Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hourglass border

The hourglass border for Picadilly to the Nines is coming along nicely! It will consist entirely of 2" finished hourglass blocks that are made of a large variety of green fabrics.

Working with only one colour to make all of the hourglass blocks is a good lesson in value. I started by pulling a wide assortment of green fabrics making sure to include lights mediums and darks. I didn't use every green I had; some were not the right hue; for example some were more of a blue-green and I excluded them. So working with one colour was also a good lesson in hue! I didn't shy away from brights - I threw in some lovely lime greens for sparkle!

In a previous post I showed you how I stitched the little hourglass blocks. You can read about it here. The first step was to cut 3 1/4" patches - I needed....384 of them! Two fabrics are needed for a block so I paired up the fabrics making sure that one fabric was darker than the other. The contrast could be subtle or strong.

Subtler                                         Stronger           

In most instances it is easy to identify what would be considered light. It is the mediums that give us  grief! However all I worried about was that I had two fabrics one of which was darker than the other. This means a medium fabric placed next to a dark fabric would read as light OR the same medium fabric place with a lighter fabric would read as dark. In the two pictures below the polka dot green is used as the lighter fabric in the first example and as the darker fabric in the second example!

Polka dots as lighter                      Polka dots as darker

Making these hourglass blocks with only one colourway was a good exercise in working with value (the lightness or darkness irrespective of colour) and hue (the colour shade). I think a quilt made of larger hourglass blocks in a single colourway could be very effective and fun to make! And if the blocks were larger, say 5" or 6", it would work up fairly quickly! I might just add that to my to do list and I already have a colour in mind!

The little hourglass blocks are now being sewn into nine patches! Are you a recurring theme in this quilt....Picadilly to the Nines? I can assure you that it wasn't planned this way but it is working out! Lots of nine patch blocks and nine patch variations in this one!

I had originally planned on a border of the background fabric before adding the hourglass blocks but I've had a rethink! I have lots of the green stripe that was used to make the churn dash blocks and I've decided to have a smallish green stripe border instead.  I'll use the part with the dark green stripe with the gold line running down the centre and a Greek key design on either side. I think this will make for a more dramatic border than the simple background fabric.

I had thought that the border would be 1 1/2" bringing the size of the quilt to 58" and that would work fit with the 2" hourglass blocks. But last night I was just dozing off when it hit me -  the 55" includes the seam allowance which means that the border strips have to finish larger than 1 1/2". A quick calculation and I now know that I'll have to cut the strips 1/4" larger than I thought. Measure twice (or more) and cut once! Good thing I hadn't cut the fabric yet!

Until I post again, happy sewing!

No comments:

Post a Comment