Thursday 12 February 2015

Quilt Tutorial Part 3 - quilting and perfect binding.

Welcome back to Sewmiriam, It is always a real pleasure to have you drop by. Our lives are busy and we are always multi tasking to fit everything in. One lifetime is just not enough! I am glad you are taking a few moments to pause and read on. Maybe something here at Sewmiriam will inspire you, inform you or just please you! I hope so. Sewing is such a pleasurable pastime, and the  pleasure is best when shared.

This blogpost is Part 3 of the table topper tutorial. It is a long post, so grab a cup of tea and read on.

The last two posts should have you ready to quilt the table topper. The choice is yours as to whether you hand quilt or machine quilt. I need to have the table topper ready for my friend's 50th birthday party next week, so I have chosen to machine quilt. Yikes! I am really just feeling my way in the machine quilting skills department. Remember to use a walking foot to help the layers run smoothly top and bottom through  your machine as you stitch. Set your stitch length to a longer length than you would normally use to sew a seam. I chose to quilt my table topper using straight lines diagonally running through the blocks, and then made square shapes within the cream squares. and stitching these into the cream border to continue the pattern flow of the blocks into the border space. This is a simple trick that gives great visual impact.

I completed the quilting in the outer border by stitching three parallel rows of stitching a generous  quarter inch apart. I think that quilting does not have to be complicated to create a pleasing effect. Even timid steps in the machine quilting arena can work ! Trust me - I am the tippy toe princess! 

PERFECT BINDING - tips and tricks. 

All that is left to do is the binding. I have chosen a red spot fabric, a personal favourite! Take your 4 WOF strips and join short ends to make one continuous strip. Press binding with wrong sides together length ways so that you have a long strip ready to stitch onto your quilt top. 

Take your quilt right side up, and place a pin half way down one side. Leave this pin in place, as it will be your end sewing point for your binding. Now, measure 6 inches down your quilt side from the pin. This is your starting point for sewing. Also measure down 6 inches from the start of your binding. This the starting point for your binding to be sewn down to your quilt top. In other words, you should have a tail of 6 inches on your binding that is not sewn down at the  start. 

Place your binding onto your top, matching the 6 inch points for both binding and quilt top. The binding raw edges should match the raw edges of your quilt top. The red topped pin ( NOT the white one) is your sewing start point.

Stitch using a quarter inch seam in from the edge down the side , stopping a 1/4 inch from the corner.

Turn the binding at a right angle across the bottom from left to right as shown below.

Then fold the binding back across the quilt , leaving the triangle shape underneath the binding in the corner , and the binding parallel to the next side to be stitched. ( later , when you turn your binding over , you will have created perfect mitred corners.)  Commence stitching a quarter inch in from the edge, taking care not to catch the triangle fold into your seam. Continue along each side and corner and stop stitching at the pin mark of the last side.

You now have 2 tails of binding and 6 inches of space unstitched on the quilt top/binding seam
All  that is left to do is to join your binding together and  complete the seam. There are many ways to do this, but the method I show you works for me every time, giving a perfectly flat sitting binding. Fingers crossed it works for you too. Measure 3 1/4 inches from end of stitching and mark using an erasable pen/ marker . 

Place your binding over this marked spot and mark 1/4 inch beyond it as shown on the binding. Cut your binding at this mark. 

Repeat with the beginning  end of your binding, but this time measuring along 1/4 the OTHER way beyond the first mark as shown and cut binding as shown. Check that your binding ends overlap each other 1/4 inch on either side of the first 3 1/4 inch mark on quilt top. Remember- measure twice- cut once! 

Nearly there! Open up binding and join using a 1/4 inch seam right sides together.  It is a bit awkward to lift and put binding edges together but it does work.

When stitched , turn binding back to sit flat against quilt. If it doesn't sit flat , you may need to adjust and redo binding seam size. The seam should match the original 3 1/4 inch mark, as shown . When happy with how it sits, stitch the last 6 inches of " binding to quilt " seam. 

The last thing to do is to turn the binding over to the back and stitch in place.

Take care with the  corners ,so that your mitred corners sit nicely front and back.

Congratulations! Your quilt is complete. 

Happy sewing! Miriamx

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