This week I’m stitching up some small inspirational wallhanging quilts. They will be gifted at Christmas. I’m hoping these quilts will encourage the recipients in 2018.
So far this week, I’ve pieced my quilt tops using WonderFil’s DecoBob thread. DecoBob is an 80wt ‘cottonized’ (non-stretchy or melt-y!) thread. It’s very fine and perfect for all my quilt piecing.
I then layered the quilts and quilted the centers of the quilts with WonderFil’s InvisaFil thread. InvisaFil is 100wt. Finer than DecoBob, InvisaFil is my thread of choice when I want to use small quilting motifs and just have the texture from the quilting be the highlight.
Most of my quilts will have the binding completely sewn on by machine. I sew the binding to the back of the quilt and bring the binding to the front and machine stitch in place.
I’ll show you how I accomplish this and get a great finish to my quilt. I’ll also show you how I add a hanging sleeve for easy display of these little quilts.
I want to make sure that I trim my quilt layers even all around the quilt. I lay the ruler against the border seam rather than the outside edge of the border and measure a consistent amount all the way around.
Add the hanging sleeve
I sew a hanging sleeve to the back of the quilt when I sew the bindings in place. By sewing the raw edges in with the binding, I don’t have any extra work and much less hand sewing.
I cut a strip of fabric 4″ – 6″ wide and as long at the quilt is wide.
I fold in a double hem at each end of the hanging sleeve. I’m not fussy about how deep my hems are, just as long as they are narrower than the quilt itself. I don’t even bother to sew the hems in place. Just press really well.
I fold the hanging sleeve in half with the wrong sides facing and the raw edges matching.
I then pin the raw edges of the hanging sleeve to the top edge of the quilt.
Cut binding strips
I sew my bindings on with a ⅜” seam allowance. That’s generally the width of my regular sewing foot or my walking foot. Personally, I like the thicker binding.
I cut sufficient strips 2½” for a double fold binding. I join them together with a diagonal seam and trim to a ¼” seam allowance.
Press the seam allowances open and then fold the binding lengthwise with wrong sides of fabric facing and press.
Stitch binding to the back of the quilt
I’m not sure where I learned this, but I always begin and end my binding along the bottom edge of the quilt.
Leave 8″ – 10″ of binding and begin sewing the binding to the BACK of the quilt. Remember to sew with the raw edges of the binding to the raw edge of the quilt! I like to start close to the bottom corner so that I have space to join the ends.
I use DecoBob for this seam. The very thin thread keeps a fine seam and flatter binding.
It’s a little tricky to fold and sew the corners, but I’ve got lots of step by step pictures I hope you can follow.
Stop sewing ⅜” away from the corner. Remember, I’m using a ⅜” seam allowance. If you chose to use something different as your seam allowance, stop that distance from the corner. Some will back stitch at this point. I like to pivot and sew off the corner.
If I need to re-sew the corner, I don’t have to un-pick any back stitches!
Remove the quilt from the sewing machine. Fold the binding straight up along the edge of the quilt. You should have a straight line from the binding down along the edge you’ll be sewing the binding to next.
Now fold the binding down so that the raw edges match the raw edge of the quilt.
You should have a nice square corner. I like to just be able to see the top edge of the quilt at the top fold of the binding.
You should also be able to see 2 folded edges on the inside of the corner.
Continue stitching down the next side of the quilt and repeat these steps at each corner.
Join the ends of the binding for a perfect finish
Stop stitching the binding to the quilt when you’re about 6″ – 8″ from the beginning. Personally, I like to leave myself lots of room to work with, but smaller projects won’t allow so much room. Work with what you have.
Note: I’ve switched my images to printed fabrics. As I was writing and posting these pictures, I was having trouble seeing the images clearly and realized that the right side and wrong side of the fabric wasn’t very easy to see. Please don’t be confused by my fabric mix ups!
My Mum showed me this next step and I’m forever grateful to her for this tip.
Lay the beginning of the binding along the edge of the quilt. I like to take a moment and trim this edge straight.
Lay the ending of the binding on top of the beginning along the edge of the quilt.
Measure from the beginning of the binding, the width of the binding and cut the end. Confused? Me too! Look at the next image and see if that makes more sense!
I trim off a bit of the extra binding and use it to measure the length of the binding where they overlap. In this case I trim the binding leaving a 2½” tail.
Open the binding strips and match the cut edges with right sides of the fabric together.
Carefully rotate one of the binding strips 90°.
Draw a diagonal line across the corner.
Stitch along the drawn line and trim the seam allowances.
Press the seam allowances open.
The the binding with wrong sides facing and raw edges matching the edge of the quilt.
Sew the binding to the quilt.
Machine stitch binding to the front of the quilt
Fold the binding to the right side of the quilt. Pin the binding in place making sure the corners are nice and sharp.
Stitch close to the edge of the binding for a quick and neat finish!
My orange quilt was bound with WonderFil’s Splendor, 40wt rayon thread (2108). The border quilting was done with this thread as well. The thread shows nicely against the pink fabric.
The burgundy quilt was bound with WonderFil’s InvisaFil, 100wt polyester thread (231). The thread blends well and hardly shows.
The only hand stitching I need to do is to hand stitch the fold of the hanging sleeve to the back of the quilt.
My 3 inspirational quilts are pieced, quilted and bound. All that’s left is to applique the letter of the inspirational words and phrases. Check back tomorrow for the finished wall hangings and see which of WonderFil’s wonderful threads I used.