Friday, January 16, 2015


Who you ask for more information makes a difference in how you reconsider any issue you are concerned with. 

If the person you ask for input is on your same mental page, then its easy to go forward, and keep doing what you are doing the way you are doing it. 

However, if they have a different opinion, then you have to think about yours. Different is just different and doesn't mean one of you is right and the other wrong. Just different.

I learned to do hand sewing for binding a long time ago, and while I have watched tutorials on it, I still like how this way goes. First, fabric gets cut into 2.5" strips that are joined together so that they will go around the entire quilt. 

Then, joined strips are pressed open to reduce bulk and also pressed in half to make the strip 1.25" wide. It is pinned one side at a time, and then joined to the quilt sandwich with a 1/4" seam and will be folded over yet again. Each side is sewn, one at a time in order to make the mitered corner. Once it is completely attached, it is pinned for hand sewing.

The issue I always had was the mess the strip made while it hung down from the table to the floor and gathered around my legs and feet.

Then I watched a video where the quilter in it said she rolled hers into a ball and pinned it. Watching yet another video, another quilter thought to put it into an empty oatmeal box with a slit cut into the lid so the fabric would pass through it. I've opted for the rolled ball because it is easily made without needing another tool, such as the oatmeal box with a slit in the lid. Besides, the time I tried it, there were more steps to take to get it to work. This ball idea works for me.

I need 'easy' at the end stage of my quilt-making projects. By the time I get to adding the binding, I am looking at the deadline, considering shipping options, and trying to decide if I want to pre-wash it or send it off with washing instructions.

Binding is an important part of the quilt. Studies say the first thing to shred on a utility quilt (one that is used rather than hung) is the binding. It is recommended that good fabric is used and this method of reinforcing layers be added for durability. 

I plan to pre-wash this one and then spend some slow time checking it for any glitches in either my hand quilting, the mitered corners, or machine stitching. Its easy enough to repair any popped stitch before it heads off to Minnesota where I might never see it again.

Whenever a project gets to this stage, I am reminded of times when I was more rushed and didn't check it over and over again. Nightmare things. Once a mitered corner popped free. Once a pin was caught on the inside within the sandwich. I was able to fix both these issues but saw them myself. No one told me. No one pointed out the ...horror. 

So yes, I am my best guide and worst critic all rolled up in one. Its not so hard to understand. I want to do my best. This is why continuing education is important to me whether it is for quilting, for gardening, for communication skills or anything else. Experts are out there just waiting to make a difference.