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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Settings for Sylvia

The complete Sylvia's Bridal Sampler has 140 6-inch blocks. So far, I have finished 113 blocks (see them at my Flickr pool) using batiks and an off-white background with a subtle print. I'm trying to decide on a setting for my quilt and spent some time in the gallery of finished quilts looking for inspiration. (I can't link directly to the Gallery. Just choose Gallery from the menu)

I used EQ to draw a couple of layouts I thought would work.Both layouts have two black borders surrounding a scrappy batik border made from block leftovers. I loved the black SBS quilts in the gallery and Lynda DeTray's Sylvia and Louise quilt used the scrappy border. I might create a flange out of a bright Prisma dye batik instead of the scrappy border. I've never done a flange but it doesn't look difficult. I've learned so much making these blocks, I might as well learn to make a flange, too! 

Layout 1
The first layout alternates a block from the sampler with an Irish Chain block as Trisha Chubbs and Caroline Van Maele did with their SBS quilts. Some of the sampler blocks are very intricate (Mrs. Cleveland's Choice has 65 pieces!) and adding the Irish Chain block gives a little visual space for one's eyes to rest. I like that.

This layout requires  requires 106 blocks and an equivalent number of Irish Chain blocks. The final dimensions are 102'x108'. 

Layout 2
The second is an on-point layout. For this one, I would probably add a very thin frame in a complementary batik around each block. If you look at the gallery of finished quilts, this is similar to what Rita Visscher, Barbara Jennekens, and Teresa Simons did with their SBS quilts. This, in my opinion, helps showcase each block. It would also hide the fact that my blocks ended with inconsistent sizes! I would cluster the predominant colors in an Around the World layout, I think.

This layout requires 113 sampler blocks and finishes at 115"x115."

Several of the finished quilts at the Sylvia's Bridal Sampler website have pieced borders. They are beautiful but I don't think I'm willing to spend the time that would require since I would almost certainly end with borders the wrong length and have to fiddle and fuss to make them work.

These drawings are imperfect. Some of my block photos were better than others but I think they get the point across reasonably well.

What do you think?

Edited to Add: I've updated the images based on piecemealquilts' excellent advice! Thanks, Sandy. I didn't realize I could do this and I certainly didn't realize the impact this small change would have.