Thursday, October 19, 2006

Coming to the end

I have almost finished quilting the new, as-yet unnamed, Christmas quilt. You will see that I opted for contour quilting about half an inch apart with a metallic gold thread. I quite like the effect although it is a little more "regular" than my usual quilting.

I am also using this quilt to experiment with a one of the facing techniques sent to me when I put out a query on how to finish a quilt without binding.

Actually, this is a variation of a technique sent to me by Kathy Loomis who has written an article for a forthcoming issue of Quilters Newsletter Magazine. In Kathy's words:

Many times I think my quilts look better without a border or binding – just turned to the back with the quilting stitches running right off the edge and around the fold. You achieve this finish by stitching on a straight binding strip that folds over, encases the raw edge of the quilt and is sewed down by hand. Traditionally you bind the top and bottom first, then bind the sides, tucking in the ends of the vertical binding strips as neatly as possibly.

But I don’t like the lumpy corners that resulted from this method, even when I graded the edges carefully. And if the binding strip wasn’t the same color as the corner of the quilt, you could frequently see a bit of the binding on the corners because there was just too much fabric to bring it all invisibly to the back.

I thought there must be a better way - and developed a method that makes beautifully flat edges and corners, plus a neat looking back. The trick is to make a one-piece facing for the corners instead of binding each edge separately.

You can e-mail Kathy for a copy of her very clear instructions. (My variation is fold the side strips in half and to sew the corners in pairs and turn them inside out for a clean edge that doesn't need to be folded under.)


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