Saturday, December 4, 2010

Q is for Quilting, Part 4**

**Previously published on my personal blog, this series of posts is aimed at explaining to non-quilters just what goes into making a quilt.  Thought I'd move them over here to Type B**

And we come to the end. This may be the fastest I've made a quilt - from yardage to binding.

The last steps include layering the backing (wrong side up) by taping it to a stable surface (I used the deck here for air circulation - not the greatest idea, given that it was kinda dirty...):

Then the batting (80% cotton, 20% polyester):

And finally, the top (right side up):

At this point, you baste the three layers together so that the layers won't shift while quilting. In the past, I have used pins. But pinning a quilt, even a small one, requires some times on your knees, bending over the quilt (one pin per fist-length = a lot of pins and a back ache!). Another option is to make long stitches (2"-3" per stitch) by hand, every three inches - this is the old school method, but I have never tried this. This time I decided to try spray basting, using an aerosol adhesive product. It worked great! I am definitely going to use it again for future projects. Basically, all you do is spray the batting and press it into place on the backing and repeat with the top.

Then, the quilting. I did straight-line quilting with my walking foot and even though I can't sew in a straight line, I think it worked out pretty well. The spray basting held up and washed out.

And then, binding. There are a ton of binding tips, tutorials and videos all over the web. Just do the Google thing. Binding the quilt adds a finished edge by enclosing the unfinished edges of the quilt sandwich. I started by sewing 2.5" strips into one long strip. Then, I folded it in half and ironed. I bind on the straight of grain, but bias is certainly a strong option, as well. These are jelly roll strips, so they are straight of grain.

I attached the strip - raw edges to raw edge of the quilt top:

Then you get something like this, framing the whole top:

Connecting the ends of the binding so that it matches up... well, I have to do it a couple times to get it right! But anyway, the final step is to turn the binding over to the back and hand-stitch the binding on the fold. The goal is to have an the binding even and "full," so that the quilt sandwich is filling the fold of the binding. Sometimes I fail at both of these things...

The result is the photo at the top of the post. I made it scrappy, using left over strips. With a quilt of this size, doing it by hand is pretty simple. When you get to larger - queen size quilts - it can be a more challenging endeavor. It is possible to attach a binding using a machine, but I have not been successful at making it look nice, so, by hand it is!

And here she is - Welcome Spring - my style:



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