Finished One!

The first of two house blocks for this years $10 quilt is done.  I'm pleased with how it turned out.  There's two more little pieces to add once the paper is removed.  For the moment I'm pinning them to the block for storage since one of them is only about 1 inch square. 

The Friends on Chelsea Lane spent a lot of time in my purse this week -- or pocket over the weekend.  I took three blocks to the Ladies Retreat over the weekend and during breaks and social times, stitched away.  Others were busy knitting scarves.

Harvest moon.  The last star is pinned in place because I want to change the words and need to figure out what it will be so I can position the star appropriately.

Friends just needs its word and some zig-zag chain stitch

Bloom I've started the embroidery.  This will be this week purse project

Last night, I finally quilted the little thread painting wall hanging that I started in a guild workshop in May 2009.  Its now quilted, bound and labelled.  I can move it from the to-do list spreadsheet to the done list!

I thought I'd lost the magazine that I use for binding quilts.  Its an old issue of Quilting Today (#61).  It had gotten into the wrong holder so all was well.  Just in case this is my version of their instructions

Cut the binding 5 times wider than you want the finished binding to be.  I usually cut 2.5 inch wide binding so it finishes .5 inch.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough fabric to cut them that wide here so I ended up with 1 5/8 inch width which finishes to roughly 3/8

Take the cut stripes, position at right angles and stitch across the diagonal

Trim to roughly a quarter inch and press

Press the piece in half length wise

Make sure you have about 6 or 8 inches more length than the perimeter of the quilt (length + width) times 2.  Normally I trim the quilt so there is about 1/4 inch of backing and binding extending out beyond the edge of the quilted top.  For this one, it was trimmed to the edge of the quilt top since the binding is so narrow.  Align the raw edges of the binding with the raw edge of the quilt top.  Stitch a 1/4 inch seam allowance along the quilt top starting 3 or 4 inches from the end of the binding.  For 1/2 inch binding this means you are stitching 1/2 inch from the trimmed edge.  The total seam width should be the width of the finished binding.  (this and the stopping point are where I made my mistakes here which made turning the corners hard)

Stop stitching the width of the binding from the edge.  Clip the threads and take the quilt out from under the needle.  Fold the binding to the right so the raw edge is aligned with the raw edge of the next side

Keep that 45 degree fold in place and fold the binding across so it lines up with the next edge of the quilt

Start at the fold and stitch across the next side.  Repeat for all sides.  When you come around the last corner, stitch the binding but stop about 6 inches from where you started

Fold the two ends along the edge to meet in the middle.  Finger press the ends over.  Make sure that you have half the binding width to beyond each fold line. 

Trim the excess beyond the fold line.  You must leave half the width of the binding beyond the fold so the join can be mitred

Turn the quilt so the bulk of the quilt is near you and the binding is on the far side.  Open out the left side of the binding and leave it faced up.  Open up the right side of the binding and lay it over the left at 90 degrees.  Pin along the diagonal.  I use to smallish pins so I can fold the binding in place and check that I haven't twisted things. 

Once you are sure there are no twists, sew the diagonal.  Fold the binding in place again before trimming to make sure its sewn correctly. 

If all is well, trim the excess fabric, press and stitch the binding down to the quilt

I roll the binding to the back and stitch it down by hand.  I messed up the width of the seam allowance and stopping points on the narrow binding so I don't have pictures of turning the corners.  Next time I'll do make sure I get the binding on so the corners turn nicely.  If you look at the picture of the quilt above, can you see where the join is?  Its on the lower left but shortly I won't be able to tell you that without looking at the photos. 


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