Friday, November 30, 2012
I've been working on this quilt off and on practically this entire fall. It started out with three batik panels surrounded by small blocks, but I was not at all happy with how it looked. I didn't like the batik fabrics I had used for the small blocks, and I was unhappy with the block designs as well. So I set it aside for a long time, and eventually decided to feature just one panel. So then I had a lot of ripping out to do!
Then I had big plans of surrounding the elephant panel with alternating plain borders and pieced ones. After attaching the first two, I added another narrow gold plain border, just a bit wider than the first one. For some reason, I didn't like how this looked. But I left it alone and made a couple of simple blocks to audition for use as the second pieced border. But neither of these looked right to me, either.
Suddenly it occurred to me--why not just leave the quilt as it is? I had always planned to use the dark blue, animal-motif batik for the outer border. I pinned strips of this up, and, voila, the quilt looked not only finished but striking to me. So the second gold borders were removed and the wider blue borders pinned up.
I decided to put Friendship Star "cornerstones" in this wider outer border for several reasons. One, I wanted more "pops" of gold. And, two, since I plan to give this quilt to a dear friend as a "thank you for your hospitality" gift, I liked the symbolism of using little Friendship Stars in the quilt.
Now the top is done, and I plan to quilt it very simply. The center portion I'll quilt with embroidery stitching around the elephant and the other designs. The borders will be machine quilted, again very sparingly. I am considering framing this 30" square quilt with framing strips that can be bought in pairs at craft and hobby stores. A quilt this small is every effective when it is framed. Too, hanging the quilt is made very easy for the recipient!