I hardly ever plan an entire quilt before I start sewing, unless it's a direct copy of an antique. Usually I get to the border and am overcome with indecision; that's why so many of my tops stall at this stage. Sometimes I can't choose between two or more options that all look equally nice,; sometimes I don't like anything at all for that particular top. This isn't the same as saying it doesn't need a border, these tops look 'unfinished' but nothing appeals to me.
All throughout the making of the Ohio Stars top I thought I would use this idea, little hourglasses turned on point. Easy, and related to the actual block. What's not to like? Except I didn't like it, the pieced units were too small (2 1/2") and the dark triangles were overwhelmed by the light patches and gold surrounding strips.
Hmm, perhaps just the hourglasses sewed together in a strip.... Better, but they still got lost amidst everything else that was going on. By the time you take the seam allowance into account there was precious little colour showing up.
I didn't want to make bigger hourglasses or use another shape- Keryn liked this solution..
Yes, it looked OK, and I will file this idea away, but it didn't fit what I wanted for this top. Rather funny really, as I didn't have a clear notion of what I DID want, only what didn't feel right. This is an incredibly annoying way to work, but sometimes it's the only way I can make progress.
Finally I decided to add a tiny piece in between the hourglasses, to sort of extend that bit of dark triangle without actually making bigger units. I liked it, even though this meant I was cutting pieces that measured 2 1/2" by 1". That little strip is 1/2" wide when sewn into the border. It's hard to believe that such a tiny bit makes such a difference to the overall look, but it does.
McCord did. Experience has shown me I don't really like appliqueing straight stems and 1 1/4" is the smallest I want to go for log cabin blocks.
And yet, I still had the drawer of 1" strips. It was absolutely full, but by the time I weeded out all the brown bits it was decidedly emptier. I know I keep a lot of weird sizes of scraps, but every now and then it does prove useful. I doubt I'll convert anyone else to my ways, but in this instance I was glad of that long ago decision to cut these..
Mind you, I didn't keep the scraps from these little strips- I have to draw the line somewhere. They went straight into the bin!
Now I just have to finish piecing the extra hourglass blocks and piece the borders and work out the maths for the spacer borders and cut them out and sew everything together- shouldn't take me long!