Well, it has been two weeks since my last “Deciding What to Quilt” post, but I hope that this one was worth waiting on! Today we are going to talk about quilting quilt borders. Some quilters love them and some quilters, like me, don’t like them. But I feel that I should clarify that it’s not that I hate quilt borders, it’s just that I am kinda on the lazy/impatient side. When I am piecing a quilt, I am usually over it before I even get to the borders….but I am getting off track.

Recently, Patricia sent me an email with a picture of her quilt.

quilt made with modern fabric

Photo by Patricia

But she wasn’t asking about the whole quilt top…..Here is what she had to say about it:

I’m thinking of taking off that outside border. I think it pushes the quilt into more of a traditional look and think it conflicts with Malka’s fabrics. If I were to figure out something fun to do in the borders, maybe it would work. My friends who used more traditional fabrics are planning on adding appliqué to that border. I don’t think that would be effective for mine. So what are your thoughts? Would you take the borders off? Extend the zigzag effect on up? Swirl it up? Play around with different sized circles? And for thread I think using the lighter shade of gray would work everywhere, except in those darker gray sashing areas.

When I am quilting a quilt with borders, I don’t have the option of taking it off. So I am going to answer it as if she is going to leave the borders on. If I were quilting this quilt, I would do exactly what she suggested in her statement, I would extend the piecing into the border. Something like this:

deciding what to quilt

I would keep the quilting designs the same as the piecing in the center of the quilt. I would then fill in the rest of the border with the same filler as I did in the center. Perhaps a geometric quilting design?

I actually did something similar to Heather’s quilt:

quilting in solid quilt border

It’s hard to see in the black fabric, but I extended some of the piecing in the center of the quilt into the border. Before I started the quilting, I  used a chalk pencil to pick a few of the strip to use for the quilting. I normally use a water soluble blue marker, but it wouldn’t show up on the black!

how to quilt it in the border

Unlike my suggestion above, I left the strips unquilted. I wanted them to contrast with the filler. To help achieve that, I echoed each side of the strip with another line and then filled in between them with pebbles. Here is a back view of the quilt.

back of modern quilt quilting

What about thread?

Back to Patricia’s quilt, I agree with her about the gray thread. The neutral thread will blend with the border fabric but won’t clash with the center of the quilt.

What do you think?

So, what do you think? Do you like borders? How would you quilt the borders on Patricia’s quilt? I know that she would love as many suggestions as she could get!

Happy Quilting!