Saturday, June 06, 2009

In a bind

Over the years, I've developed a certain system for making quilts, based on my own quirks. Point one is that I need to cut all pieces - including borders and binding - at the same time. I realize many quilters, particularly scrap quilters, prefer to piece a few blocks as a test run of colors and fabrics, and not choose border or binding fabric until it is time to attach them.

While I like the idea and the added creativity it fosters, I know full well that if it isn't ready to go when I get to that stage, it will mean a (usually long) delay in doing it. So everything gets cut at once.

The second point relates to binding. I prefer a slightly narrower than standard binding, cut at 2 1/4" rather than the 2 1/2" for which most patterns call. At the time I cut the binding strips out (before any other sewing is done at all on the quilt) I piece them all into a single long strip and press in half lengthwise. The pressed binding is then wound around any sturdy box cover, quilt book or leather portfolio that is handy, staying crease free and neat until it is needed.

It's a good thing I won't need that portfolio for a while...

The third point has to do with how the binding is finished. Never an under achiever, I've made it a point to do mitered bindings on my quilts. It takes a bit longer, but the results are worth it. After all the work and care that went into the rest of the quilt, why cut corners at the end? This is one of the first mitered bindings I did - ignore the fact that it isn't quite square; I've improved considerably since then.

This afternoon I laid the batting for the brown and blue quilt out on the living room floor to relax a bit. The top and backing are ironed; I should finish layering it tonight tomorrow. The stained glass top is also ironed and ready to go, with the batting relaxing in the dining room. Unfortunately, I have no earthly clue where the black on black print fabric is that I'd like to use for the backing. How can a five yard length of fabric hide? It was purchased for something else, and should have been in one specific place in the sewing closet.

Needless to say, it's not there. The next places to look are the stash bins under the bed, though I don't usually keep substantial yardage pieces there. The good news is that the bins (the giant rubbermaid containers) are sorted by color; checking will take only a few minutes.

If it isn't other place remains, but it would mean emptying out half the sewing closet to get to it. Have I mentioned that the sewing closet is three feet deep and six feet wide, but the normal, twenty-four inch wide doorway is on the end of one long side? What a pain.

The weather is supposed to be cooler than normal for most of this week. Cross your fingers for me - I want to layer the brown/blue and stained glass quilts, plus a wall hanging and a an old twin top, provided I have enough batting, spray baste and safety pins.

No comments: