Monday, October 3, 2016

Border Four on my Gwenny-Inspired Medallion Quilt

One would think that "something fishy" would work perfectly with my medallion quilt.  After all, a contributing idea for my first border, childhood, was collecting fishing worms after a day of rain so my father and I could go fishing.  Night, stars, fish....  Perfect, right?  But I thought, there is no way I'm putting fish on this quilt.

So I began brainstorming ideas in addition to some already suggested by Wendy who chose the theme for this border.  To mind came scales/scallops, clamshells, starfish (which one would think perfect to go with the star flowers in the center of the quilt), lighthouses, boats, fish shapes, (ever notice how close in shape a fish is to a little boat, except the boat doesn't have a tail), fish eyes, fish tails, fishing poles, piers, the ocean (or any body of water).  But I eliminated actual fish in my thought process for "something fishy."

My first bright idea was sunset on the ocean.  (What could be fishier than the ocean?)  (View some images here.)  I imagined those gold, coral, and rose shades somehow blending into a beautiful "sky" around the quilt.  Except I couldn't quite manage to make it work.  In fact, I couldn't really imagine how create it in fabric.

Admittedly, I didn't try to make those small squares work well because I didn't even sew them.

Then I decided maybe I should go with a strip of red, then "piers" dividing sunset colors along the length of the quilt.  Again, I didn't sew anything.

But neither of these ideas worked for me.  I couldn't figure out where the sun would be setting and how the colors would stretch out around the quilt as they do in a sunset.  And I wasn't sure I wanted a quilt with blue stripes around the edges.  So back to the drawing board.

I thought of starfish, which you can see in the first photo.  Those didn't really work for me, either.

Then I saw this quilt in Liberated Quiltingmaking II ...
... and I thought, Those triangles look like fish tails.  Maybe, just maybe, here was an idea I could use (despite proclaiming that this quilt, my quilt, would not have fish on it).

Still thinking of an ocean sunset, I made some fish tails.  (Just to be clear, fish tails are not the same as flying geese.  Fish tails are deeper and can be narrower or wider than the rectangle shape on which they rest.)  I was interested in having the tails in a variety of sizes and widths, some in the center of the rectangle, some not.



My husband, usually very encouraging, looked at these shapes and said, "I don't think those look like fish tails."  I told him that was okay because I wasn't going for realism.  (Definitely not with cream, coral, peach, tan, and blue fish tails in a narrow sea of red.)

In the end, I cut off 2 1/4" of the last border and added fish tails around the edges.



Laughter bubbles up when I look at this border.  It is outrageous.  It is too narrow.  It's too bright.  The colors overtake the quilt.  And yet I think the colors work with the flowers in the center.  I don't think the quilt is finished.  I think it needs (oh, no!) another border.

The border widths:
1" copper strip around center basket
6" dark blue border with stars
4" log cabin blocks (4 1/2" on bottom edge)
1 1/2" copper border (2" on bottom edge)
3 3/4" light star border (with applique star points)
3 3/4" fish tail border (4 1/4" on top and 4 3/4" on bottom)
The quilt now measures 60 1/2" x 67 1/2".

I haven't spent much time looking at medallion quilts but my opinion at the moment is that they look better when every border is not nearly the same width.  When I add another border to this quilt I think it should probably be as wide or nearly as wide as the blue border.  I have no idea what that border will look like but I sense that it needs some blue, green, and/or copper in it.

This has been an interesting, challenging, fun quilt along.  Thanks to Lori, Cynthia, Cathy, Katy, and Wendy for inviting us to participate with them.  I'm linking this post to Gwennie Inspired Medallion Finale at Humble Quilts.  I encourage you to click through to see the quilts others have created for this quilt along.

I'm also linking this post to
> finish it up Friday at crazy mom quilts
> Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts
> Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Thanks for hosting, ladies.

--Nancy.
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39 comments:

  1. I love how those border fishtails pull the colors out from the center - well done! I agree that the quilt wants another border. (Can't argue with a quilt top, now can we?)
    It's beautiful, and those fishtails are making me giggle with delight!

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    1. Thank you for telling me what you see in this quilt top and for your kind encouragement, Gayle. I'm grateful for both. If a quilt top is very specific, I wouldn't consider arguing with it. ;-)

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  2. I love your fishtails -I did something very similar but called mine flying fish.

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    1. Thanks, Maree. I see that your fish are really similar to mine except you left more space between. I like yours better. They really do seem to be swimming or flying.

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  3. It's interesting that you thought of sunset over the water as an idea because that is what I did on two of my quilts. The third one also has an ocean reference but more as waves.

    Your fish tails are interesting I see a lot of people have used the flying geese idea for fish tails.

    I enjoyed this QAL a lot and may be tempte to try another.

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    1. Yes, and your sunsets worked so well, Sandi! I may have succeeded in a sunset border had I given myself more time.

      I enjoyed this QAL, too, (though felt really, really challenged by it sometimes). I never loved medallion quilts but now I find myself thinking of the possibilities of every ideas as a medallion. Not that they will become such, but the idea has been planted.

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  4. I love the fishtail border, Nancy! It is fun and free-spirited, and it pulls the colors of your flowers out through the quilt!

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    1. Thanks, Janet. It's definitely a little "looser" than most of blocks, borders, and quilts I've made in the past. I like how the colors come from the center, hop on the log cabin border, and land on the fish border -- as you say, pulls the color through the quilt. And now for a final border. Hmmmm.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I appreciate it.

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  5. Oh we've had the same idea for the triangles !!
    Yes ! Great and fun finish Nancy !! Congrats !

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    1. Thanks, Cecile. We had similar ideas but I love how your fish really do move along your border!

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  6. Thank you for sharing Gwen's words of encouragement; they meant a lot to me. I loved looking at your basket play so thanks for sharing that. And I learned a new block...fish tail, I'd never heard of it and it's perfect for your quilt. You are right...it picks up the red in the middle.

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    1. You're welcome for the quote from Gwen. To be honest, "fish tail" isn't really a block -- or at least it wasn't until this post! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, Jocelyn.

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  7. I love your new border. It's really amazing and I love the colours.

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    1. Thanks so much, Ariane. I appreciate the compliment.

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  8. I think the colours and the shapes of that fish tail border work so well at drawing attention to the centre flower block - very good decision!

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    1. Thanks, Allison. I couldn't imagine any other colors working very well for the border and while it's a little bright, I think it works. Now for the last border....

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  9. I don't think the colors in your fishy border are too bright -- they look perfect to me, and work so well with the flowers. It's a striking finish for the edge of your quilt. Well done, Nancy!

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    1. Thank you, Martha. I think the quilt needs one more border. I think the red border is too abrupt a finish for this quilt. I don't yet know what the next border will be, though....

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  10. Your Gwennie quilt is looking lovely! The 'fishtail' border keeps the colour happening, which is great! And I agree, I think it's more interesting if the borders are all differtent sizes.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Linda. If I ever make another medallion quilt I will definitely pay more attention to border sizes so they aren't all almost the same. This quilt has been an interesting learning experience.

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  11. I love this! I think your fish tails are the perfect touch. They add so much fun and I love the colors. Perfect!

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    1. Thanks so much, Katy. I hope the final border will continue the "perfect!"

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  12. The fish tails add just the perfect echo of the pinks in the center flowers and bring a note of unity to the quilt, I like it!

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  13. 'Love your quilt. Those fish are adorable.

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  14. I don't think your fish tails are too bright at all--they complement the star flowers nicely! Very fun!

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  15. I LOVE it! I think it pulls all the pink and peach colors from everywhere in the quilt, things we didn't even realize were there before this border came and pulled them out of their shy places!

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    1. Thank you, Susan! You're very kind.

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  16. I really enjoy seeing your process. This has definitely been a challenge! I know you aren't thrilled with the last border, but it really does draw my eye back to the center pink. It works!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words about the quilt, Lori. While I'm not thrilled with that last border I do like it. I just think it could have been wider or the fish tails bigger.... And I think the top needs another border, definitely the last border. I'll spend a little time mulling it over and then go at it.

      Thanks so much for hosting this quilt along. It's been a great experience.

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  17. Totally love what you've done with not only the last border, but the entire quilt - so great!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind compliment, Marie. I think the quilt still needs one more border but I'm stumped at the moment but, thank goodness, there's no deadline now. I'll have to look through Gwen Marston's books again.

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  18. Oh I just love the border and reading about your process. I think the pop of bright color is great and I agree with you about the quilt perhaps asking for another wider border! Glad you enjoyed the challenge! It's been so great to see all the creativity and originality out there!

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    1. Thanks, Cynthia. It has been very fun to see how other quilters interpreted the "topics" for each border. What a creative bunch of quilter!

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  19. Perfect solution! I love it. Although I must say I like the "pier or pilings" idea as well. All is beautiful in the end! Thanks for taking the plunge.

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    1. Hi, Wendy --

      Thanks. I chose against the piers because I thought they would end up looking more like stripes around the quilt. Admittedly, I didn't try to vary the stripes much, which could have made a difference. It's been fun to participate in this quilt along.

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I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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