Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Grinch and Binding Tutorial

I recently had a friend who was apprehensive about doing her own machine binding on her quilts.  I was trying to explain how easy it really is to get a nice finish on machine applied binding and thought I would do a tutorial on the method that I have come to find the easiest for me.

First off you will need a quilted sandwich.  Since I have just finished my Grinch I will use this as an example.

Square the piece up.  Now add the total measurement of all sides and add 10".  That is the length of binding you will need.  My total came to 69".  On machine binding I use 2.5" wide binding as it gives me a bit more room for the stitching.  I like to miter my binding pieces together.  To do that I lay piece #1 across my cutting mat and lay piece #2 at a 90 degree angle away from it.  Draw a line from corner to corner and stitch.  (I used leftover binding for my quilt so these fabrics are simply samples).

Stitch across that line and cut off the triangle pieces on bottom right side.  Iron piece out flat.  #2 fabric now becomes the #1 piece.  Repeat until total length is met.

Iron entire binding in half lengthwise.  You are now ready to stitch it onto your quilt.

I prefer to start at the center of the bottom of my quilts.  Lay the starting edge with raw edges together with the quilt's.  Start stitching about 4-5" from the beginning edge - leaving a loose tail at the beginning.

Stitch along lower edge to 1/4 inch from the edge.  Stop and lower needle, pivot 45 degree and stitch off the edge.

Fold the binding up and back like this.

Now......fold the binding back to the left with the fold right along the edge you just stitched.  You will now be ready to stitch the next edge.

I like to backstitch at the beginning of my next row to lock it in place.  Continue around the quilt doing the nice miter technique at each corner.

Stitch until you are about 4" from the "tail" end of the beginning binding.  Remove quilt to cutting table.

Lay the loose binding back over the top of the "tail" and mark it 2.5" from the end of the "tail".

Cut off excess binding along the marked line.

Open out the tail edge and mark 2.5" in from top edge.  Draw a line to the lower left corner.  This will be your stitching line to give you your last seam with a nice miter.  This step can also be done before the binding is applied.

Take the two opened ends of the binding and place together like this.

Stitch together and cut away the triangle.

Finger press seam to side and fold binding back in half.  Stitch down - meeting the stitching at the beginning of binding.

At this point I take the quilt to the ironing station and press binding towards the outside.  Do not skip this important step!!!

Take back to cutting table for gluing.  I use a glue stick for mine.  It adheres quickly and really sticks.  Apply glue little sections at a time - along raw edge of quilt in area between raw edge and the seam line made when attaching the binding.

Fold the binding just over the seam line - 1/16-1/8".  Continue to corner.

At the corner continue fold out to the end.  Apply glue to the corner and the next section along the next side.

I like to use my seam ripper to tuck into the corner to get a nice crisp mitered corner.

Continue all the way around the quilt.

You are now ready to stitch it down.  Since the stitching will be visible on the back binding, I use a bobbin with thread the color of my binding.  The top thread is whatever matches my quilt.  It is hardly visible, but can be seen.  

Returning to the sewing machine, start stitching "in the ditch" right along the binding on the front of the quilt.  Having the binding ironed back makes this task pretty easy.  Once washed or relaxed, the binding will roll back to pretty much cover that line of stitching.

The view from the back.......  As you can see, the binding is just caught in the stitching and is practically invisible from the front.


Ta da......perfectly mitered corners and all!

The Grinch is now ready for his Christmas appearance.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  If you give it a try I would love to hear how it worked for you.

Linking up this week with Freemotion by the River.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Quilting Retreat

Can I just say that a quilting retreat is a blast?   We had four spectacular days of sewing, shopping, cooking, eating, watching sunsets on the beach, laughing and visiting.  It's amazing how much can be accomplished when you have no interruptions.

These are the three gals who joined me - Elizabeth, Lisa and Leisa (with Elizabeth's and Leisa's finished quilt tops).

Elizabeth was our "official" photographer for the retreat so you can check out her BLOG to see our fun documented.  She did an incredible post on it and I won't even try to compete with it.  She also posted on IG at #beachsidequiltingretreat while we were there.

There were wonderful gifts exchanged.  Look at all of the great new items I was showered with on my first retreat.

So....what did I accomplish?

My tree skirt is finished.  Thank you, Connie, for the help in finding her old post where she made the beautiful tree skirt that I duplicated.

I managed to piece my Allietare quilt from Bonnie Hunter's QAL last winter.  I love, love, love the colors in this.  I'll get my borders on and get it quilted, hopefully, before the next QAL this winter.

I thought this Grinch paper pieced design was so cute and had so much fun stitching this one up.  It is a free Kristi Lehame design from Peachblossom Patterns.

We made red X blocks for the #70273 Project Brigade.  You can read all about it HERE.  Be sure to check it out as I am sure you will want to join in on this project.  If you as as touched as I was,you will want to make many more red x blocks because of their significance.

Are any of you familiar with Peppa Pig?  The grandkids here love the show and I found some great flannel for a nightgown for an upcoming birthday gift.

There were several other finishes, but those are secret for the moment.  I will show them later.

We contributed a bit to the economy on our outings (as you will see on Elizabeth's posts) but in one antique shop there WERE two of these gorgeous Le Crueset pumpkin pans. We scored big time on these.  They worked really well on making bread for dinner when we got home.  They also look beautiful sitting on the stove for fall!


Returning home I had a lovely package in the mail from Wendy of Ivory Spring.  I had won these beautiful Rosewater FQ by Windham.  Thanks, Wendy.  I will enjoy these beautiful prints.

Now to finish unpacking and getting the sewing room back together!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Away and More....

Another week has just zipped past.  The year marches forward.

My dear friend, Ida, is hosting the second annual Pincushion Parade and it is time to link up.  I won't bore you with the slew of pincushions from years past as you can see them HERE, but I will show you my new pincushions from this year.  I LOVE these little bird pincushions and they are so practical.  Filled with crushed walnut shells they are the perfect pincushion to take along on trips.  They are a free downloadable pattern from Deonn at Quiltscapes.  Thanks, Deonn. might ask why I have several birds.  Well...I am hosting what I hope will be our first annual Beachside Quilting Retreat this weekend and I made them for the gals who will be attending.  More on that later, but I have to say that I have never attended a quilting retreat so this is a big adventure to not only attend, but to also host.

This year I also added a turtle to my collection and he holds all of my flat pins.  This is a pattern from Sue at Supermom No Cape.

Be sure to check out the Perfectly Pincushion Parade and show off your pincushions.  There are great prizes to be won.

Dear hubby celebrated one of those milestone birthdays this week so we had a big family celebration.  One of our granddaughters celebrated her 17th birthday along with him.

 For his birthday we took a road trip - driving out through Death Valley and into Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas.  We stayed in Red Rock for the night before driving back home.  I loved the view from our room of the swimming pool - a sun shaped pool with ray "pools" extending from it.  It is such a great place to stay in Vegas - away from the strip.

 An update on the baby cockatiels....Day 30 and they are now finding the food bowl and becoming very independent of the parents.  It won't be long before they are completely on their own. They now have lots of feathers and are exercising their wings. I said, this is going to be a weekend of sewing for me.  I am looking forward to the fun of a retreat, sewing with friends AND to finishing some projects  Bags are packed and I hope I have it planned out well enough.