Tuesday, May 28, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Finish-a-thon (with a binding tutorial)

Sometimes you lose your sewing mojo... and sometimes you find it! I made the most of my long memorial day weekend sewing. Somehow I've gotten into a state of having a ton of active WIPs and very few finishes (not like me). So, my goal this weekend was to finish something.

Toppled Coins + Bonus Quilt
Success! These two baby quilts were finished today (the one on the right now has binding).  The quilt on the left is Toppled Coins, which I've been working on for a while; the one on the right is a bonus quilt made from all the extra blocks I had accidentally cut for the first quilt!  Both will be shipping out to little boys soon.  There will be more details on these in this week's Friday Finishes post.

A pic of the final layout
The next project was my Architextures quilt. This one had been taken off the design wall and carefully stacked until I was ready to work on it again.  I made some tweaks to the layout to allow more of the same colors to touch before beginning to sew it together.  When I join lots of small blocks like these I don't like to do them in rows.  I find it's much easier to ease in those small inconsistencies and make all the points meet if I build them into larger and larger square blocks.  Hopefully I can get this one the rest of the way together tomorrow.

Crappy night time photo. Sewing the top together, in progress.

For binding the second baby quilt today I opted to use an alternative binding method that I occasionally use when I want to be frugal with my binding fabric.  I went ahead and took some pictures so I could explain it here.

To determine the width of binding to cut, take the width you normally cut your binding to (2.25" in my case) divide it in half, and add back 0.25".  This means I cut my binding to 1 3/8", nearly an inch of fabric saved for every strip of binding. 


Now the tricky part (but you only have to do it once.) Inset both ends of a needle in your ironing board cover so that the gap under the needle is equal to the first number you got above (before you added 0.25") or half your normal binding width.  Once you've got the needle in place you can leave it here and forget about it, it doesn't affect your normal ironing.


To make the binding you insert the end of the binding under the needle, rolling one edge over about a quarter inch so that the strip just fits in the space under the needle.  As you pull on the strip it should naturally roll over on that edge and you'll iron the crease in place as the binding comes out the other side of the needle.  I am right handed, so I pull from the left.  When I get in a groove I use my left hand to pull slowly and iron with my right at the same time.  It barely takes any longer than ironing normal double fold binding.


Attach the binding the same way you normally would, attaching the unfolded edge first.  I machine sew to the back, wrap the binding around and machine sew on the fold to the front.

I have heard people say that one of the important things about double-fold binding is that it protects the edge of the quilt, which receives the most wear in use.  It is true that this single thickness binding may wear faster; just something to consider when choosing a technique.  Like I said, I mostly only use this technique when I won't have enough fabric for binding cutting the normal width.


And some gratuitous pictures of my quilting companions.  These two are constantly in and out and around my feet while I am working.  This was the best picture I could get of the ferret.  When I try to take pictures of her I mostly get pictures of where she used to be.


Mr. Wilson, snoring away in kitty heaven.  His Kitty Kaps are holding up nicely.  I put the first set on well over a month ago and half of them are still in place.  We are definitely fans of this product!

Whew, it was a busy weekend!  In case you couldn't tell from all the pictures I also replaced my broken camera.  I was able to score a refurbished display model on sale from Best Buy and it's even nicer than my old one.

I am linking up to WIP Wednesday. Happy Hump day everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful quilts and very neat binding tip!

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