Monday, February 10, 2020

Small Quilt Binding Tutorial

I made a bunch of small quilts for my friends this Christmas. Not only are they fast but they are fun.!  The only thing I don't like about small quilts is the stopping and starting the binding edges once you sew it all down. It's hard and clunky.

So find yourself a small cute block. This one is about 9 1/2" x 7".

I like to do straight line quilting. It is more modern but it makes any block look good. I set my stitch length to 3 or 4 on my Bernina. I never try and make the lines totally parallel because A- they never will be and B - it looks more interesting! Don't make it harder on yourself. Wavy lines would look good here too! I used Aurifil 50 weight thread in Dove or #2600. It's one of my favorite colors and works well with all colors, in my opinion.

We all know there are a million ways to do anything. I will tell you what I do and you can do it however it works for you.

Once your block is quilted, square it up so it looks so incredibly perfect! This is measuring about 7" x 9".

Small quilts are hard to hang. Let's make it easy! Cut 2 squares 3" x 3". Mine are mismatched which does not bother me at all. You can match your fabrics.......

Iron the fabric as shown, wrong sides together.

Next place them on the upper corners of the quilt on the back.

Baste in place using a small seam allowance. I use about a 1/8" just make sure it is smaller than 1/4"

Cut out your binding at 1 1/2" wide. This is important for my instructions. If your quilt is small enough you will not have to piece any binding together. The loop will go all they way around. We will be doing a single fold binding.

Cut the decorative piece of ribbon you are using about 2" long. this might be something you play with depending on what is on your ribbon. I am using a piece of "measuring tape" that will make my job easier. You want to make sure that you cut it a tad bit larger than a quarter of an inch in front of your design where it will go into the seam allowance. For example I want the "2" to be on the front so I cut a bit more in front of the 2. Keep reading if it does not make sense.....

Next you will baste the ribbon onto the front of your quilt using that 1/8" seam allowance again. Press it down 1/4" with your fingers to make sure once the sewing happens that your "2" will show. See above.

Once you are happy with the placement of the ribbon, start with the binding. Place it half way down the ribbon, see above. Start sewing along the edge of the binding and continue on the way you always sew a binding. A single fold is done exactly as the same way as a  double fold binding.

Once you come back to the beginning, cut the binding with a slight overlap. Not much....

Not too much or it will be bulky.

Here's another picture of the over lap.

Very carefully sew those 2 edges together as shown above. You can skip this step but I feel like it keeps things neater and is easier to sew.

Next flip up your ribbon and press well so it lays flat. I will now press the entire binding from the front of the quilt to give the edges a nice sharp crease.

Fold the binding once along the raw edge of the quilt and fold again, sew the binding down as usual.

Fold in the ribbon, trimming off any excess, and sew as usual. I love to use my clips which makes the sewing very easy.

It should look like this.

My "2" looks good!

The back looks great too!

My quilt is complete!

Give this a try. It is so much easier than trying to wrestle with the mitered edge of a binding on a small quilt. I also think it adds a fun touch.
I would only do this on a quilt that is not going into the wash. It might hold up but I don't know.....


Thursday, February 6, 2020

The State of the Sewing Room

I have been working in sub-par conditions. Since the holidays I have been shoving things aside to work on what ever needed my attention.

I have things everywhere!

It's been a while since this floor saw a vacuum.

This is my work table, see what I mean?

There is an ironing board under all those quilts.

Workshop fabric from NOVEMBER!

It didn't take too long to put it into some order so I could at least get something done. I love this Mrs Meyer's Peony scented cleaner. My whole room smelled like spring!

I have lots of things going on. I am doing a Demo Day presentation to the guild next week. I like to prepare ahead of time so they get a good feel for what I am showing them. I like to have lots of samples to inspire them.

I love these baskets and think I will take these to work on at our retreat in March.

Sew Along Sampler blocks for another guild.....

I am making this quilt along with some friends. We are encouraging each other to stay on task. The goal is 1 a month. This is by Zen Chic and yes I bought the kit to make it simple.

I have a white board in my sewing room because believe it or not I forget what needs to get done!
How do you stay on top of things? Plus who doesn't like crossing off things on a list!

I am planning on having a tutorial for Monday, finger's are crossed. It will be a fun one.

I have heard that blogs may be on a come back. What do you think? The other day I crossed the 1 million views mark! I am not sure if that even means anything but you never know!


Monday, February 3, 2020

Red and Green Applique

I love red and green applique quilts. No matter what that will never change!
I have not done a big applique project in a long time. I am now making one with 9, 30" blocks for my bed. It will also have an applique border, she says with conviction! Let's see if that comes true.

I am using the freezer paper method, mostly because I want the circles and flowers to be exact. If they are not, it will drive me crazy. Usually I am not so worried but for this one I will be.
So I fused 2 pieces of freezer paper together than traced my shape and cut it out. Next I placed this template, shiny side up on the wrong side of the fabric, cut out the fabric using about a 1/4" seam allowance. Next I ironed the edges around and onto the shiny side to hold it's shape. I left the paper in while I appliqued the pieces down.

I like this method because it makes it easy for me to follow the pattern exactly.

I pinned the ever living life out of each piece and then I machine basted them down. The reason is I want to be able to "travel" with this to bees and retreats without worrying about them falling off. I have done glue basting, but I really like this method too.

The freezer paper came out very easy. I think just be conscious of sewing the very edge and not the freezer paper. The bonus is the templates will be able to be used again.

I also made a big switch from silk thread to Aurifil #80 weight. So far I love it and it sews just like silk. I had an issue using silk with a quilt a made for my son and daughter in law. The silk started coming  apart on the applique! I have heard very good reviews for this so I am giving it a try

I have come to terms with the center. I am totally changing it. I will show it once it is sewn together. See all those pins!!!

Applique is time consuming yet very soothing. I have started a basket quilt, because life is short and I want to make all the quilts! The handles go very fast and the rest of it is sewn by machine, a perfect mix in my book. I will post pictures later with some finished blocks.


Thursday, January 23, 2020


Yesterday I took an EQ8 class with my friends Stephanie and Mary. Classes are always fun when you do them with friends! Plus then you can ask them questions if you forget something.....

I have had the program for about a year and have made blocks and followed the lessons but there is nothing that beats a hands-on class. I learned so much and think I will be utilizing this tool a lot more in my quilting.

With my new found knowledge I may re-design the center of this block that I don't really love. I am going to make it easier and something I like.

Just being able to change the colors on blocks is so much fun! and so easy. How many times have you made a block and then decide you wish you had used something else? Almost everyone in the class had made blocks using the graph paper method so we all agreed this was a useful fun exercise.

We also "made" quilts and the fun part is you can turn blocks, delete blocks, add different blocks etc. The possibilities are endless. Our teacher, Ann Holte told us to remember this is not a video can see how easy it would be to design many, many quilts in the virtual world but we all want to make them in the real world!
Ann was a wonderful teacher we all highly recommend her. You can find her information here.

I really like this quilt setting, and how easy it is to turn the blocks in a pleasing manner that I like.

For this exercise we were asked to pick a pieced block and an applique block. I love this!! I may just have to make it!

For you English Paper piecers, there is even a way to print out your templates. I thought randomly coloring in the hexies, made for a fun and unexpected quilt.

There are even labels to make for those of us (me) who don't like to make them.

Overall I like the program and will probably use it more and more, now that I have a taste of what it can do. How about you? Do you have it and do you like it? If you haven't taken a class do so. Even if it is just to learn the basics you will be surprised how easy it is.