Border Fabric question

Need some opinions…
I’m making a baby quilt. Requested colors are grey and yellow. The pattern I’m using is hourglass. The grey used is a solid silver-grey with various yellows and a few aqua/turquoise thrown in. I decided to add two borders, the first will be cut at 2" and will be one of the turquoise fabrics that appears in the blocks. The other will be cut at 3 1/2" of grey. I really don’t like the idea of using the solid grey…but it is the ONLY grey I’ve used. What about the idea of introducing a completely different grey PRINT for the border? I’ve never used a fabric for a border that didn’t appear somewhere in the quilt. What do y’ll think???

No photos yet as the interior of the top is not completely pieced yet.

I think a completely different gray print will look fine if it isn’t too busy or too much darker in value than the solids and other colors you are using in the quilt. You can audition by folding a section of the print being considered along the side of your quilt top and give it the squint test. It should frame everything without leading the eye out of the quilt. You an take a snapshot of the ones you are considering in order to compare. It should not be so dark as to make the light areas of the quilt look pale or washed out. I would tend to pick out something with an low contrast pattern, more textural than thematic. Just my thoughts . . .

I think its okay to use a fabric that isn’t in the blocks, but I love to put as many fabrics into a quilt as I can. Is there a small print gray that has some yellow and aqua in it as well? The lovely people in my LQS are used to people showing up with a semi-finished quilt top and walking around the store auditioning fabric. Everyone present likes to participate and it becomes quite the social event. Of course I live in the American south, we make everything a social event.

I agree it is fine to introduce a border fabric print, especially if it includes all of your interior colors and doesn’t draw too much attention away from your blocks. However, if you can’t bring yourself to do that, or can’t find what you like and only have a solid gray, it would be a great place to showcase the quilting design. At just 3 1/2" that gray solid shouldn’t be too overwhelming or detracting from the blocks. It may make the perfect frame for the interior blocks. Let us know what you decide.

Yes…texture…and about the same value…THANKS!

Though I am not sure that is an option (grey with yellow and aqua), I think it is the perfect idea. I don’t have a local quilt shop, and shopping online for something so specific is difficult. Thanks for the input…

Another great idea…a solid of any color is such a great canvas for quilting. I hadn’t thought about that either! lol. I guess I have to push onward and get the interior of this top finished so I can audition stuff! I took a short break from it to finish a couple of knit things!

Thanks Ladies! Once I get the top finished, I’ll post a photo!

Yes, please, photo - this is fun!

I know, I know…its been awhile! I had to put this quilt top down for awhile because I had burp clothes, hats, mitts and booties to make for the same child-to-be. I finally decided on the two borders, and neither fabric appears elsewhere in the quilt! lol. The grey isn’t perfect, but the one I felt wasperfect read as black from a distance, and since this is for a (soon-to-be) newborn, I felt the lighter grey would be better. So without further adieu:
I have picked out a couple backing pieces, and am searching the stash for a stripe for the binding. Will post again when it is finished!!!



I love it! It may not be the same gray fabric but they are so similar in hue, I think it’s perfect.

Yes, I agree, wonderful. Nice work!

@FreedomLover Thanks! Yes, as it turns out, the color is almost identical and the little bit of a print breaks up the monotony of the solid. I think it works. The turquoise is brighter than I thought it would be, but seems to pull it all together. So far, I’m pleased. Now, to quilt it.
@Carlota Thanks so much!

Excellent choices, both. Nicely done.

Beautiful quilt! You did a great job on it.

Sorry, I’m a little late to the party, but sometimes I find that the backing fabric I have selected makes a good border as well, tying all the colors together.

Thanks for sharing your work.


Thanks…and I agree…I also think that sometimes using backing fabric for the binding does the same. In this case, I’m thinking about a yellow stripe for the binding…just gotta find it…I know its here somewhere!

" I’m thinking about a yellow stripe for the binding…just gotta find it…I know its here somewhere!"

Boy do I know that feeling! I think all quilters / knitters/ crochers, etc. do.

When I did a lot of quilting way back when, I always selected my backing fabric at the same time as my pattern fabrics. I sometimes used the technique where you pull the backing fabric around to the front to form the binding.

@susanwayne I’ve never done that…though I’ve seen it a lot. Call it a rut, but I like using stripes for binding whenever I can…especially on baby quilts, I think it gives it just a little extra zing. I am trying to pull and piece backings and get binding ready to go when I finish a top, then store it all together on a hanger in my closet. It seems like I’m more likely to get it quilted if I know I don’t have prep work to do before layering. I just started this process this year, we’ll see if a) I’m able to continue it, and b) if it continues to be effective. :wink:

One of the tips on Love of Quilting was to use a directional fabric as a backing to avoid trying to figure out which way the quilt goes back on to the bed. I now do the same thing with sheets so I don’t realize half way through making the bed that I’ve got the fitted sheet in the wrong direction.