Thursday, April 3, 2014

Trimming and binding

Last May I was fortunate enough, along with my friend, to attend a workshop given by Bonnie Hunter in Ottawa IL. She was a wonderful teacher-- relaxed and unpretentious ( I wanted to take her home with me to be my newest BFF!)--and we began making Jared Takes a Wife.  I finished the top shortly after returning home to WI, and then it joined all the other finished tops on the shelf, patiently waiting to be quilted up.  Last Fall, I managed to sandwich it and get it pinned and then it sat again while we moved house and traveled through the winter.

When I got the top finished for the green wedding quilt for my friend, I realized that I didn't have any pins left to pin baste the quilt sandwich so I had 3 choices:  I could take the pins out and have to repin it again at a later date, I could do the machine quilting and thus free up the pins, or I could go out an buy a new supply of pins.  Never one to do things the easy way, I chose to do the quilting.  I now have it all finished but for the border and binding, and here it is:

I used all sorts of scraps helter skelter in this quilt and it is very chaotic and wild, in my opinion. Of course, when you look at it close up, it's even more wild than in the picture of the entire quilt.

Here's a close up of one of the blocks.  I think the apple green really sets it off and I plan on keeping this on a bed during the summer time. Not that we need a quilt here in humid WI in the summer, but it just looks like summer to me.

I'm not showing the quilting on this one because I'm not happy with it at all. I just wanted to get this done and one day, I'll begin picking out the quilting, block by block, and replacing it with something better.

So, my plan is to finish the border quilting today and then get the binding stitched on so I can do the hand sewing this evening.  Before I do the binding, I decided to check on the Internet about how to trim up the quilt for the binding.  One of the bloggers I follow mentioned once that she had trouble with trimming the quilt after the binding was machine stitched on. What?  I'd never heard of that--I'd been taught to square up and trim the quilt before stitching on the binding.  So, what's the "correct" way to do this?  Keep in mind, that I do mainly bed-sized quilts so maybe on smaller quilts one trims after stitching, I don't know.

I did find this great video of how to square up and trim the quilt before stitching on the binding and I thought I'd share it with anyone who's curious as I was.  After watching this, I think I'll continue to trim up before I stitch on the binding.

The other thing the blogger mentioned was blocking the quilt. Again, I'd never heard of that, and I learned on another website that quilts meant to be wall hangings should be blocked--that is, wetted, laid flat and maneuvered into the shape and dimensions desired, then left to dry.  The website said that bed quilts which are at least occasionally washed don't need to be blocked. Whew!  That's good news for me!  I can't imagine wetting and pushing/pulling a queen or king sized quilt into shape and leaving it to dry on my floor, only to have to do it again every time I wash it!

So, how do you trim your quilts?  Before or after?  And do you block your quilts?  I'm curious to know.  

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