Colorwash Bargello – Auditioning Borders

This is the seventh in a series of sew/quilt-along posts about making a bargello quilt.

I am following the Cascade pattern from Colorwash Bargello Quilts.
The body of the quilt top is complete, and now it is time for the border. 

Cascade from Colorwash Bargello Quilts – ready for borders! (the blue painter’s tape numbers at the top of each vertical row can also come off now)

When I teach quilting classes or workshops, I usually caution class participants to wait, if possible, to make their final choice of border fabric until the interior of the quilt has been completed. This is because the sum can be much more than its parts! The way the colors, values, and visual textures of the fabrics interact with each other, as well as with the border fabric, can produce significantly different results from what you might anticipate.

Furthermore, like any scrap quilt (or multi-fabric quilt), a bargello quilt can often be made to read as a “blue” or “brown” or “green” quilt simply by adding a border of that color.

I find it helpful to lay the quilt top out on top of any fabric I am considering for a border so that I can see the border fabric on most or all of at least 2 sides of the quilt top.

To illustrate, I’ll share with you some of the border fabrics I “auditioned” for this project:

I feel that several of these fabrics would have made excellent choices – each of them resulting in a slightly different impression of the finished design. 

I’ve decided that I’d like this quilt to have a light and summery feel, and also work with the colors already used in my living room, so I’ve decided on the bright turquoise.

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2 thoughts on “Colorwash Bargello – Auditioning Borders

  1. Hi Beth Ann!

    I pick the lowest row, far left or middle. How did I do?

    • Pretty close, Jane! Those are two of my favorites, but I’m planning to push myself a little and go lighter than my normal comfort zone. I’m thinking the lightest turquoise, middle of the second row. I think the free-motion quilting will help integrate the lighter border and make the whole quilt feel a little brighter and more summery 🙂

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