Sunday, September 01, 2013

binding my first bed quilt

For 8 days in May, I immersed myself in the bliss of cutting, pinning, stitching, and pressing, of my lovely Liberty Tana Lawn...and when then marathon was over, I was left with a finished quilt top and a pieced back.  Granted it was a bit of an impulsive beginning (I just decided on Victoria Day weekend* that that I was going to get started, and five minutes later I had my rotary cutter in hand), but I came to the realization that I was probably never going to love those fabrics any more than I did right then and there.  I'd been crushing on them for as long as I'd been back from my trip to England (2 years ago this month).  And while I didn't see that love fading any time soon, I realized that I didn't want to risk waiting until it had before I started using them.  Because sometime that happens - you use up all of your love for something in the imagining, the dreaming, the playing in your mind.....and when it's all said and done, nothing can live up to all of that imagined potential.   And that is never good!  Especially when you really $plurge -- and I think few would argue that making an entire quilt out of Liberty Tana Lawn is anything short of insanity a major $plurge.

For the last three months, my quilt has been sitting and waiting at the long-arm lady's to be quilted (machine quilting is not in my repertoire), and I was excited to finally go and pick it up a few days ago.  My first reaction was "I can't believe how light and airy it is....", which is because of the fabric itself and also the silk batting I chose (why stop $plurging at that point!?!?). 

I still had the binding left to finish, and I carefully pinned it in place and sewed it onto the front with my machine, yesterday.  Now, I am a novice quilter....and while I have sewn lots of binding onto hotpads, etc., recently, I have never had to bind something so large as a bed quilt, so I was more than a little nervous to begin. 

When I picked up my quilt, Sue had trimmed away the excess batting and backing about 1/4" from the edge of the quilt top.  I was curious about whether or not I should do further trimming before I attached my binding, and she recommended that I did not - the excess will help fill and firm the edge.  I was a bit skeptical at first, but decided to heed her advice.  I lined up the edge of my binding (2 1/2", folded in half) with the edge of the quilt top and pinned in place.  When I started sewing, I initially used a 1/4" seam allowance.  After I sewed several inches, I removed the pins and wrapped the binding around to the backside.  What I discovered was that the edge wasn't quite as full as I was expecting – or desiring.  So I quickly switched feet on my machine and changed the seam allowance to be a bit more generous, and re-sewed the same section over again.  A quick flip later, I was much happier with the results. 

Because I know that this is something I will be doing infrequently (and thus easily forgetting), I took a quick picture to remind myself of what I did – and which foot I used for the job.  And, posting it here on the blog just means that I will be able to find it more easily in the future!  :-)

I've hand-sewn about 2/3 of the binding onto the backside of the quilt so far.....and when I am finished, I will take some proper snaps to share.   I can already say that the promises of silk being as warm as down appear to be true – having the quilt on my lap while I was stitching quickly had me turning on the A/C!  ;-)

*I don't know what it is about Victoria Day weekend, but just realized that this is also the weekend I started working on Jumbo three years ago.....!?!?!