Gathering Threads

An Applique Quilt Finish

Posted by on Aug 06 2017, in Quilting

Summer is a chance for me to recharge my sewing batteries and tackle a lot of the UFOs and Otta-dos that I put off during the school year.

This quilt — the design is by Kim Diehl from her book “Simple Appeal” — was pieced and appliqued ages ago and then sent off to Allison for her to work her magic last summer.  Clearly, I was motivated by a burning sense of urgency!?!

The pattern itself was quite straight forward and I used my usual invisible machine applique technique for all the leaves and the layered circles.  My one beef, as I mentioned in my original review of the book, were the yardage requirements, which were very poorly calculated and left a quilter with huge amounts of wasted fabric.

Nonetheless, I’m really please with how this quilt turned out.  It’s the perfect size for a throw at 64″ x 64″ and long enough to cover your feet if you’re chilly while laying out on the chesterfield without making you feel like you’re being buried alive.

I also like the orange peel and oak leafs that Allison and I decided on for the quilting.  They fit the vintage ‘nature’ vibe that this quilt has going for it.

So why haven’t I posted about it before?  Well, because I got it back last fall, got it trimmed…and then…nothing.  Because I couldn’t find a binding I liked. We used it all winter, with no binding at all (‘cuz we’re fastidious like that chez nous!) Months passed, I auditioned three or four from my stash and even bought half a yard of another stripped fabric, hoping it would work but they didn’t.  Then a few weeks ago, while I was in Owen Sound, I found this perfect brown stripe and finally had the impetus to finish it.

I really prefer narrow bindings, and this quilt, which doesn’t have a sashing or outer border, requires it.  The bindings finish at 1/4″ on the front and 3/8″ on the back side.  I apply my bindings by machine but I almost always sew them down by hand.  I just prefer the look.

I have developed a no-pin technique for sewing on bindings that is super accurate and very efficient.  I used to glue my bindings down before I sewed them, to reduce the wander factor, but since I’ve started using this two-step process, I don’t even bother to pin my bindings before I apply them.  Instead, I baste the binding down inside the seam allowance, aligning the edges by hand as I baste down each side, and then make a second pass at the correct spacing from the edge (either 3/8″ or 1/4″) before pressing them to the wrong side.  Breaking it into the two separate steps makes all the difference in the final product  and it’s so nice not having to haul the heavy quilt sandwich around, sew, steer and keep the binding aligned all at the same time.