Pretty As A Picture


Last week, I was waiting at the dermatologist with my daughter. I’m not sure how this guy manages to be 45 minutes late, given that we always have the first appointment of the day, but each month he keeps us waiting for almost an hour. My daughter spent the time moaning about how cold it was. I spent the time staring at a limited edition print in his examining room.

The amazing part was how the mat and frame worked to show off the landscape picture. The matting was the exact hue of the sky. The frame was an ornate stud-encrusted choice that added weight and importance to the picture. The combination of the picture, mat and frame created a work of art.

Since I relate everything I see to quilting, I had an epiphany. The picture is like the body of the quilt. The inner border is like the mat. (An of course you can have more than one mat on a picture — or a quilt). Finally, the outer border and binding are like the frame. Together, they should all work together to enhance the quilt and create a work of art.

Now I’m sure this revelation is completely obvious to most quilters. It’s probably even the subject of a book or two. However it was a new way of thinking for me, and it’s changed the way that I am constructing my quilts. I’m paying much more attention to the borders and binding. And I’m looking more at the overall impact of the quilt.

As I didn’t have my camera at the doctor’s office, I was looking for an example of how a picture frame enhances a picture. Here’s a great one. The frame is hand-painted to show off the painting. (FYI, I have no relation to the artist or financial interest in the painting.) Enjoy!


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