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Borders – The Finishing Touch

My recent trip to Nepal this year and India last year was an eye-opening experience. I lived in that part of the world for nearly five years. At the time, I didn’t recognize the impact this region was having on me because I was not yet a quilter. Going back recently was like going home. I discovered how profoundly my time there has guided me throughout my quilting life.

Probably the most powerful influence was the borders you see everywhere, both simple and elaborate.

Simple can be seen as just a small edge to stop the pattern of a wall of bricks or a plain fabric in a different color to stop the eye around a shirt, sari, or pair of pants.


Bricks with borders.



Nepali Dress
Nepali dress with simple but colorful borders.



Treadle Machine
Notice the band around the ankles of the pants as this woman treadles.



Nepali dresses and fabrics with borders.
Nepali dresses and fabrics with borders.


Elaborate borders abound as well whether it is one surrounding the window or doorway of a home or temple or borders around the outer edges of entire buildings.


Doors and Windows
Doors and windows, all with borders.



The Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, India.
The Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, India.



Red Fort
Red Fort in Agra



Red Fort Agra
Columns at Red Fort



Detail at Red Fort
Detail at Red Fort


Even the written language has a straight line across the top of the characters.


Written language
Written language even has borders.


No wonder when I began quilting I wanted to add borders to everything. There was just a need to stop the design and give it a proper frame……sometimes simple, sometimes elaborate. It is like framing a picture. It looks so much better when the frame sets it off.

So at least from me, you will get borders on my quilt designs, sometimes elaborate, sometimes simple, but whatever is needed to stop the design and showcase it.


Simple borders on Labyrinth.
Simple borders on Labyrinth.



A pieced border on Windows.
A pieced border on Windows.


5 thoughts on “Borders – The Finishing Touch

  1. It was meant for you to become a quilter so that you could inspire us all. I’m grateful for the knowledge you share with us. A trip to your shop is on my bucket list. Thank you.

  2. Your time in such a color rich area of the world really comes thru in your beautiful quilt! I usually like borders on quilt also. Most quilts benefit from a frame of some sort. Thank you for sharing your wealth of information on making great quilts.

  3. Wonderful photos!
    I quite agree with you on the need to set off our quilts with a frame, just like a picture!

  4. So many quilts look unfinished without a frame to my eye. The trend to leave borders off for no other reason than the sake of leaving them off is a mystery to me.

  5. Thank you, Jinny for drawing our attention to the way Borders are used in our world. Sometimes we just take things as they are presented and do not try, or perhaps make the effort, to understand what we see. But once we do so, our understanding is enriched.

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