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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Threads of Memory - the big finish

In a sprint to the finish line I can now show you my finished quilt from the Threads of Memory block of the month project from 2014.

 I do have to tell you that attaching the binding tested my powers of patience and perseverance so I had planned a post titled "Conversations with my Walking Foot" but time has allowed me to cool down and you'll see I went with another title.

But I'm going to show you some photos of the final process anyway and I do hope that you will comment on how you might approach this final task.

Now I don't know about you but I always attach my binding with the walking foot attached to my Bernina.  For this binding I had chosen to make a flanged binding - I think of it as the poor man's piped binding. In a piped binding you first make the piping and attach it; this is followed by machine stitching on a regular binding and then flipping it to the back and hand stitching it down all round the quilt.  The flanged binding is made from a pieced binding (the flange color and the binding color pieced together on the long (v e r y long) side and then machine stitched down on the back side of the quilt, turned to the front and one final machine stitching in the ditch and you're done. Well, there is the sleeve and the label but you get the picture.



 So here I am showing you that I have stitched the binding on from the back side and I'm going to fold it over to the front. What I am not showing you is the problems I had maintaining a straight line to get that binding stitched down. The secret to the success of this binding style is maintaining a very accurate seam allowance. And that is where I had such problems.

I would start off quite fine but then the 3/8" seam allowance would start veering off and becoming 1/4" and it was all downhill from there until I noticed, stopped stitching, cut thread and started again. What was the way to fix this?  I tried moving the needle position to the right. Yikes, it got worse. How about to the left? Yes, that helped but I was on the fourth side before I discovered this solution.
This shot shows the step of stitching the binding down from the front side.  This required a lot of holding my breath to stitch exactly in the ditch!

 Now I'm showing you the first side done alongside the finished side done.
The final step is to hand stitch down the hanging sleeve...doesn't the texture look great in this photo?

Now comes the disclaimer. I do not quilt my quilts!  This one was done for me by Su Gardner on her gammil quilting machine. Didn't she do a lovely job?

I decided to name my quilt "TOM Flies Free". This was based on the topic of the entire project - the Underground Railroad movement during the Civil War. A fabric motif that I deliberately sought to include in each block showed a bird (or birds) because I wanted to allude to slaves fleeing to freedom.

This has been a great project and I want to thank Barbara Brackman for the wonderful history stories and the way she tied them in with the monthly block patterns. Additionally I want to mention Becky Brown who was the block maker for Barbara; Becky was the person who started us all down the "fussy cutting" road and who, week after week, stitched up many perfect blocks for Barbara to show us. But without Dustin Cecil, our flickr leader, we would not have had the delightful sharing experience of being able to watch each week as our friends around the globe posted photos of that weeks block. Thank you to all three.

Coming soon, the final finish of my Remembering Almo aka Where Poppies Grow quilt which was the second block of the month project I worked on in 2014 and you followed along with me right here. It will be some weeks yet but it will be a finished project soon.

Finally, although I am proud of my quilt I am not proud of the photo of the final finish. Detail is lacking in the fabrics but you can see that detail by going back through the individual monthly posts. The photo was taken in a hurry while I had the quilt at a photo session for quilts going into our guild show in late May. Maybe later, when the weather cheers up (we are having repeat runs of snow, sleet, freezing temperatures) I will be able to take a more clear photo to show you.

Don't forget now, I'd love to hear your comments about how you attach the binding to your quilts.

2 comments:

Cheryl Kotecki said...

Well, I usually don't trim the backing and batting until I have the binding stitched on the front, leaving those layers in place so that the foot has something to grab on both sides of the needle. But that wouldn't work with this attached flange sewn on the back that you did. I have sewn the binding on the back to flip to the front and machine stitch, but it's very possible I did that with a thinner batt so the uneven layers would not be the issue you had. Su did a lovely job adding texture to the dramatic background fabrics of your powerful Threads of Memory. I like that she did not use a contrasting thread there so that you get the full impact of the brilliant green fabrics of the blocks.

Judy said...

The quilt is rich and vibrant and the colours draw me in close and I was not disappointed with what I saw! I have always ended up in tears when I have bound from the back. The corners never behave and the idea of added to this drama with pipping....that IS pipping in yellow?
You are a braver and much more talented woman that I am....
You should give yourself a huge pat on the back...and ask everyone you see to give you a pay as well!
You may have to wait for the Spring Thaw for that....all I can say is it is perfect weather for working on quilts.