Thursday, November 15, 2012

How to finish a quilt top...while the chickens cluck!

It's chilly outside today here in Salem, cat was crying "please open the window, please open the window", so I gave in.  As my kitty sat in the cool breeze of the morning I could hear my neighbor's chickens clucking away...I am "wishing for chickens myself", but that will happen in time.  It was fun to hear them clucking to each other while my cat was twitching her ears listening.  Did I happen to mention I live right in town and there's chickens next door...crazy!

Last night I finished up teaching a four week long class on 'beginning quilting' and shared with my students the different ways of finishing a quilt top. 

Today I will share those techniques with you.  Hopefully this will help in your 'quilting' journey.

When teaching beginners, I teach the quick turn/tie method for a quick finish.  I do go over machine quilting a tiny bit, but as you know if you have ever machine quilted a quilt, it's a BIG job - lot's of practice required!

Quilt Finishing Techniques

1.                   Tie method/No Binding
*Note: backing and batting should be at least 2" bigger than quilt top.
a.         Lay Batting down first – tape corners with some masking tape to hold in place.
b.        Lay Backing fabric down – right side up…use one corner as your point of reference to line edges up with, this way you will have only two sides to trim later and bigger pieces of fabric leftover.
c.         Lay Quilt Top Down – right side down

Pin (3” apart) on all 4 sides of quilt sandwhich.  Sew all 4 sides of quilt sandwhich (use a ½” seam allowance and use quilt TOP as guide)…Leave a 10” opening on one side in the middle.

After sewing…trim all 4 sides to the ½” seam.  You mostly will only be trimming the batting and backing fabric.

Place arm thru opening and grab out one corner of quilt at a time, shake and wiggle quilt thru opening until it’s right side out.

Smooth quilt top and with a friend stretch on both sides of quilt to make sure quilt top and backing is laying smoothly with no curled edges.

Pin quilt top thru all layers in the spots where you will be tying.

Using pearl cotton thread and a rounded needle, tie quilt.

Close opening with needle and thread or ½” steam a seam.

2.                   Machine Quilt/requires binding
*Note: backing and batting should be at least 2" bigger than quilt top.
a.       Lay backing down first – wrong side up.  Tape corners with masking tape to hold in place.
b.      Lay batting on top
c.       Lay quilt top on top of batting – right side up.
d.      Pull back half of quilt and batting and spray (using quilt spray adhesive 505) BATTING, fold batting onto backing, spray top of batting and lay quilt top back down.  Repeat with other half of quilt and quilt will be spray basted and ready to machine quilt.
e.    Trim all four sides of quilt.
f.     Sew on binding.

3.                   Hand Quilt

4.                  Commission a long arm quilter

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