my corner blocks are Kona Cotton 1019 BLACK Kona Cotton 146 GLACIERKona Cotton 25 OCEANKona Cotton 317 PERIDOTKona Cotton 476 GRELLOW, and Kona Cotton 1370 TANGERINE (By the way, this post contains affiliate links.  If you scroll all the way to the bottom, I've got links to where you can find every single fabric that I used in this quilt).  

Meanwhile, I've finally sewn the interior blocks of this quilt together.  (At which point a little devil on my shoulder whispers "You could be done with this now, if you skipped the borders..."). Begone, Devil!  Without the borders, the quilt would be too small to fit the bed!  😤

Here it is, draped (sideways) over my longarm frame for measuring:

Quilt Top Sewn Together, Sans Borders

I always take border measurements through the vertical and horizontal centers of the quilt top rather than at the edges, and that bar on my 13' long arm frame comes in handy for measuring.  It's a lot longer than my cutting table.

Here's a reminder of what I've planned for my borders:

EQ8 Rendering, 94 x 104

Here's how I'll be executing these borders.  I decided that the two innermost borders, the Kona Lipstick and Kona Black ones, should be made and attached to the quilt top first as one mitered border to give me a clean diagonal seam line connecting the quilt interior to the corner blocks.  The Kona TangerineKona GrellowKona Peridot, and Kona Ocean borders will also be pieced together first, cut to size, and then attached along with the corner blocks I made yesterday as the second border.  Finally, the outermost Kona Violet border will be attached last, individually.  

Border Construction Plan

Each rainbow stripe in my border finishes at 1.5" wide, and I'm cutting continuous 2" strips on the lengthwise grain for stability.  Meaning there is quite a bit of leftover yardage going into my stash, so you'll definitely be seeing these colors cropping up in future projects from me!  Here's that same view, colored with my fabrics:

Nanu Nanu!  Borders Inspired by Mork's Suspenders

The seams on my corner blocks are pressed towards the interior of the quilt, and the seams on the rainbow borders will be pressed towards the outside of the quilt, which will help those border seams to lock together with the seam lines on the corner blocks for an accurate match and even distribution of bulk.  With the red (Kona Lipstick) and Black inner mitered border, I decided to press the longer vertical border seams towards the red and press the shorter top and bottom border seams towards the black, so the seams will nest and lock together at the mitered corner seams.

Inner Borders Ready to Measure, Cut and Attach

I've labeled which is which so I don't get confused.  Mitering borders is fiddly and of course I'm going to want them to come out as close to perfect as humanly possible, so I need to be in the right frame of mind for that -- total concentration, not in a rush, and no sons bickering loudly about Star Wars trivia to distract me!

Assembled Quilt Top and Corner Blocks On the Design Wall

I still need to cut my 2" strips of Kona TangerineKona Grellow, and Kona Peridot (I've already cut my 2" strips of Kona Ocean), and seam them together before cutting them to size, and I need to cut my 2" strips of Kona Violet for the outermost border.  But I feel like the end is in sight!  Although the End of Piecing only brings us to the Beginning of Quilting, and I still don't know how I'm going to quilt this one...

Mork and Mindy Aired from 1978-1982

Several of you have mentioned that my color palette for this quilt just "makes you happy."  Me, too!  Although my borders were directly inspired by the iconic rainbow suspenders worn by Robin Williams on the late '70s/early '80s television show Mork & Mindy, my entire color scheme is lifted right out of the '80s. 

1980s Esprit Kids Ad.  Is She Wearing My Quilt???

This Let's-Wear-Every-Color-of-the-Rainbow-All-At-Once trend was bizarre, but it was definitely an '80s thing.  

There was Esprit, United Colors of Benetton, Punky Brewster, braided rainbow ribbon barrettes...  As clownish as these outfits look today, they still remind me of simpler times (for me, because I was a kid).  And as an adult looking back, knowing that there was a Cold War going on, planes being hijacked by terrorists, the AIDS crisis unfolding, constant fear of nuclear annihilation -- now I see a defiance in this fashion trend.  It's like "Yes, what I'm seeing and hearing on television is scary and the future feels uncertain, but I choose optimism and joy."  And who doesn't need some of THAT in 2022?!

Another 1980s Esprit Ad.  Wish I'd Worked That Muddy Teal Into My Quilt!

If these 1980s colors make YOU happy and you'd like to channel this era in your next quilting project, you're in luck -- I'm about to share my entire palette of 18 'eighties-inspired Kona Solids used in my Retro '80s Building Blocks quilt, along with (affiliate) links to where you can purchase yardage in each color.  If you do make a project inspired by my color palette, I'd love to see it!  Email me a picture!

Rebecca's Retro '80s Color Palette in Kona Solids:

So, I'll be working on these borders over the next few days and hope to have a finished quilt top to share with you soon!  I'm linking up with my favorite linky parties, listed on the left sidebar of my blog.  Happy Stitching!


chrisknits said...

I love it! Benneton was one of my favs!!! I am a girl from the 80's. Sitting and listening to some 80's music right now. LOL The borders are stunning! This is going to be such a striking quilt.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Your quilt top is looking so crisp!!! Perfectly pieced! I enjoyed looking at those 80s ads and reading your fun comments. But did anyone in real life really dress like that?

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

such pretty colors - I hope all goes well with your border!! I think the railings of the quilting frames come in so handy for this kind of thing too - I use mine that way too said...

Love your plan for the borders! It is the perfect vibe to compliment your top. As for the quilting, perhaps a Baptist fan design in a thread that will blend? Whatever you do, it will be wonderful. Well done!!

Sandy said...

Congratulations! Your quilt is really coming along! The colors are definitely happy, though that era came along after I was already grown and had children of my own. The borders are really going to add some more personality to the quilt. :)

CarolE said...

I love the look of your border and I will be very interested in seeing how you quilt this. You mentioned measuring your quilt on the longarm for the borders and I thought - why didn't I think of that! Will be doing that from now on!

Barb N said...

You certainly nailed the colors! Great to get to the border stage of this monster quilt! Let the good times roll!

Pam said...

WOWSA! You really nailed it on this fantastic border. It is perfection. Brilliant colors and the whole quilt tied together. Love it.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Love the way you are handling those corners! Oh, your attention to detail boggles my mind!

Ramona said...

This is such a fun quilt and I'm glad you didn't listen to you inner voice and take the easy way out. The borders are going to really finish this quilt in style!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Ohhh those borders just totally finish this quilt!! it is going to be amazing!

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Wow! Soooo fabulous.

Preeti said...

Execute the borders!!! I am sure you will do just that. Make them submit to thy will, Rebecca. I am a big fan of bold and bright - whatever the decade. But those pictures are fun :-)

dq said...

Crisp perfection is how I would describe your work. You are so gifted. I haven't visited in a spell. It is great to see this one so far along!