Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Creative Borders & Bindings

                                                                      36" x 36"
                                                  Designed and made by Connie Kauffman

April is the Creative Borders and Bindings Island Batik Ambassador Challenge.

The Island Batik Ambassadors were to make a quilt this month that had some kind of creative borders and binding.  As I was thinking what to design, I thought why do borders have to be straight?  I'd never really designed a quilt in the round, so here was an additional challenge for myself.

Above you can see my quilt Radiance.  It has several round borders.  Interesting note- I didn't want to name the quilt Corona (which is all we can think about these days), but I found out that Radiance is a synonym of Corona!

I decided to use fabrics from the Island Batik Sunset Blooms Collection by Kathy Engle.  I was given a 10" pack of these fabrics in my Island Batik Ambassador box.  So this was an added challenge in that I only had one or two 10" pieces of fabric to use of each color.  I was also given yardage in a light and dark in coordinating colors to use, so I knew I could use the light fabric for the background and the dark color for one of the larger applique pieces.

I ended up only using 7 of the 10" fabric square colors in the package and the background light (Basics Latte) and dark yardage that matched a color in the package.   You can do a lot with a couple 10" squares!

I thought I would walk you through some of my design process with this quilt.  To begin with, this quilt was designed on paper.  I usually design all my quilts with Quilt Pro on the computer.  With the quilt program all my lines are straight and things fit together exactly.  Working on paper for curved applique pieces was different, but exciting too!

It was a challenge to get all the pieces to fit in the circular shape.  I first took a large paper and drew a large circle the size I wanted, then folded it into 8 sections. Then I drew and cut shapes that would fit in each area.  I was so involved in thinking thru this process that I didn't take any photos.

I decided what colors I wanted for each shape and used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 for all the applique pieces.  I also used the new Non Stick Needles from Schmetz which worked very well with the fusible applique.

Most things went well and it was exciting to see how it was coming together.

Here is where I had SO many decisions to make.  First - what what kind of center to have.  This is one idea that I sort of liked, but decided not to use.

Then I had a piece I was going to put around the outside of the circle design.  It was my favorite fabric and I wanted it to be in a larger piece to draw attention.  It was to make the whole shape into a circle.  Unfortunately it wasn't large enough (my mistake) to give the look I wanted, and then I didn't have enough fabric to redo it.

So- I played around with using the pieces in different ways.

Each one is a different look.  I asked my husband what he thought about these ideas.  He pondered them and finally said "It looks a little busy".  Hmm.....He was right! (he often is!).  So I finally took them off and stayed with my original plan.  Often the original plan is the best!  My one regret was not having more of the lovely dark teal blue color in the quilt.

The applique itself went pretty quickly and I straight  line quilted around each shape.  I backed the quilt with the same background as the front and used Hobbs 100% Heirloom Cotton Batting with Scrim.

I knew when designing this that there would need to be a lot of quilting which is my biggest challenge.  I buckled down and drew out designs and used a lot of great rulers (mostly Westalee Rulers) with my domestic machine.

Here are  some photos of the quilting.  It's the most quilting I've ever done on one quilt.  I'm getting more comfortable using the rulers.  I wish I had used a layer of wool as I see others use that shows off the quilting more.  I've never done that before and was a bit hesitant. Sometimes you don't really see the quilting - and I worked really hard on it!  

For my creative binding, I decided to add a small piping in the dark teal fabric.  I had plenty of that fabric to make it.

When I was done with the binding and hanging sleeve I added buttons for a little extra color and embellishment.

Here is Radiance all completed.

Island Batik fabrics, Schmetz Needles and Hobbs batting were provided to me thru the Island Batik Ambassador Program