Kinda silly how excited I get about a fairly full day in the studio where I make lots of visible progress, but with all the ups and downs and disruptions I've dealt with for such a long time, days like today make me feel normal again, enthused, and yes - excited! I finished the quilting on Sea and Sand over the weekend, adding the baby's name in the yellow rectangles. Yes, I traced the name onto quilting paper, especially for the longer areas where I'd quilt the name more than once so wanted to get the spacing even. After quilting the name and removing the paper, I went back in with wavy lines on either side, quilted by eye. Yes, that much I can do without marking!
So now this baby is ready for binding. I always give my quilts a good steaming, especially along the outer edge, before adding the binding. The batting will always shrink up a bit and better that it does before sewing on a binding that will not shrink up after the fact. So this was the first order of business today. But of course, once steamed the quilt needs to thoroughly dry before trimming off the excess batting and backing and getting that binding on. Space is limited in the studio, so it got laid out on the floor in the room I use as an office.
With table clear again, I could now get the second baby quilt off the design wall and layered up for quilting. I'm only showing a little bit as I don't want the recipient to see it before it actually arrives and she sometimes checks the blog. I've picked a fairly wild hand-dyed piece by my late friend Judi for the backing - it has a lot of the colors that are in the top and was just, and I do mean just, big enough - and Thinsulate polyester batting. I bought this so long ago that I didn't remember having used it yet, but when I pulled it out of the package, a big chunk was gone. Must have gone into another baby quilt. There was plenty of length but a little shy on width so I spliced a strip on one side using a loose hand stitch similar to a big zigzag. I used safety pins to hold the layers together and also to hold the backing in place where I'd turned it over the excess backing. Often I thread baste that by hand but not today. I did do my usual thread basting by hand along the edge of the quilt top. Neat package ready to go under the needle.
And as long as I was at it, with clear space to work, I decided I may as well cut the binding for both quilts. I generally cut my binding a scant 2-1/8 inches wide so there will be a bit extra when it is turned to the back, making it easier to catch when I machine stitch in the ditch from the front. Feeling on a roll . . .