Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Binding practice

I finished three quilts yesterday.  Not from scratch mind you, that would have been impossible, and I would have to be on crack (which is also impossible).  They all just needed binding. To speed up the process I sewed all the binding on by machine, (front and back) rather than finishing by hand.  These old WIPs were the perfect guinea pigs on which to practice some machine binding.
One of the quilts is 3 years old and I don't much care for it anymore.  It was made when I was going through my Orange phase.  So let's get that one out of the way first.
This quilt is from Oh, Fransson!, and it's called Crazy 9 Patch Lattice.  You can find it here.  Please note her blog post was from 2010.  That's about when I made this.  If this quilt were any older, I would have to photograph it laying over a walker.
 The pattern was really fun, kind of a stack 'n whack quilt, if you remember those.
The binding had already been sewn to the front of the quilt. I just folded it over to the back, and sewed it down again by machine.  You end up with a line of stitching on the front of your quilt, right next to the binding, like above.  For the next two quilts, I sewed the binding to the back of the quilt first, then flipped it to the front to finish. That line of stitching then appears on the back.  Blah, blah blah, binding, blah, blah. Are you still with me?
Not sure which method I prefer, but I do know they both take some practice.  I managed to produce a plethora of wonky stitches, resulting in the judicious use of my seam ripper and swearing of epic proportions.  However, even going very slowly on the machine, it's still faster than sewing it down by hand.  Yes, I will make this work.
Here is a jelly roll race quilt made with Comma by Zen Chic.  The main objective is to sew all your 2.5 inch strips together until you have a quilt.  The VERY FIRST part of the instructions say to cut off about 18 inches of your first strip in order to off-set the colors and seams.  Apparently I was so excited to begin the race, I forgot this little tidbit.  As a result, there is a pool of orange and black in the center of the quilt.  Not a big deal, but now I think it has kind of a Halloween flair. 
Yes, that orange keeps coming back to haunt me.
 The last quilt was made from the book Zakka Style.  No orange in this one, but the pattern called for linen, and I didn't have any at the time, so I used some Osnaburg from my stash.   Looks like a cross between a linen and burlap.  It's very cheap affordable (usually around $4.00 per yard), but shrinks like crazy, so you must pre-wash.  It also frays like crazy, and it's hard to rip out any mistakes because of the loose weave. Don't get me started on the wavy binding.  Just crazy.  Have I convinced you to buy some yet?

I had the brilliant idea to use a decorative "s" stitch on my machine for the quilting.  But the stitch length was too small (couldn't be adjusted), and after two rows sewn right down the middle, I noticed the fabric was distorted at the bottom.  The stitches were so tiny, they couldn't be pulled out for fear of tearing, so I flung it to the back of the closet for a time-out, which lasted about a year.
So yesterday I dug it out, finished up some rows of straight quilting, and added the binding.
I'm not mad at it anymore.  I think it's kinda cute!

The other fabric in this quilt, which played nicely, was a charm pack of Hello Luscious.  To check out the machine binding tutorials I used go look at this or that.
I must say, I'm relieved to get these behind me. 


  1. Hey! Nice header! I want to make that little quilt from Zakka style too. So cute.

  2. Sometimes it is good to have many unfinished projects, that way you can finish lots of them at once.
    I think the first quilt has lots of halloween feel to it. I made a jelly roll quilt and the same thing happened to me (too much of one colour in the middle) and I did cut of that bit of the first strip. I was thinking maybe I had sewn it together in the wrong order. And on Nr. 3 I really like that woven fabric, it acctually looks like linnen and adds a shabby touch.
    All in all, very well done!

  3. Hello Lynne
    I don't know Quilt jargon and likewise have never made a quilt so I don't really understand the difficulties you have had making them. IMO they look very professional and I like them all although I'd lean more to the last one if I had to choose :-)

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  4. Look at your beautiful work! I love the orange phase quilt, perfect for this time of year. I bet you feel like you have a load off your shoulders after getting these done.
    Hugs and hope everyone is feeling better,

  5. These are all wonderful!!! I love how quilting goes through phases....whack n stack made me giggle!
    I machine bind my quilts and followed the tutorial by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts. It does take a lot of trial and error, but I do love the finished look. And it is much faster than hand stitching. I have ants in my pants and can't sit still long enough to do it :) xoxo

  6. I'm ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over all that orange in that first one. Love it. They are all pretty, but that one especially so.

  7. You have been busy! It must have been so satisfying having finished three in a day!
    Love the bright colours of your fist two, but the last one really makes me want to have a go at something similar - I have used osnaburg in a cushion, and hadnt realised it shrunk so much, but it is soft and natural and a good price.
    Well done on a great finishing job!
    Gill xx

  8. I would love to spend a day in your sewing room--the amazing things that come out of there never fail to inspire me. The zakka/osnaburg one is the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. I don't even know what "osnaburg" is, but I'm determined to find out.


You guys are awesome! Thank you for the comments!