Friday, May 3, 2019

The Red Project

I have a dilemma. My goal for The Red Project for April was to find border fabric in Paducah. Although I found something, I'm not sure it's exactly what I want, and I'm debating compromises.

If you recall, my Red Project was inspired by a Chippewa Nine Patch quilt I saw hanging in the Spring AQS show three years ago. It was made in the same fabrics as shown in the pattern cover. What I really want for the border of my quilt is that exact large scale paisley used in the snowball blocks.

I thought I had found a similar paisley. Here it is in my EQ rendering and fabric laid out with the quilt top. 
Paisley EQ Rendering

Paisley Fabric

I'm concerned that it's too brownish. It has a lot of dark brown and cheddar in it, no blue at all. 

While in Paducah I searched for a better option, and the only thing I could find was a William Morris print. The individual colors in the print are better, but the overall look is quite different, more blurry and it definitely reads lighter in value. 
Morris EQ Rendering

Morris Fabric

I'm concerned that the print is out of character with the rest of the quilt. 

Another option would be to go with a red Civil War-inspired print for the border, which would read darker and be in keeping with the character of the rest of the prints. I can probably find a red CW print fairly easily. One of the ones used in the top is shown below. 
RCW EQ Rendering

RCW Fabric

I'm concerned that it'll be boring. 

I have a lot invested emotionally in this project. And financially, but that's beside the point; I'll happily spend more for the perfect border print. 

Thoughts going around in my head are: 

 - If I compromise on one of these options, will I always regret it? 

 - What if I overdye the brownish paisey with a diluted blue? Might it cool down the overall cast and neutralize the cheddar a bit? Worth a try. 

 - I could continue to search for the right print, on line and in shops. Meanwhile, this project becomes a UFO. I really hoped to get it finished this year. I already have a quilter in mind to quilt it. 

 - Another option would be to remove the narrow blue border and continue the checkerboard border to seven patches wide like the blocks in the center, and replace the blue border around the outside edges. I'll have to work on that in EQ. 

I'd love to hear your input. Thanks for any comments and suggestions you can share. 


  1. I understand what you're feeling. Too soon to compromise.

  2. Binding fabric choice may help. If you use the WM border, and bind in navy? Or use the boring(?) red fabric and bind with the WM? The final framing may help it work. A78mandel at yahoo dot com

  3. I agree with Libby; I think that given the time you have put into the quilt so far, it's too soon to compromise. The civil war print renders the best to me here, but I'm hoping that you can find something that really speaks to you and none of these seem to be quite there yet.

  4. I also like the Civil War option the best of the three. Due to the time and effort you have put into this, I would not compromise and would keep looking for THE one. It will be well worth the wait when you are finished and pleased with what you have in it. It's been fun watching the progression of this beautiful quilt.

  5. I like your last suggestion to change the border to seven blocks wide with blue on the outside. Do not compromise on the fabric - it will forever haunt you.

  6. Just adding my voice to the chorus that you should keep looking for the right border. It's the single biggest chunk of uninterrupted fabric in your quilt and is too visible to compromise on. I think it's worth loosening your self-imposed deadline to give yourself time to choose something you really love!

  7. I personally really like the Morris fabric. I do see what you mean about it possibly being out of character with the rest of the quilt, but it's not a glaring difference. The color palette is consistent with the quilt blocks you've already finished and it's definitely not boring. I tend to like busy prints anyway so take my opinion with a grain of salt. As has already been stated, if it isn't just shouting YES, THIS IS IT! to you, then there is no harm to keep looking.

  8. I found a cute potential but you have to live in San Leandro, CA to get it! Boo!