What's on the Design Wall

Slogging through the binding…oh wait, I am finally finished!

Before I get to the update on my quilt, Happy Ending, I wanted to recommend a blog if you are an antique sewing machine aficionado: Vintage Sewing Machines

Elena, a couture tailor, shares photos and stories about her incredible vintage sewing machine collection; and a lot of educational information about the workings of sewing machines. Reading her blog I have gained a huge appreciation for the beauty and mystery of vintage sewing machines!


This post is a follow up to a quilt discussed in my What’s on the Design Wall series of posts, Happy Ending.

In my post A Happy Ending for “Happy Ending”, I shared that I received my Happy Ending quilt in the mail from the long-arm quilter, Cindy Anderson, of A Quilter’s Corner with Cindy Anderson (inastitchquilting.com), and it was time to put on the binding and finish up the quilt.

Slogging through the binding

How do you feel about binding a quilt? I am torn. On one hand, it is exciting because the quilt is nearly done; and I enjoy snuggling under the quilt as I sew down the binding. On the other hand, I find it tedious and irritating and want it to be quickly done.

My desire to have my binding quickly done was evidenced in my early quilts which had sloppily sewn binding. If these quilts were still in my possession, over the years I have either replaced the binding completely or unstitched the hand sewing on the binding and restitched the bindings.

It seems like there are so many steps to binding a quilt:

  • Creating the binding
  • Sewing the binding strips to the quilt
  • Selecting the thread to hand stitch the binding down
  • Stitching the binding down

After stitching enough 2.5 ” strips together to encompass the entire perimeter of the quilt, it all begins with sewing down the binding:

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Here is the quilt with the binding sewn onto it, waiting to be hand stitched down (now comes the opportunity for major procrastination to set in):

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The thread I selected for hand stitching the binding to the back of the quilt (I usually select a lighter thread that will blend):

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Finally the hand stitching is done and the quilt is complete:

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It’s done, it’s finally done! (The Reveal)

Terry the Quilting Husband holding up the quilt for its quick photo shoot:

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I want to put it on the bed, but our miniature schnauzer Mike thinks there are “snakes in the bed” and has to scratch and spin before laying down. So for now I will keep it on the back of the sofa and put it on the bed on special occasions:

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Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer‘s blog Schnauzer Snips for her latest musings.

Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s on the Design Wall: The Tree Outside My Window

Continuing my series “What’s On The Design Wall” with an update on where I am in my design and piecing of a new piece that I first introduced in the post: “What’s on the Design Wall: Rescued Blocks II“.

I provided an update on my progress in the post “What’s on the Design Wall: Making Progress?“.

Recently, the name for this piece came to me – “The Tree Outside My Window” as I completed 15 blocks to create this art quilt.

As you will see in the photos below, this piece has FIVE images of trees in it (the post “What’s on the Design Wall: Fabric Surface Design Experimentation” discusses how these trees were created) but “The Trees Outside My Window” did not sound right on my tongue. I believe when naming a piece, it has to sound right to you when you say the name aloud.

After creating fifteen 12.5 inch by 12.5 inch blocks from: 1) 4 inch – 10 inch blocks originally pieced by a friend (“Rescued Blocks”): 2) scraps from my friend; and 3) five printed trees from a surface design workshop, I decided to piece the blocks into 3 columns of 5 blocks each.

Now I am deciding what I want to do next with my design. I am leaning towards putting a strip of solid (or solid like) fabric in between each row and then floating it in the same color as a border. Originally I was going to use a cream batik but it did not look right. Next I thought: “Ah a brown batik with texture would work”, but alas, I only had brown batik scraps in my stash.

Then my fabric stash spoke to me (which is good because I did not want to go out and buy more fabric as I am trying to use my stash)! I spotted the perfect fabric – mono color textured design yardage from my collection of Marcia Derse Riverwoods Collection from Troy Corporation. (At one point I was addicted to this amazing collection and tried to be a sample of all fabrics in this line from The Stitchin’ Post in Central Oregon.)

I am going to leave it a mystery for now which fabric from this beautiful collection I selected for the strips between the three rows and the border. You have to wait until the next post on this piece!

Here are photos from my design wall to include some close-ups:

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The Tree Outside My Window (in progress)

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Studio

The End(s) Is Near!

Please see the Textile Adventures page for info on my new line of Flannel Yum-Yum Quilts!

The final step to completing a quilt, whether you have quilted it yourself or sent it out to be professionally long-arm quilted, is to put on the binding. The challenge with binding is that you need to make it long enough (but not too long) to go around your entire quilt and allow for you to properly pivot the binding in the four corners of the quilt.

Quilt bindings (for the non quilters reading) are traditionally made from folded in half 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 inch strips of fabric  that coordinate with the quilt. The the binding is sewn to the edge of the quilt with a 1/4 inch seam. Then it is time to put on a movie, plop down in your favorite chair with needle and thread and hand sew down the other edge of the binding to the back of the quilt.

My collection of quilt bindings ENDS
My collection of quilt bindings ENDS

If you are a quilter you know of the challenges of sewing enough strips together (but not too many, ha!) for your binding. If you are like me, then you always have extra binding left over!  Occasionally (ok frequently) I have shocking lengths of binding leftover. It is like I was planning to go around the quilt TWICE with the binding!

I could never bring myself to just put the leftover binding back in my fabric scrap stash, so I came up with the idea of saving any leftover quilt binding ENDS to use on small quilts, potholders, wall hangings, etc.  I have also pieced together binding ends from previous quilts to make a scrappy binding for my current quilt. I love using the ends – “waste not, want not”!

Always keep your ENDS near!