The best border

Something that frequently gets me into unnecessary trouble is my habit of questioning everything. Twelve years ago, I purchased a magazine with the instructions for making the scrappy Aunt Grace quilt I’m working on. (If you’ve been following along here for a while, you’re familiar with my goal to make 10 Aunt Grace-themed snowball blocks per week.) As block production winds down, I’m looking forward to the other aspect of finishing the top: the border.

The pattern calls for three narrow borders: a 2″ green, a 1″ white and another 2″ green.

AG border1

Simple, right? Right, but I am unable to leave simple alone; it must be questioned.

I didn’t like the busyness of the butted border strips,

AG border corner

so I revised the layout to show them mitered. I think it looks much better, particularly since it mimics the 45-degree angled corners of all the snowball blocks. If I’d checked the pattern more thoroughly, I would’ve learned that the sample quilt pictured in the magazine featured mitered corners, but I do these things the hard way.

AG border2

Still, the border seemed not quite right; it was too chunky. The snowball blocks measure 4½” square but the three borders together measured 5″ wide, so I reduced the size of the white border from 1″ to ½”. It surprised me how much that ½” made the difference in bringing things back into proper proportion.

AG border3

Still, I wondered if the trio of borders needed spicing up a bit, a complete overhaul or if the green/white/green arrangement was exactly what the quilt needed: a calm frame for lots of scrappy snowballs.

Rhonda and I often quilt long distance via phone and email, so I sent her an image of the layout and asked for her input. She wondered what the border would look like with corner squares: one version with solid white and another version with hourglass blocks to pick up the alternate design that is created when the corners of the snowball blocks come together.

AG border4

AG border5

As usual, simple is best, so the 4½” wide border set with mitered corners wins. I just wish I could stop taking the long way around to arrive at the obvious.

Meanwhile, these Aunt Grace blocks from last week and this week mark the completion of 300 blocks, with 23 left to go!




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Filed under borders, piecing

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