"The Fragment of a Song," 9" x 18", made by Pam Geisel, Sept. 2013
I made this quilt for the Village Artisans' show "Bound 2B Round." The art didn't have to be round in shape, it could instead have a round theme. I also chose fabric that had some dots or swirls in it to play up the theme.
When I made this quilt, I basically made it backwards. Usually you piece the quilt top, do the quilting, bind the quilt, then add the label and sleeves. Because the quilt top is made up of five long strips of fabric, I decided to try a "quilt-as-you-go" technique.
Adding the label :
To start I sewed a blank label to the right side of the backing fabric. I did this for two reasons: I can sew it with the machine instead of having to sew it by hand and because having the quilting go over it makes it very hard for someone to remove the label. The downside is you have to be sure where you want the label to go before the quilt is quilted, for a large quilt it can be difficult to make sure the label is straight, and if you make a mistake when writing on the label you will have to hand sew a new one on top. Sure I could write the info on the label first but I'm don't usually have a title for most of my quilts until I'm finished.
After I sewed the label on the backing fabric I laid it face down on my table and topped it with the batting. Then I placed the first fabric strip (from a batik jelly roll) face up near the left side of the batting. I placed a second strip of fabric face down on top of the first and sewed through the whole sandwich. I pressed it open then placed the third strip on top of the second one and sewed that down. Then I repeated for strips four and five. (And since I used batik fabric which is the same on both the front and the back, I didn't even have to worry about right and wrong sides.)
Quilting-as-you-go is a great time saver, but works best with a quilt top that has strips. If the quilt top had complicated piecing, I don't think it would work.
Usually you bind the quilt after all the quilting is done. This is because sometimes doing the quilting can cause the quilt to stretch or shift, especially if the quilting lines are long in one direction. If the quilting goes to the edge you might also want the binding to cover the stops and starts of the quilting thread.
By this point everything in my quilt is in place. I'm going to do some more decorative quilting but it won't go into the binding area or cover a lot of space so. I don't have to worry about anything stretching or shifting. That means it's time to bind the quilt. I used my favorite strip-facing binding technique.
"The Fragment of a Song" detail of hole
Cutting the holes :
The three large white circles in the quilt are actually the wall behind the quilt as those are holes. I used a template to trace three different sized circles on the back of the quilt. I used a straight stitch and stitched around the circle just outside the line then I used some very small, sharp scissors to cut away the fabric and batting.
I had planned on doing a satin stitch around the inside of the circles but the sewing machine that has the zigzag stitch wasn't co-operating so I took that as a sign that the quilt didn't want a satin stitch. Because the batik fabric is a finer weave than regular fabric it doesn't usually fray as much but just in case I also added some fray check around the edges.
"The Fragment of a Song" detail of quilting
More quilting :
I drew more circles on the back and literally quilted backwards because I had the back of the quilt facing up so the bobbin thread became the circles on the front. I used both a light and a dark green thread. (There are two circles quilted in the photo above, the lighter green circle is a little harder to see.)
"The Fragment of a Song" detail of embellishment
In keeping with the round theme I sewed on a dozen blue buttons. I also couched down two teal-green yarns.
The sleeves were the only part that were done in the usual order, they were the last part of the quilt.
As always, you can click on any photo for a larger view.
More about The Fragment of a Song
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The show "Bound 2B Round" will be at Village Artisans from Oct. 1-Nov. 3. Village Artisans is located at 100 Corry St. in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and is open M-Th 11a-5p, Fr-Sa 11a-6p, and Su noon-5p. There will be a reception the night of the Yellow Springs Art Stroll, Fr. Oct. 18 from 6-9p.