Friday, September 2, 2011

Binding and finishing the signature quilt

 The signature quilt will finish at just under 60 inches for each side, so the next task was to create 7 yards of binding.  I cut 6 width of fabric strips from the dolphin batik 2 1/4 inches wide. I the carefully joined them at right angles, making certain that the dolphins were all swimming in the same direction (working with batiks one can lose track of which side is up).  At each joint, I then cut the excess fabric off 1/4 inch from the seam. 

After trimming, I carefully pressed and starched the strips and then cut off the little triangle along the edge.  Happily, I got them right on the first try (though apparently followed up by photographing upside down).

Because I like to use a double fold binding, the next step was to carefully press the strip in half.  There are any number of gadgets and tricks that one can set up to do this, and might possibly make it faster.  However, I am completely comfortable working six to eight inches at a time, folding the strip in half, and pressing and starching as I go along.  So far, I don't see the value of using a long pin to draw the strip under (one technique), nor do I see the need to purchase the binding machine (I can buy lots more fabric instead).
After completing my 7+ yards of binding, I flipped it over and starched it again, then I rolled it onto an empty toilet paper roll to store it until it was time to sew it onto the quilt. 

The next step was to pin the binding to the front of the quilt, reinstall the walking foot (have become much more adept at installing that foot now), and setting the seam width at a bit more than 1/4 inch to stitch the binding down. This is my second quilt to bind, and I'm still working on finding the perfect sweet spot for the binding so that it is even on both sides.  At each corner, I stopped 1/4 inch before the end in order to turn the quilt and flip the binding in order to miter the corners, then finally tucked the binding into the starting point and finished stitching.  I thoroughly enjoy handwork, and relaxed while stitching the binding to the back. This time around, I used the quilt clips (look a lot like hair clips) and like the way they hold. It was much easier than pinning, and much less stress on my hands.

I finished the quilt, washed it, lint rolled it again to collect the remaining threads from the seams that I removed and to remove the new donation of Corgi hair.  This corner picture shows some of the binding as well as a corner heart and my first completed free motion quilting.  I am very pleased with this quilt.

Third Grade, Fourth Grade, Fifth Grade and the Faculty & Staff along the edges.
Kindergarten, First Grade & Second Grade - each class signed on two squares.

Gus is my photographer as the quilt is taller than he is.

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