Chuck Nohara · Quilts

Inching through June • 2017

So, I really have to get serious about my Chuck Nohara quilt borders, because it’s acting like New Jersey’s Bridgegate: closing down my creative roads.

Chuck Nohara Center_May17

So here it is where I left it.  I think it looks really fabulous, but as I said, it’s beginning to haunt me.  So I’ve tried about four different versions of borders, but here’s just two so you get the idea of how hard this is:

So, now I’m thinking: pieced border.  I went back to the Chuck Nohara book and found a block that I think will work, but I took off the center circle.  Here’s my sample:

Chuck Nohara border block

I decided also to make all the background in this one different from what I have in the center of the quilt, as this quilt — an idea I scoped out from looking at “Partnership Charity Blocks” from Japan:

Parternership Quilt Border Idea

In fact, after looking at all these (found here on my Pinterest Board), I wondered if the Chuck Nohara blocks were an outgrowth of these quilts made by quilters in Japan (or did her work come first, and then the quilts?).  Those who want to participate all make small six-inch blocks, submit them to the chairperson, who organizes then to be sewn into quilts which are then auctioned off for charity.

In her quilt in her book, Chuck Nohara sashed with small plus blocks, and I followed her lead.  But I liked, how in the quilt above, hexagon circle blocks (which look like signature blocks) created a border.

Chuck Nohara Border Mock-up

So I borrowed that idea of using a single block all around in the border.  Here’s my mock-up, done in my Quilt Pro quilt drawing software.  I had to include two smaller inner borders to get the right dimensions, but that’s okay, too.  It will help stabilize all that piecing.  (The back is as fun to look at as is the front.)

I cut a lot of pieces, but since those star points are alternating and directional (and I wrongly cut some fabrics back-to-back) I’ll have a lot of “extras.”  Oops.  Maybe I’ll make some more stars for another project.

Chuck Nohara border_3

Here are the blocks I’ve finished, residing next to the “quilt middle” on my design wall.  I decided to try and do a ombre-style effect with the block middle, moving from yellow to yellow-green to green to yellow-green back to yellow as it goes around the edge.  We’ll see if I can pull it off.


I’m listening to this, as I stitch away.  It took me a bit to get into it, but now I’m in the groove.  We could use a few more gentlemen and gentlewomen in the world these days; guess I’d better start with myself, learning how to seat people at dinner parties.

I can think about this as I make my 48 blocks.

10 thoughts on “Inching through June • 2017

  1. I love where you’re going with the final border and truly admire your tenacity. It’s funny, isn’t it, that doing something so repetitive quiets our creativity? Of late, I’ve found the need for just that mindless sewing to help get me back on the creative track! For now I’m blaming it on summer doldrums (along with a bit of “fabric and project overload” and just hope it’s all sorted out by Fall. And thanks for yet another book suggestion – am loving The $500 House in Detroit!

  2. I like your star choice for the outer border. Using the same background fabric is a great idea to pull it all together. It is an amazing center so no matter what you do on that border would be fantastic. Only 45 more to go!!!!

  3. You have certainly zipped through making Chuck Nohara quilt blocks and I can see you have enjoyed the process. I look forward to seeing the border come together.

  4. Wow! I love the way this quilt is coming together. I love seeing pieced borders and think that they work best with quilt centers that have a lot going on rather than with centers that are simpler. That background fabric for the border is neat because it has so many paintbrush – like dabs of color that echo the quilt center. What is the name of that fabric?
    Not that I need more fabric, lol.
    Regarding civility, yes, I hope that we can see less rude (and worse) behavior in our society and more kindness.

  5. Well I think this proves that you have recovers from your surgery. I think I recall you saying you might not get to quilt at all in 2017, and now look at you dreaming up complex borders. I love your plan and certainly think the quilt justifies all that extra effort. Glad to see you’re returning to “normal”.

  6. I think this shows the value of letting a project ‘marinate’! These stars are going to be a fabulous border to all those amazing blocks! Happy sewing!

  7. The stars are a great choice and will really set off your other blocks. It will be more work but will look terrific. Just like your lollipop trees quilt a real stunner.

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