|Sea and Sand for Kavi (Tammy Silvers design)|
Tuesday afternoon I was back on my deck putting the finishing stitches in Sea and Sand, so snapped this picture out there. More pics inside, some labeling, and one last steam job along with a going over with a lint roller and it's ready to mail off. When I started working on this back in early May, I never dreamed I'd still be working on it mid-August. Too much "life intervenes, life interrupted" has made this one unexpected part of "how I spent my summer."
I mentioned that I cut my binding a bit wider when I plan to totally machine stitch it in place so I thought I'd show you a bit of how that works. Normally if you are going to hand stitch the binding to the back, you want enough width to just overlap the stitching line when you fold the binding to the back. Snug is best so that the binding is full with batting. But if you are stitching that turned binding by machine from the front, you need just a bit more overlap to be able to pin it in place and make sure the edge gets caught by the machine stitching. With the right side facing me, I roll the binding to the back and pin right in the seam line, then check the back to see where the pin has caught, adjusting if necessary. Too close to the edge and it may move enough when the pin is removed to get missed. I've had a few times when I've had to hand stitch small gaps where this has happened. Make sure you are putting the pins in pointing towards the direction the quilt will be moving in the machine. Yes, I've pinned an entire binding on with the pins the wrong way where they'd have to be pulled out long before the needle reaches what they were holding in place.
While perfecting this method and experimenting with different feet, I discovered that my zipper foot made sewing in the ditch along the binding the easiest. It rides along the bulk of the binding and positions the needle right next to it. I still need to keep my eye on the needle and sew slowly to avoid inadvertently stitching up on the binding but so much less so than with a regular foot. Slow is definitely the key here, along with removing the pin at the very last moment. I actually hold the end of the pin once I get close and let the movement of the quilt through the machine slowly remove it.
No doubt about it, corners are a challenge. Well, they are anyway, but if you are hand sewing, you can see what you are doing and manipulate with each stitch to get those miters to match up. One of these is way off but the rest aren't bad considering. They all looked even better after I went back in and closed up the miters with a little hand stitching. You might also notice that the stitching along the edge is not a consistent distance from that edge - it's very difficult if not impossible to achieve that kind of precision. This is why I'd never use this method on a quilt for competition or exhibit/sale or one I considered an heirloom, but it is good enough for quilts I know will be used and washed and even abused; it's a lot quicker than hand stitching and I think sturdier too.
I generally use invisible thread when I sew bindings on this way, so I don't have to worry about matching thread, especially on the back. But I've heard horror stories about invisible thread in baby quilts so used instead the same variegated yellow thread found in the quilting. I think it looks quite nice.
I really hate making and sewing on labels but I'm adamant about the quilt's info being on there somehow. If I can write it directly on the backing, I will. And so I did here, using a blue Pigma pen and going back in with a black one to punch it up a bit.
And just because I am so pleased with the way this turned out, I'm including more shots of the quilting and this full shot which, although the lighting is uneven, I think comes the closest to the true colors in the quilt. After quilting and steaming, this lost nearly 2 inches in length and nearly an inch in width. It is now 40 x 50-1/2 inches.