Monday, June 16, 2014

Bits and Pieces

      Well, I finished the crazy quilt blocks finally. It is a fun project for the first week or so and then you just want to see the end of the last block. When I finished, I just had to count (I had no idea how many there were as I went along) and I made 75. That will make 3- 25 block quilts for charity or any new baby girls that may join my family.
      Speaking of new babies, we had 2 babies born less than 2 weeks apart in May--my great nephew Jackson, and great niece Natalie. I am in the process of finishing their quilts and thought of 3 things to share as I am putting on bindings.
      #!. Making the binding
When I make a crazy or scrappy quilt I like a pieced binding with lots of fabrics. The important thing about this is that the pieces MUST be sewn together diagonally on the bias. After making the strip, press all the seams open and fold the fabric in half with the seams inside. This spreads the extra fabric bulk over a couple inches and is really not noticeable. 
If making a one-color binding, you still piece diagonally for the same reason.
(Edited note: I cut my binding strips 2 1/2 inches wide)
       #2 Sewing down the binding. USE THE WALKING FOOT. This is something I wish someone had told me when I started quilting. I have several quilts with really bad ripply borders because I did not do this. It was really pointed out to me at a major quilt show when I saw a beautiful Baltimore Album Quilt with the worst border/binding I ever saw. If you do not use the walking foot, the border fabric slides and ripples and really looks BAD. 
        #3 BE THANKFUL FOR THE PEOPLE WHO TAUGHT AND MENTORED YOU!  Every time I sew by hand I say a thank you to the first lady who taught me quilting. I don't remember her name, the shop is no longer there, but she was a slave driver who taught hand piecing and quilting the right way. She taught how to choose the right needle for you, and how to use a thimble. I can not hand sew without a thimble to this day and really wish I had known this back in the Sandie's Specialties days! I had permanent callouses and pain in my fingers back then.  So thank you, quilting teacher in Waltham!


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