Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Binding, the First Time

Woohoo, the quilt is finished at last (OK, with the exception of a few threads to clip and the embroidered dedication)!  I have layed it out on my bed because my son's is too hard to photograph.  The most intimidating part of this process for me was the binding.  I have placed some kind of 'binding' around my art quilts before, however, I invented my technique up as I went along.  I did not want to ruin my son's quilt after sooo much work, so I decided to sew an official binding and so looked into a couple techniques. 

The first one I explored I sewed on this practice quilt my little girl's doll.  (This doll belonged to my sister when she was a little girl.) I tried to follow the Missouri Quilt Company's binding instructions, changing 1/4 inch seam to 1/2 inch, but frankly I was too impatient to hand sew the back and figured there was no way I would hand sew my son's giant quilt.  And look at those corner--sheesh.  I'm not too happy with how it turned out but at least it is just a doll quilt--not too much at stake here.
I ended up using a suggestion from Inge, the woman who's longarm quilted my son's quilt together.  The binding is made from 3 inch strips of my chosen border materials (two different fabrics.)  I ironed the material in half length wise, then opened it up and folded the sides toward the middle leaving a small gap.  I then ironed the folds down, I closed the folds and ironed the fabric down the middle again.  I then capped that folded fabric over the edge of the quilt and could sew both sides of the binding on in one go.  The other piece of valuable advice I received from Inge was to sew the binding beginning along the side rather than at one of the corners.  That certainly made piecing the binding tails together easier.  I used Missouri Quilt Company's corner technique. 
I have promised each of my children a quilt.  An have begun working on my daughter's already.  I am sewing them in order who's birthday is coming next.

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