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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.