Monday, February 22, 2016

when you are Finishing

I hope you had a good weekend!  Monday dawns rainy and gray again, but we know that spring is coming.  Crossing fingers this damp weather won't hold much longer.  But while it does, at least I have a new cozy project to keep me company.

quilting Brokenfull Heart

This weekend I started quilting my Brokenfull Heart quilt, first by machine and now by hand.  I have a few tips for you today, about the finishing stage.  My favorite tip, my motto, is just this:  Always Finish.  It's so important to honor your work, your moments of inspiration and joy, by finishing what you have started.  Finishing keeps me forging ahead.

quilting Brokenfull Heart

Ok, now the real tips.  If you find that you didn't make your backing very much bigger than your quilt top take precautions when basting to keep things lined up.  This time my quilt back ended up just a smidge larger than my top!  After taping the backing to the floor and adding the batting layer, I cut the batting away at all four corners.  The point at the right angle of the cut-away corners marks the exact corner of the backing.  This enabled me to line up the quilt top with those points and just squeak by.

quilting Brokenfull Heart

Smaller quilts are excellent candidates for pieced-together battings!  I always save batting scraps large enough to make coasters.  The largest pieces I will join together for quilts.  I used to zigzag stitch my batting scraps together, stitching right over the seam with the raw edges butted up.  That worked OK, but sometimes they would not go together smoothly and I'd have to rip and repeat.  I've found I prefer using Heat Press tape to join batting scraps for quilts.  You can see some peaking out in the above photo along the top edge. 

quilting Brokenfull Heart

Planning to machine quilt and hand quilt your project?  You can complete your planned machine quilting and then proceed to bind that baby off!  Since hand quilting is worked through the quilt top, not from the edges of the work, and since it's unlikely to cause shifting, there's no reason you have to wait to bind your work.  You can see from my quilt back (featuring Mustang Rose Border) that I've quilted dogwood blossoms all around the border of my quilt and am now hand quilting straight lines through the center section.  I plan to fill in the center with quite a lot of random straight lines.  I've done this before (binding before hand quilting) and it worked out just fine.  So long as you baste well, you'll be golden.

quilting Brokenfull Heart

There's something about a bound quilt that's nicer to handle.  I used Friedlander's ladder lines for my binding.  Stop by Fabric Bubb to browse a huge selection of Carolyn Friedlander's fabrics.  She designs such helpful fabrics.

quilting Brokenfull Heart

Now I'm all prepped for many a snugly evening selecting one of these pretty rolls of color to send shooting across my quilt.  Just the way to end a rainy day.

23 comments:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful tips!
    I often start working on new quilting projects, because I get easily side tracked and need a new challenge, but maybe finishing my quilts, is the biggest challenge of all ;-)

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  2. This is such a pretty quilt, and I absolutely love your machine as well as hand quilting. I'm sure it will look stunning once finished.

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  3. There is something awesome about handquilting an already bound quilt.

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  4. This is my year to finish things I've started but never completed. As we are planning on moving in the fall I don't want to take a bunch of unfinished projects to our new home. I'm hoping I can really get a few of them all done - wish me luck :o)

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  5. I love your motto! Especially poignant as I have just finished a quilt of my Great Grandmother's :) Also fun to see your tip of binding before hand stitching, as that is exactly what I am in the midst of doing for the first time! I did quite a bit of machine quilting, and am binding and will continue with hand stitched details...woohoo, to think I am on one of your "pages" ! Your quilt looks precious, and I love the name <3

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  6. What do you use for basting the quilt? Pins? I tried that spray adhesive and it was a disaster on my queen sized quilt.

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    1. I've never made a quilt that big, but I use Elmer's school glue. http://californiaquilting.blogspot.com/2012/12/using-elmers-washable-school-glue-to.html
      I've never used the spray recipe shown in that blog but I do thin the glue a bit and spread it on the quilt. I've never had a problem with it.

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  7. Rachel, this quilt is so pretty and I love your quilting.

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  8. How fun! I have never hand sewn a quilt before, but agreed it seems like it would be waaaaayyyy easier to work with a bound quilt.

    Your quilt looks great with those dogwood flowers! Love it! Thanks for sharing all of your tips. Great advice!!

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  9. The tip for combining small batting pieces? Genius! I have been so frustrated with the zig zag method lately and my pile of scraps is growing too quickly. Problem solved. Thanks!

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  10. Thanks for the tips about piecing small pieces together (the zizag methode isn't always so great) and bout binding the quilt first and then adding some handstitching details. I didn't know that I could do this before binding:-)

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  11. My cup runneth over here today. Tips and tasty eye candy photos. So happy I stopped by.

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  12. Good morning Rachel, I want to thank you for your excellent blog. I've been inspired and have learned so much from you. You are definitely my favorite. I would like to tell you about a website you might be interested in InthelandofCanaan.com it is about a movie being made by a man in my hometown Kenosha Wi. It is about special needs children and the impact they have made on peoples lives . Please take a look at this I think you will be interested thank you

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  13. Love the quilt. Love the tips, especially the one for lining your layers when the size of the batting is close to the size of the top. Look forward to seeing the finished project with the hand quilting, something I am just venturing into. Your motto brought to mind the 3 quilts I have finished but for the binding and one top waiting for borders. You have certainly inspired me today. Love your blog! thanks Rachel.

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  14. I was just getting ready to bind a quilt that I've machine-quilted and now want to hand-quilt as well. But I don't understand your statement, "hand quilt through the top of the quilt and not from the edges". I was planning to start the hand quilting from the middle of the quilt, sew through all layers from the top, and continue sewing to the bound-off edges. I also use big-stitch quilting with perle cotton so the stitching really shows. Do you just stitch the through the top layer only? What have I missed?

    By the way, I love the Heartfull quilt.
    Thanks,
    Judy

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  15. It can be tricky sewing smaller pieces together. I often hand quilt them. It takes a bit of time, but is relaxing and they "usually" turn out great.

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  16. What a timely post for me! I am trying to finish a quilt that I am machine and hand quilting and really wanted to get it bound and work on the hand quilting at a more leisurely pace without getting threads and batting all over the place. Thanks for a great share. I'm looking forward to seeing your finished quilt.

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  17. Yes I'm a finisher!!! Even though I have my next project lined up!! I have to finish my lapassacaglia right now....phew! Xxxxx

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  18. 'It's so important to honor your work, your moments of inspiration and joy, by finishing what you have started.' Eloquently expressed Rachel. I believe by finishing we also honour the materials used and those who worked, often unsung, to produce those for our hearts and hands to work upon.

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    1. What an important point to make about honoring those who made the materials as well. Thanks for adding that, Karen.

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  19. Yes, finish!
    And what a beautiful finish your's is :)

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  20. So often we end up with UFOs because this stage of quilting stalls us out. O love what you wrote Rachel: Always Finish. It's so important to honor your work, your moments of inspiration and joy, by finishing what you have started." I feel like I should embroider than and hang it where I can see it every day.
    I like to bind quilts as soon as possible too. The binding always makes the quilt seem like it's safe now.

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  21. Those are some good solid tips! I've always wondered about binding before handstitching when doing to combo quilting. That's good to know! Especially since I plan to do this with my gypsy wife quilt. Thanks for the info!

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