Monday, May 12, 2014

To Border or Not To Border

Is a border necessary?
Something has come up a few times lately... but before I get into it - there's something that has to be gotten out of the way.

This song has been stuck in my head since I thought of writing this post. Hopefully, by getting it stuck in someone else's head - it will leave me in peace. 

Now that's done...

There have been many debates and controversies that rock the quilting world to varying degrees. They range from the congenial dry -v- steam ironing, through the slightly more contentious seams open -v- seams to the side, all the way through the explosive prewash -v- not prewashing. You really don't want to bring that last one up in polite company.

What I want to talk/ask about today are borders. This may stir a few pots - but I have come to hate borders. Well, that's not totally true - I hate useless borders. If the border I'm thinking of putting on something doesn't add to the design of the quilt and only serves to restrict the main pattern, it doesn't get made. I just run the main pattern all the way out to the edge. Just because something's been done one way for 300+ years doesn't make it right... or even functional in most cases.

Don't get me wrong; I have seen some beautifully crafted borders. Picket fences that work with the flower motif of the middle, beautiful trupunto vines, etc. - but I also see a lot of just necessary and distracting borders that take away from the graphic nature of the quilt pattern. 

Someone posted a picture in one of the quilting facebook groups I'm in of a beautifully striking quilt. It was graphic and strong - one of those that I makes me think, "Damn. I wish I'd made that." Unfortunately, the caption below it said... "I just have to add the border and I'll be through." I wanted to cry.

I can't jump into someone else's design like a cop in an action movie trying to jump in the way of a bullet, screaming, "NOOOOOOOOO!" as I fly through the air. It's their design and their choice.

But, I do want to throw this thought out into the world - Borders are not necessary and sometimes they are even harmful.

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