Tuesday, October 08, 2013

31 Days - Day 8: Fanning the flames

As happens to most young women, there comes a time when it feels like everyone you know is having kids. Paula, the first of my college roommates to get married, was also one of the first to have kids. We planned a reunion of sorts to have a shower for her, and I showed up (surprise) with a quilt.

Paula's baby quilt
Year: 1985-ish
Size: Crib
Pattern: Fan blocks set on point
Fabrics: Cotton and cotton blends
Batting: Fluffy polyester
Binding: Home made two fabric bias binding
Quilting: Hand quilted outlines of fan blades, flower motifs and lines
Fun addition: The fans are edged with white rick rack

This is a bit different for me. The fan blades are sewn together, then the fan appliqued to the background fabric, with the white rick rack covering the join. The on point setting minimized the number of blocks needed to get the quilt up to size.

Perhaps because the blocks were so easy to make, I tried out a new way of making the binding. If you look closely, the binding is alternating stripes of the green gingham and the plain white broadcloth. It's a true bias binding, which is why it has that barber pole/peppermint stick slanted look going on.

I can (and will) describe how to make the binding, but it's really much easier to show someone how to do it. If  you aren't a quilter, this won't make any sense; feel free to skip ahead.

Cut strips from your two fabrics on the straight grain. Sew them together along the long sides. This is where it gets a bit tricky. With the strips right side up, one narrow end away from you, fold the top left corner of the narrow end to the right, long side, forming a right triangle fold. Drop the sewing machine needle into the fabric in the corner which you folded down, one quarter inch in from each edge.

Now you need to pull the long left edge over to meet the long right edge. The piece sort of twists and curls up as you do this. Basically, you are sewing the two long edges together, but because of the fold, that seam is offset...the forty-five degrees you need to make it bias binding. When you are done sewing, you will have a long tube. Gently press it (you should see your bias stripes at this point), then cut apart along one of the pressed edges.

Ta-da! Bias striped binding.

Well, take my word for it.  It works, even if I can't describe it.

Loved the way it finished off this quilt.

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