Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Binding A Quilt

Sometimes binding a quilt can be a true chore. Part of the problem is attaching it and getting the ends to meet nicely, without puckers or bulk. I don't remember when I learned this method, but once I did, the thought of binding looming on the horizon was no long one I dreaded.

I am going to try my hand at a tutorial. Let's see how this goes.

First, you prepare your quilt and your binding as you normally would. I prefer to cut my binding at 2 3/8", but every quilter has her own preference. Fold and press; be sure that the binding is 12-15" longer than necessary. You MUST have this extra in order to make meeting the ends an easier task.

The picture above shows where I began stitching the binding to the quilt (on the right) and where I stopped (on the left). I laid a ruler there to show that you need several inches of space in which to work. Yes, when you get to this point, you have to take it out of the machine, and head to the ironing board.

When you begin attaching the binding, you must make sure to leave a tail of several inches. You will also need to be sure that you'll have a tail at the end. Above, I have roughly an 8" tail on the right, and roughly 12" on the left.

With the edge of the quilt and the edge of the binding lined up straight, I take the tails and fold them to meet somewhere in the middle. See photo above for one side close up.

The other side meets it and is folded back. Press these folds to get a good crisp fold mark. You need to be able to find those fold marks when the binding is opened up in the next step.

I hope you can read the text I added to the picture. Basically, you need to match the folds, right sides together and stitch on the fold line. Cumbersome work, as this means carrying the whole quilt back to the sewing machine and finagling this little bit of binding back under the presser foot. Take your time. If you have given yourself a large enough opening and long enough tails, it will be fine. (Trust me on this - I have tried with small openings and short tails - not fun!)

The photo above shows what this should look like, although to be honest, I think I am off a bit to the left of the fold line. (I probably fixed it after I took the picture.)

Next, it needs to be trimmed up. Keep a quarter-inch seam allowance.

Press it back into shape. I like to press the seam allowance open, then fold over the binding and press again. Now the binding is connected end-to-end, and is ready to have this final bit sewn to the quilt.

If all has been done properly, the binding fits exactly to the unsewn part. Lay the binding along the edge of the quilt, return to the machine and finish attaching to the quilt.

Voila!! You have now successfully attached your binding and even if it does require a few extra steps, it looks perfect when completed.

Do let me know if this tutorial was helpful. I have not done many, but I would consider doing more, if I thought I could help out sometime. If any step needs further explanation, just let me know.

I will be linking to Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts. Go check 'em out!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bridal Quilt Delivered

The newlyweds have surely celebrated 6 months of wedded bliss by now, and at last they have the quilt that Sharon and I made for them.

Back in the summer, Sharon and I cooked up a plan to whip out a quilt fast-fast-fast for our friend's daughter. Dee, the friend, was involved in the color selection and helped with passing info back and forth as to Liz and Brian's various preferences. We came up with very large HSTs in peach, mint green, light gray and white. These were the wedding colors, too, by the way.

When all three of us (Sharon, Dee and I) met in Columbus earlier this month, we handed off the quilt to Dee. She then held it until the following weekend when she'd next be seeing Liz and Brian. And now the circle is complete.

Wayne the dog doesn't look too impressed, but Liz and Brian seem very pleased. We weren't as fast-fast-fast as we'd hoped, but we eventually delivered on the gift.

Dee has been making a couple of baby quilts for some of Liz's friends - I will soon post some pics of those, so stay tuned!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Quilt to Bind

A quilt will soon be on its way to Florida, if I can make myself get really busy this week. DH and I had decided to gift a quilt to his brother and sister-in-law. We let them pick from several options and they selected Bradford's Star - a quilt top I made a number of years ago for a mystery project.

I found some remaining fabrics from the top and a great sale piece of coordinating fabric to use for backing. It was delivered to my quilter about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I saw her Friday morning and took delivery of the finish. Looks great!!

Various shots from it's early-morning photo shoot. I wanted to get it before the bright sun created streaks of light across it.

Maybe it will be in Florida by this time next week? Hope so!

I will be linking up with Monday Making over at Love Laugh Quilt. Click on over and have a peek.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How to Beat the February Doldrums

Mid-February in Ohio - while we are having a warmer than normal winter, the skies are quite cloudy and gray. In an effort to brighten that gloominess, I have a quilt and a flower to share with you today.

I continue to stitch on my paper-pieced lap quilt. It seems I've worked on this for ages, but I don't work steadily, so that is why. It is nice to keep my calloused fingers toughened up, though. I do enjoy hand quilting.

We - DH and I - have been eagerly awaiting the blooming of an amaryllis he bought on deep, deep discount just after Christmas. Well, it happened! Look at this glorious color! Sure to brighten any February day!

It sits in front of a west-facing window and has thrived there. What a beauty!

I discovered a new program to watch on Netflix while I quilt - Broadchurch. It is a British murder mystery from a few years ago that is quite compelling.

I will be linking up with  Slow Sunday Stitching - hope you'll have a look around!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Emma's Project

Here's a story of how a daughter's project becomes a mom's project - and, no, I am not complaining. I do have my own stuff to work on, but this is sorta' fun, and I might as well work on it as anything else I might do.

Just because it is visible on the design wall every time I walk into the sewing room, I've been spending a few odd moments here and there working on the baby quilt that Emma and I began last weekend. She wants to gift it to a friend who's baby shower is in April, and since I have offered to quilt it on my machine, I figured I'd just go ahead with the remaining sewing, as well.

Above all the horizontal rows are sewn together. I added two more rows than what we had originally, as I thought the quilt would be rather small, even for a baby quilt.

A closer view of the triangles and the variety of fabrics. A couple of these were in my stash; the rest Emma picked up at the Athens JoAnn Fabrics.

I like the backing she selected. There's definitely a triangle theme going on.

I have 4 of the 11 horizontal rows attached. My plan is to finish them today and get a quilt sandwich made soon so that I can get started quilting it. Some of those triangles are wobbly, and I sure hope that some batting and quilting will make them behave.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Recent Retail Therapy

It comes as no surprise to you regular readers that I rarely shop for fabric anymore. At some point in the last 7 years, I had this epiphany about the stash I have already amassed, and that continuing to add to it was senseless. I will never sew all of this fabric. Couple that realization with the increasing cost of fabric, it just became crystal clear that I needed to curb my buying. 

But I have not stopped entirely. Case in point, in the past month or so, I have splurged on some fat quarters. Wanna' see?

The fabric group above came from Old Town Fabric Shop in Chillicothe. I needed to go in for something - needles, I think. Anyway, I allowed myself to select a handful of pretty stuff based on a picture Emma and I had been looking at back when we were discussing a wall-hanging for her apartment. (I still need to get on that!) Anyway, this grouping struck me as pretty, in addition to being out of the norm for the type of fabric I usually go for. Branching out, you know? 

Last Friday, I met Sharon P. and Dee (you met her last fall) in Columbus for a lovely lunch at Marcella's at Polaris. It is a Cameron Mitchell restaurant which is synonymous for delicious food, in this case Italian. What a fabulous meal to linger over with friends. 

Then we hopped over to Quilt Beginnings on Sawmill Road for shopping. I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket. Again, I shopped for fabrics that aren't typically 'me.' 

That first group I found appealing based on the colors - intense and saturated. Dee and Sharon suggested that they'd make great-looking zipper bags or a purse, and I agree. I bought an extra fat quarter of 2 fabrics, just for that purpose.

The next group makes me think of the fresh, spring-y quilts from my youth. Those prints look like vintage '60s to me, and the green accents all three. I might do some great granny squares with these. 

So far, I have done a lot of petting and fondling, unfolding and refolding. I sometimes hesitate to cut into pretty fabric, so I hope I can get on these soon.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Emma's Making a Quilt!

I felt pretty doggone lucky a couple of years ago when DD1 - Erin - began making baby quilts for various friends who were pregnant. I would guess she's made 3 or 4 total. Having a daughter who had previously shown very little interest in quilting suddenly want to make them herself has been a happy, happy development, one that makes me quite proud!

Modern Baby Quilt  grey aqua white and navy by littlecolleydesign:

How could things get any happier? When the second daughter wants to do the same thing, of course! Yessss!! Emma, DD2, texted about a week ago asking if I would help her make a quilt for one of her former college roommates who is expecting a baby boy later this spring. Navy and gray were going to be the main colors in the nursery, so the quilt would pick up this colorway, as well. After sending an inspiration picture from Pinterest, (above) we began making plans. She scoured my stash, then went shopping for additional fabrics and she selected a backing, too.

I showed her how to cut 3.5" 60-degree triangles. After we had several cut, she went to the design wall and I finished cutting more of whatever fabric she wanted/needed.

I set her up at one machine and I was at the other, and we were off to the races! If we hadn't had a funeral visitation to go to, we would have finished all the rows. As it was, we only got about half of them together. She had to get back to Athens, so I did a bit more on my own and she promises to be back soon to continue.

Both girls had the full 10 years of 4-H sewing projects as they were growing up. And of course, my sewing machine was set up somewhere in the house all the time. They have definitely been exposed to sewing and quilting, but only now that they see them as viable gifts for others are they interested in making them. I think it's awesome. Quilts are wonderful gifts - so much time, thought, love, devotion all poured into the effort. It warms my heart that they show signs of wanting to continue the tradition.

I'm linking in with the quilters over at Quilt Infatuation today. Stay inspired!
I'v also linked with Crazy Mom Quilts and her Finish It Up Friday feature.
Happy Quilting, Friends!