Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Creative Borders and Binding

Hi, and thanks for visiting!  Island Batik Ambassadors were asked to share creative borders and binding.  I have a few items to share.  Get your favorite beverage, this is going to be a long post, lol. 

First, getting creative with borders is actually fairly easy.  I love to play around with borders from printed patterns, and you never know what you can do unless you try.  I often do this, especially if I have more stamps (charm squares) or extra yardage, or even if I'm running low on the yardage and want to make the quilt as large as possible.  I use EQ7 to plan, creating the inside of the quilt with just colors, and adding border options and checking the fabric requirements based on the ideas. 

I've recently designed a quilt that will be at Market with the Island Batik booth.  It's a Christmas Tree Skirt, or could be a lap quilt, and I designed the block in honor of my father, who passed away last year.  I did a Piano Key border, and my pattern will have good directions for making the corner blocks mitered without being mitered, lol.  You'll have to wait for the pattern, lol.  

Consider a Piano Key when you want to add pizzazz and have enough strips or fabric left to cut into strips.  Sew longer strips together, then cut to the desired width of your border, and then join until you have the length you need for the sides.  Much easier than sewing individual rectangles together.  

I'm also working on a Triple Irish Chain quilt, that has a Seminole border.  It's from the Triple Irish Chain book by Quilt In A Day, and will be a wedding gift.  Yes, the wedding has passed, but I'm hoping the quilting will be done by the 6 month anniversary, so I can deliver it.  I have 5 more days, lol.  In this case, the fabrics are Lake Life, a collection from a few years ago.  I had a bundle and didn't have enough for the same cream edge in the Seminole border, so I used the scrappy version in the directions, making sure the creamy one was at the top, and the greener one was at the bottom.  I had the darker green for the outer border. 

 This was a pile of tops I had just pinned/basted for quilting.  

This is before the outer green border was attached.  It really does need it as a frame.  That's another hint about borders or binding.  It's part of the frame of the quilt, so try out a few ideas and fabrics to make sure you're happy with them before you commit to sewing it on.  

My next hint is about making your binding.  DO make sure you sew the strips with a diagonal seam and press the seam allowance open.  It really does help make the seam disappear within the edge.  You'll barely notice the seam allowance, but if you do just straight end to end, you'll feel the bulk.  Also, DO get into the habit of putting all the strips on the same way, so your seams run the same direction.  My first strip is open, but the second one stays folded.  I line the first up with the second, in an L shape (Upside down L, actually) and sew from the top left corner to bottom right corner. My next strip is placed the same way, and I check the fold to make sure the strip is in a flat V shape.  Each seam will go the same direction, then.  My other hint involves the starting section.  Trim that to a 45* angle before you sew it on.  I put my newly sewn strips on my cutting mat, and check the direction of the next seam, using the wrong side.  It's always from bottom left to top right.  I grab my 6" ruler, line the 45* line along the top edge to the end of the strip, and cut off the triangle, from bottom left to top right.  

I then fold this cut end in 1/4 to 1/2", and press, then press the strip in half.  Put this folded end about 8" from your "start sewing" spot.  (Leave the tail for joining the ends later).  

Sew your binding around, as usual, mitering the corners.  Stop about 7-8" from the tail you left before.  Here's my trick.  Tuck the remaining tail inside the folded end, and make sure it's smooth and flat to the top of the quilt.  Pin baste the folded end to the top layer of the inner binding, on top and the bottom to the bottom layer.  

Try to pin just the pressed seam fold line to the inside part of the binding, as if it were sewn along the fold.  Double check the fit.  

Then, carefully open the binding where the pins join it.  It should be an upside down L shape, with the diagonal pressed line hitting the top and bottom edge, and the center fold of the binding making an L, also.  

Adjust the pins so you can sew along the pressed angled line.  Lay it flat on the quilt top again, and make sure it's a good fit.  If so, trim the remaining binding off, leaving about 1/4" allowance, finger-press the seam allowance open, and sew the remaining section to the top.  

No one will guess where you started and stopped, because all the seam angles will be the same. and you didn't need a specialty ruler or trick to finish the seam, just a little prep before and some pins during.  

Did you happen to notice the flange border on that top?  It's another Island Batik challenge piece I recently finished.  I chose to add the dark blue flange because I wanted a separate line between the blocks and border, since I was using the same red fabric.  I didn't want it bigger, just an accent, and wanted the extra frame.  Notice how it's along the red, not the blocks.  It adds a little extra oomph to the red, don't you think?  I cut the strips 1 1/2" wide, and pressed them in half (wrong sides together.  Oh, wait, batiks don't really have a wrong side, lol)  I pressed it to the red border.  In this case, I didn't add quilting to the red, just the blocks and outer border. I wanted the flange to just hang out.  There are other quilts where I just quilt over the flange.  

Now, my final hint has to do with strange angles.  Every once in a while you'll find a pattern that has a different angle, not a 90* corner.  How do you handle that?  Well, in my research, I found this video, and since I think her explanation is perfect, I'm sharing it.  I think if there's someone who explains it well, or the design is already out there, I'll let them tell it, and save my breath.  Why copy when there's someone else who already has it done?  Marci Baker of Alicia's Attic has this great video.  

Here are 2 recent finishes that needed special binding angles.  I refer to this video often, and have it saved as a link on my "Best Quilting Practices" Pinterest page.  

So, that's a lot of information!  I didn't realize my main focus this month for this challenge would be just sharing information.  I actually didn't have to make anything special, because I had creative borders and binding with my other projects.  I kind of feel I got off easy, lol.  
Some of the other Island Batik Ambassadors have shared really creative NEW projects.  I hope you find the links on the Island Batik Facebook page.  If not there'll be a wrap-up post that I'll share later.  Some of the projects are GORGEOUS and you really need to see them.  

Thanks for visiting, and don't be afraid to try something new.  Let me know if you try my binding hint, too, or if you have any questions.  I may be able to post a video about binding soon.  Have a great time finishing your quilts! 


Monday, October 2, 2017

Christmas Carol Row Along

Christmas Caroling RAL 2017 photo CCLogo-2-small-450x373_zps857lafcy.jpg
Hi, and welcome to my day on the Christmas Caroling Row Along!  I'm delighted to share with you today, and so happy that Marian at Seams to be Sew invited me to participate.  She's done an awesome job with this hop, and the wonderful prizes are all because of her work.  She also arranged with Northcott to provide us with fabrics to feature in our rows.  

My fabrics are from Northcott.
9020-91 Silver Toscana for the bell applique
from Silent Night, 21659-44 blue snowflake
21660-42 light blue dot

21610-10 white snowflake for background.
Please look for these fabrics in your favorite shops!  

I LOVE Carol of the Bells.  When I was in high school and college, I was an alto in the Glee Club.  I loved singing the Ding Dong parts, and sounding like the bells.  So, here's my row to go with this song.  

"Hark, how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, 'Throw cares away.'"

I probably should have chosen a slightly darker shade for the silver bells, but in person, it shows up better.  I may just quilt this as a table runner, or I may add a few more rows or borders.  I wanted the side blocks to inspire thoughts of snowflakes.  

My pattern directions and templates can be found in my Craftsy shop.  This will be free for 1 week, until Oct. 10.  After that, there will be a small fee.  

Now, for the prizes!  Moda fabrics have generously donated a Red Dot Green Dash Fat Quarter bundle by Me and My Sister Designs.  Click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter that one.  Winner will pay shipping charges.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Calibre Arts is offering a discount on a 12 by 18" mat.  I have one of the mats, and it's really nice.  Please enter to win the discount code on this Rafflecopter widget.  You'll purchase the mat with the code, using Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And there's also fabric from Northcott! You can win a 2 yard assortment of Fat Quarters.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please!  Check with Marian at Seams to Be Sew for details and rules about the prizes.

And check out the other designers hopping today!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
MaryMack’s Blog You are here!  Thanks!
Kathys Kwilts and More
Pamela Quilts
Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Heleen Pinkster

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy using my row.  There's one more day to hop, and then a show and tell day next week.  You can find some of the past rows and more info on Marian's posts!