Sunday, March 11, 2007

What a day!

So, we went to the hockey game...when we arrived, the team was already in the dressing room, eating pizza, a bunch of the parents were getting OUT of their hockey gear - I have to admit, I wondered at this, as I thought the pizza break was supposed to be AFTER the first game (not our son's). I didn't get a chance to ask anyone about things as the group was saying goodbye to a much loved little person who's family is moving away; we drummed up a pen and our son signed his sweater. Suddenly, Youngest Son was at my side, with my skates and stick in his hand - "Mom, you gotta get ready!". So I did. Sometimes I do as I'm told.

We played Oldest's team. All of us goofy (and some VERY capable) parents. At one point the line I was on was on the bench, and some of the parents were talking about the time change. THE TIME CHANGE? No wonder they were eating pizza when we arrived! We were an hour late! I later asked my DH about it, and he had no idea either. I'm really glad we didn't miss our boy's game. It was fun...and I learned that I'm completely useless with a hockey stick. No tremendous surprise, truth be told. I'm more of a 'fine motor' than a 'gross motor' girl, anyway.

Our boys are still pirates. Today they made flags for their ships. Oldest made his using paint on fabric (It's cool, Mom, it soaks right through - I only have to do one side!). Youngest made his using marker on his fabric - love the colour saturation on it. Both are very proud. Youngest insisted on making a YARR! face for his photo. Who am I to argue with a pirate?

In amongst all this, I did make quite a bit of headway with Bacchanalia.

The binding I made yesterday was from strips cut 3 3/8" wide. It will finish to 1", after all is said and done. Knowing I was running out of Celadon ink, I made the binding, then dyed it. This worked out rather well, as the fabric joins are less noticeable. The first thing to do here was to press one long edge under 1/4". I also cut my lead edge on a 45 degree angle and pressed it under 1/4". I use spray starch for this, as it makes everything behave so much better when it's time to run it under the machine.

After spending the night pinned out on the floor to dry (after heavy dampening and steaming), the quilt was as flat as it's ever going to be. This morning I go busy squaring it. I put a pin in at each corner, then ran a piece of ribbon around the perimeter. Using a large (15") square ruler, I checked to see if the corners were square. Naturally, they weren't. I remeasured from pin to pin to make sure top/bottom and side/side were the same length, then measured from corner to corner to make sure that each diagonal was the same length. It took a bit of move this pin, move that pin, check and recheck, but it all eventually looked about right.

Then, using a water soluble (Crayola) marker, I drew the cutting line, following the stretched piece of ribbon and using the rulers to make sure the lines were straight. I moved the whole works over to the big cutting mat, took a deep breath, and cut the edges off following that line, squaring the quilt.
( I think this is the point at which the boys came in to show me their pirate flags. Insert proud smiles here)

I use a mish-mash of different techniques for this next bit. Some bits are thanks to Judy Martin, some are thanks to Sharon Shamber.

I used my Featherweight to put the binding on. As it doesn't have a seam allowance guide wide enough, I put a stack of post-it notes on the machine bed at 1" from the needle. Leaving about 8" of the binding free I started stitching it on along the bottom edge. The the raw edge of the binding is matched to the raw edges of the quilt. *NOTE* This is NOT a double french-fold binding, but a single fold one. It's not great for quilts that will get a lot of wear (i.e. bed quilts), but fine for wall hangings. Once I got about 4" from the corner i stopped stitching and folded the binding two ways. One: over the end of the quilt. Two: Up as though to mitre. The earlier application of starch pulls it's weight here as the fabric is really easily creased. I creased those two folds into the binding, then opened them up again. In the photo at left you can see the two creases, unfolded (one of them is over the bottom of the quilt edge, one is on a 45 degree angle ending at the corner). This is the greatest little trick as all I had to do was stitch down to that first 45" crease and stop. This is the perfect spot to stop, giving a perfect 45 degree corner.

I refolded the binding into it's mitre, then started right next to my 'stop' point, stitching merrily along the next edge.

This quilt, being a show quilt, I did close the binding (usually I just 'sleeve' it).

After getting all the way around the quilt, I stopped about 15" from where I started stitching. You can see in the first photo at right how the binding is brought down to meet the established, pre-pressed edge. The second photo shows creasing the new piece right at the meeting point (yay starch!).

The two pressed 45 degree folds are going to be the stitching line. Once the creases were in well, I unfolded the binding, stitched the two pieces together matching those creases, trimmed the new edge to 1/4", and pressed the seam open.

Voila! Continuous binding. At that point all there was left to do was to finish stitching it to the quilt.

Once the binding was on, I lay the whole works out to make sure it was still flat. All that corner and binding manipulation can stretch the edges! (I should mention that I'm trying to keep this quilt as flat as possible at all times. Through all the finishing steps.)

My ironing board (like most) has an adjustable height. I set it to the same height as my table, plugged in the iron and pulled the ironing board over so that it was an extension of the table surface.
I turned over the quilt and pressed open the binding, Hand turning the corners. You can see in the photo at left that I could see right away if anything was amiss, and could have fixed it at that stage.

Once the front binding was pressed, I turned it over again and pressed the remaining fold to the back. The pre-pressed 1/4" edge is now turned under, giving me a nice clean edge to hand stitch down.

That's where she stands at this point, folks! Nothin' left now but some quality time with a thimble.

Happy Stitching,



Debra Spincic said...

WOW! nice tutorial and worth bookmarking. Your work is just superb.

Lisa said...

Thanks so much, Debra!
I'm a little relieved that it's almost finished. This has been an intense one.