Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My First "Real" Quilt is Finished!

You have been with me through every step of this project...from when I bought the fabric through the present!   I finished the final stich last night!  I am very pleased with myself because it is very large and I quilted it on my machine and I used a new binding technique to finish the edges!   

That is my binding after I sewed the strips together and pressed them in half.  It was really long!  I was so nervous about trying this for some reason but it is actually not difficult at all!  This the last step, done after the quilting, so the layers are already held together and there is no worrying about anything sliding apart.

There I go!  YIKES!
The best part about this method is that the corners look perfectly mitered.  Previously, I would bind quilts by cutting the backing fabric larger and then folding it over and sewing through all the layers.  It worked fine, but there was alot more twisting and puckering potential and the corners never looked this good because they had to be hand sewn to finish them.  The create these neat little corners is so easy once you know what to do!  There are tutorials all over the internet so I won't explain very thoroughly but all you have to do is fold a 45 degree angle up and then fold the strip straight down over the fold.  My grandma sewed me a sample so I can see it unfinished which is very helpful. 
The most challenging part was finishing the binding where the two ends meet.  There is a way to make it fit perfectly.  I have instructions in a book but even with those it is still confusing at first.  Sure enough, mine didn't fit perfecty!  I realized my mistake though (The directions referred to a single layer of binding, not a double layer like I have here).  It still looks OK.  The binding was a bit short so I just made it fit with a few tiny pleats! 

All done!  After the binding is sewn around the perimeter of the front you press it away from the quilt and then...my least favorite part...hand sew it along the back to make a nice finished edge.  I was skeptical of the hand sewing, especially around a whole quilt!  It tooke a few hours and wasn't THAT bad although it is certainly my least favorite part.

This is one of those delightful corners I was talking about!  I love it!

I took a few full sized pictures this afternoon but they are all terrible.  In one the sunlight washes out one side of it and you can see the shadows from the window blinds.  In the others it looks all rumply.  I look at a variety of quilting related blogs when I am looking for ideas or instructions and alot of those quilters take artsy looking photos of thier quilts hanging from clotheslines or draped over picket fences.  Maybe I will try to drape it over the deck railing or something!

Changing the subject, my sister bought the commemorative Royal Wedding issue of People magazine and I saw this picture of the maid of honor's evening dress...I want it! 

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