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.

Audiobooks and Podcasts, Studio

Progress and Fear

Interesting combinations of words, huh? One sounds positive (Progress) and the other sounds, well…fearful (Fear)!

Actually the title is about two positive things!

PROGRESS

Making progress on the five (5) quilts that are back from the long-arm quilter and need bindings to be completed (refer to the posts “Some Progress Made” and “The Quilting Husband Saga Continues” for more info). Terry the Quilting Husband assembled the bindings and I have sewn them onto all 5 quilts. Now they are waiting in a nice pile to taken turns sitting on my lap and have their binding sewn down. Then they will be complete!

"Please complete us" (Pile-o-Quilts waiting for their bindings to be sewn down)
“Please complete us” (Pile-o-Quilts waiting for their bindings to be sewn down)

FEAR

My previous post was on Creative Inspiration: Words. Currently listening to Susan Jeffers’ fantastic audiobook Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and feeling very inspired. I wanted to share her 5 Truths About Fear she has published on her website (susanjeffers.com):

  1. Fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow (this is a good thing)!
  2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it!
  3. The only way to feel better about yourself it to go out and do it!
  4. Not only are you afraid when facing the unknown, so is everyone else!
  5. Pushing through the fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness!

I am really enjoying this audiobook. Of course now you all expect that I will quickly complete the bindings on the stack-o-quilts as I should feel pretty fearless about them now…

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!

tierneycreates

Sewing Down Binding: the final frontier to completion

As a quilter, one of my favorite things is to get a quilt back from the long arm quilter, put on the binding and then sew it down to complete the quilt.  I have quilting friends who hate the binding part, even some with a backlog of finished quilts only awaiting binding. I have included a photo of the recent quilt I got back from the long arm quilter. It is such a treat to watch a movie or TV show and sew down my binding while snuggling under my new quilt.  I would love to hear what other quilters think about sewing down binding….

quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe, Guadalupe Designs
quilted by Guadalupe Designs

Pattern: “Joining Together Quilt” from the book Quilt Love by Cassandra Ellis, Taunton Press 2012

I received a gift from someone’s estate of new and antique Dutch and Japanese blue and white textiles and used those fabrics to create this quilt. After it was quilted and the binding attached, I laundered it to give it more texture. Long-arm quilting by Guadalupe Designs.