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Blest be the bindings that tie this quilt together

Delicious fabric will bind the Cafe Comforts Cozy Quilt together.
Delicious fabric will bind the Cafe Comforts Cozy Quilt together.

 

All this week on QUILTsocial, I’ve been putting together a lovely quilt, made possible by a wonderful group of women I met in cyberspace. We’ve spent this year creating 12.5″ square quilt blocks for one another on our birthdays. Today, it all comes together with binding and a special quilt label that honors the people who helped me create this special quilt.

The mysteries of binding a quilt have eluded me for much of my quilting life. Thank goodness for this excellent tutorial by QUILTsocial’s own Elaine Theriault. I opened it up on my iPad and followed it step by step. Mysteries solved once and for all. My profound thanks for the excellent mitered corners — they give the distinct impression I might be a quilter one day.

Trim up the top, bottom and sides of the quilted throw.
Trim up the top, bottom and sides of the quilted throw.

 

When I finished all the free motion quilting, I discovered that my backing had shifted quite a distance to the left, leaving about 2.5″ of the right side of the quilt without a backing.

Thank heavens for those very wide sides. I had some wiggle room so I could even everything up — even if the sides are a bit more narrow than originally planned. This is not a mistake. This is a design decision.

In the end, the quilt was trimmed to 48″ x 70″. Whew!

I also ended up with too many binding strips, but can you really have too much binding? Now I’m all prepared for another small project. Life is all about the little victories!

Join the binding strips together by sewing a diagonal seam. Use the marking pencil to make sure this seam is accurate.
Join the binding strips together by sewing a diagonal seam. Use the marking pencil to make sure this seam is accurate.

 

Sew the binding onto the front of the quilt, right sides together. I used my machine’s quilting foot, just because there’s a lot of bulk by this point in the quilt’s creation. It seemed like a good idea to have the whole quilt feeding evenly through the machine.

Once the binding is attached to the front, get out the Wonder Clips and use them to keep the binding fabric turned under the hem straight and onto the back of the quilt. The advantage of these strong and useful clips is that they won’t scratch you while you are hand sewing the binding to the back.

Sew Smooth is another essential tool in sewing the binding. This thread conditioner will help the thread glide through the layers of fabric, prevent thread tangles, and reduce hand fatigue.

Cue up your favorite movie or all those shows on the PVR. Hand sewing the binding takes a while.
Cue up your favorite movie or all those shows on the PVR. Hand sewing the binding takes a while.

 

I created a quilt label that matches the address label I used to send my blocks to the others in the swap.
I created a quilt label that matches the address label I used to send my blocks to the others in the swap.

 

It took four hours to sew on the binding by hand. I know that some people do front and back in one pass on the machine, but I like do this by hand.

In honor of all the work and great care that went into this quilt, I created a quilt label on my computer and inkjet printer fabric.

I adhered it to the quilt using HeatnBond Feather Lite. This is a strong iron-on adhesive that remains soft enough to sew through. I used some fancy stitches on my machine to create a decorative border around the label and used more HeatnBond to adhere the label to the back of the quilt.

The Cafe Comforts Cozy Quilt is complete! Special thanks to special friends.
The Cafe Comforts Cozy Quilt is complete! Special thanks to special friends.

 

I’m so pleased with my new quilt, created with the talents of several lovely friends. Although it’s not perfect, it’s perfect for me. It has all that love in it, you see.

I hope you enjoyed being with me as I finished a creation that other people so carefully started for me. Keep coming back to visit us here on QUILTsocial. Until we meet up again, make a mess and create some fun!

The finished quilt. It's not perfect, but is it perfect for me!
The finished quilt. It’s not perfect, but is it perfect for me!

 

Nancy Devine is a self-confessed craft-crazed blogger. She is a regular contributor to A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine, one of the administrators for The Craft Café, a Facebook page devoted to the international sharing of the creative life, and a curator of an impressive collection of fabrics, notions and seam rippers. In her spare time, she wrangles dust bunnies and writes a blog called Nancy Dee Needleworks. Understandably, her house is a mess.

2 Comments

  1. Mary

    I love the background fabric and the beautiful label.

  2. A beautiful finish, Nancy! I really love your label 🙂

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