Friday, March 30, 2012

Tutorial: My favorite strip-facing binding technique

I like to use a strip-facing binding technique because it helps the quilt hang straighter than a traditional binding. I also use this technique when I don’t want the binding to be visible when viewing the front of the quilt.

Once your quilt is quilted, trim it to the final size plus 1/4" all the way around the quilt (just like using a traditional binding). Select your binding fabric. If my quilt has borders, I like to use the same fabric for the binding. If there is more than one color at the edge of my quilt, I try to use a fabric that is similar in color in that area.

For the purposes of this tutorial, I used contrasting colors for the binding strips so it’s easier to see what’s going on.

How to:

Cut two strips 2-1/2” wide by the length of your quilt and two strips 2-1/2” wide by the width of your quilt.

Optional: The 2-1/2” is somewhat random. You could cut them 2” or 3”. Sometimes I’ll cut them wider for larger quilts and narrower for smaller quilts.

Press a 1/4" seam toward the wrong side of the fabric.

Optional: I like to fuse a strip of 1/4" fusible tape on this seam

The strips pinned to the front of the quilt

Lay the strips on the front of your quilt, right sides together with the 1/4" seam closer to the middle and pin along the edges.

Optional: The strips on the top (in this case the blue ones) can be a little smaller than the width of the quilt to keep the bulk out of the corners. Also, if you used some fusible adhesive, pull the paper off the part that goes under the other binding strip.

The strips sewn to the front of the quilt and the fusible paper removed

Sew around the quilt 1/4" from the edge. I like to backstitch in the corners to make them stronger. If you used fusible adhesive, remove the rest of the paper backing.

View from the side...the seam is on the edge

Pull the binding strip around to the back so the seam is now on the edge of the quilt. Use your fingers to push the corners out (similar to when you use a pillowcase backing but much easier since you don’t have to reach to get to the corner).

View of the finished back

Press with an iron so it will lay flat. If you used fusible adhesive, fuse it down.

Hand sew the edges down. I’ll do this even if I’ve used fusible but I’ll make the stitches farther apart than if I hadn’t used fusible.

Other tips:

If you plan it right, you can machine sew them down as part of the quilting. For smaller quilts like the Feather series, I quilted the middle and part of the edges before the binding but went back and did more quilting after the binding was added so some of the quilting would hold the edges down.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"After the Rain" and "The Heart is Color-Blind" in the Springfield Museum of Art's Annual Members' Show

The Springfield Museum of Art's 66th Annual Members' Juried Exhibition is March 31-May 6 with an opening reception on Sat., March 31 from 5:30-7:30 pm.

The museum is located at 107 Cliff Park Rd., Springfield, OH 45504 and they are open Tues.-Sat. from 9 am-5 pm and Sun. 12-4:30 pm. Admission is $5 although Sundays are free.

"After the Rain" and "The Heart is Color-Blind",

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Zig Zag Twist - Project Quilting

“Zig Zag Twist” 22" x 25.5", made for Project Quilting, 
Season 3, Challenge 6: Ziggin’ and a Zaggin’, Mar. 2012

Recap of the challenge: “Ziggin’ and a Zaggin’”
This week’s inspiration is zigzag. Your challenge is to go beyond the basic zigzag quilt

First I looked at other Zig Zag quilts on-line and I found lots of lovely quilts, most with white background. I also looked at how to make a Zig Zag quilt and one person wrote that they are made of half-square triangles, and I remembered that I had several half-square batik triangles left over from another project.

So I got the triangles out and started playing around with a layout idea. At first I thought I’d make a square quilt with three zig zags so I picked out the pink, red, and purple triangles. As an afterthought, I also took out some blue ones.

I tried them on a few different color backgrounds but decided on black. I’ve used batiks and black before and I love the way it makes the color pop. I played around with moving them apart both horizontally and vertically and finally decided to put a thin black line between the colored pieces horizontally.

On a whim I turned the zig zag pieces on an angle…liked that, but I’d want to square it up. I decided to make some fabric mosaics (small pieces of fabric fused to a backing fabric, covered with netting then quilted in place) to use to contain the space the zig zags were in.

I added black fabric to square it up but it needed more so I made wide black borders. I couched a variegated yarn to contain the zig zags and the fabric mosaics.

For the quilting I used black on the color zig zags and fabric mosaic parts, and color fabric on the black zig zags that started at one fabric mosaic and went to another. I finished the quilt with a strip-facing technique for the binding.

More about Zig Zag Twist

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You can click on the photos to see them larger.

To see the other entries go to the Ziggin and a Zaggin page.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt: National Quilting Day 2012

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt, 72" x 84"
made in 2011 by Quiltsy Team Members

The third Saturday in March is National Quilting Day (and this year it's also St. Patrick's Day).

You might remember that last year one of my on-line quilt groups did a group project where we each made a block. Since last year's theme was "Build Your Own Log Cabin," we each made a log cabin square in the colors of green, blue and purple. One of our members even mailed a strip of fabric that had all three colors in it and it was optional to include in our blocks.

The quilt was then quilted by one of our members and the photo above is the finished version. It is currently being entered into some quilt shows so it isn't available for sale right now, but we plan on selling it in the future.

My block is in the 6th row of the 4th column and you can read more about my log cabin block.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Yellow Strings" Journal Cover - Project Quilting

Recap of the challenge: 

"It's Where I Live"

1. Think about where you live. Take as narrow or as wide a view as you like. Your project should be inspired by where you live.

2. The color scheme for your project will be determined by where you live. Take the first letter of your street, your city and your state. No other colors can be added except in the embellishments.

The Color Scheme: My street starts with an "R", my city a "Y" and my state an "O." The obvious choices are Red, Yellow and Orange. I considered digging deeper for other colors but decided to go with the obvious.

If you look at my last three Project Quilting entries, you'll notice that they are primarily green and blue. While I was working on "Early Morning Nine Patch" I was using some of the wonderful hand-dyed fabric I got from DyeCandy when I won Project Quilting last year, and I noticed that I've used a lot of the green and blues but none of the red, orange or yellows.

It's Where I Live: I live in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a small artsy town surrounded by farmland and nature preserves between Dayton and Columbus. The use of "Yellow" in my quilt is an obvious nod to our town.  Our town is named after a ground-fed spring located in Glen Helen Nature Preserve. The spring has a high iron content which looks more orange than it does yellow, so I included more shades of orange than yellow in this project. (In 2010 I made a set of 6 small quilts featuring places in Glen Helen. You can view the blog post about those quilts here.)

Photo by Corrine Bayraktaroglu
We are also home to Antioch College and the Antioch Writers Workshop plus many self supporting artists. I decided my project would be a cover for a blank, unlined journal, like what a writer or artist would use.

Another of the artsy features in our town is that some of the local fiber artists have been "Yarn Bombing" the trees, telephone poles, street signs and basically anything that doesn't move. I wanted to honor these women so I couched some red-orange-yellow variegated yarn to the front of the journal cover.

There is also a lot of other interesting public art in our town.

I've titled this journal cover "Yellow Strings." The cover includes a hard-back, journal/sketchbook with 108 sheets of 65 lb. acid-free, unlined paper. The back of the cover doesn't have yarn on it but shows off the lovely gradation of the colors.

To see the other entries go to the It's Where I Live page.