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Have you ever gotten to the end of your quilt and gotten stuck because you so dread the last step? Well, for those of you that hate the hand stitching part of the binding, here’s your solution: machine binding! Machine binding a quilt involves the same process to piece and attach the binding to the front of the quilt as you would use for hand sewing the binding, but at the end is stitched with your machine, quickening the process.
- coordinating thread – this will show on the quilt top and on the binding – I would recommend a 50 weight 100% cotton thread
- a machine with a walking foot attached
- a new 75/11 machine quilting needle
- Wonder Clips – these are a must, and trust me, I wouldn’t sell you anything you don’t need!
Machine Binding Directions
Step 1 – Piece and attach the binding to the front of your quilt. If you need a refresher on how to do this, check out the first half of our binding tutorial, here. If this is your first time binding by machine I would recommend you cut your binding a teensy bit wider than usual. I normally do a 2 1/4″ cut, double-fold binding, for this I did 2 1/2″.
Step 2 – Flip the binding to the back side of the quilt and, using Wonder Clips, clip it in place along one side of the quilt. The binding should fall against the seam allowance, but the edge of the quilt should not be buckling underneath the binding. The flat side of the clips should face the back of the quilt. You want the clips to fall every couple of inches. If you don’t have enough to clip and entire side, start at the left edge (the left edge if the binding is up) and work until you’ve run out of clips. As you sew, you’ll just have to move the clips further down the edge.
Step 3 – Go over to your machine and place the quilt under the walking foot. Make sure you don’t catch and/or shift any of the clips in the process. Because of how bulky the clips and the walking foot are, you may need to remove your first clip, or shift it down the edge of the quilt. Leave the foot up, but turn the fly-wheel towards you until the needle goes into the fabric where the two edges of the binding meet (in the corner).
Step 4 – Lower the walking foot. Holding onto the thread tails, start stitching, slowly. After a few stitches, backstitch back to the beginning to lock the stitches in place. You should be stitching “in-the-ditch”, which means you should be falling just on the quilt side of the binding. And I mean just. This takes a little getting used to, so go slowly and have patience with yourself. Do not watch the needle, watch just in front of the needle – by the time your needle is headed down, it is too late to straighten out! Try to avoid stitching up and over the edge of the binding.
Step 5 – Once you’ve reached the other end, backstitch as you did at the beginning, trim the threads, and pull out the quilt.
Step 6 – Fold the binding to the back of the next side and clip. Your corners should fall into place pretty easily, and the edges of the binding should align.
Step 7 – Continue stitching all the way around!
Now, I have found it to be easiest to do one side at a time to achieve the best results, but that sure doesn’t mean I’m always right (about this, at least), so feel free to try clipping the whole thing and stitching it all at once! I think I’m just too much of a perfectionist…
This month’s block in our hand pieced block of the month series is the Rocky Mountain Puzzle block. This block has been trending a lot over the last 6-12 months on social media, and even though it might not be as “cool” any more, I am falling for it hard! It uses 4 different fabrics and is a great place to play around with a negative image and flipping the darks and lights. The Rocky Mountain Puzzle block has you practice half square triangles again, but it’s also the first time you will be piecing long rectangles like this. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? Well, for me it ended it up being a little bit of an issue (not a big one!). I had trouble getting things to fit so I did a teensy bit of easing, which is so easy to do with hand piecing. In the end, I don’t think you can really tell. You guys are also getting a slightly different version of the templates than I used, so hopefully that will fix any issues.
Rocky Mountain Puzzle Quilt Block
*Download this month’s templates here. Once printed the large square should measure 3″ and the smaller square should measure 1 1/2″. These templates are for tracing your sewing lines. Once traced, cut 1/4″ outside the drawn line all the way around.
Note that I used a dark background for this block – the teal. Feel free to use a light background, just make sure that you correspondingly change the other pieces so they all contrast.
- Center square – Trace and cut 1 square from the appropriate square template for your block
- Frame – Trace and cut 2 large and 2 small rectangles from the appropriate templates
- Sawtooth Triangles – Trace and cut 10 triangles from the appropriate templates
- Background – Trace and cut 2 squares and 10 triangles from the appropriate templates
Step 1 – Take a light and a dark triangle and align them as shown. Place right sides together and pin along the long edge.
Step 2 – Sew along the line, making sure to backstitch occasionally to lock your stitches! Once the seam is completed, press towards the darker fabric. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all half-square triangle units are sewn.
Step 3 – Take 5 of the half square triangle units as well as one of the background squares and place them as shown. Piece together the 3 HST plus the square into one row, and then the two HST into a second row. Note that the triangles face opposite directions on the two rows! Repeat with the remaining HST and background squares (you should end up with 2 long rows and 2 short rows). Press the center seam in the short row to either side. Do not press the long row’s seams.
Step 4 – Take your center square as well as the two smaller rectangles and place them as shown. Pin the long edge of one of the rectangles to one edge of the square. Piece. Press towards the dark.
Step 5 – Sew the remaining small rectangle to the opposite side of the square. Press towards the dark.
Step 6 – Take the two long frame pieces and place them above and below the frame/center combination made above. Sew the long edge of the frame rectangle to the center unit. Press either way.
Step 7 – Repeat the above process with the remaining frame piece.
Step 8 – Place the two short rows alongside the center square as shown. Note that the background triangles are towards the outside and that the triangles are not facing the same direction (up on the left and down on the right). Piece one set of triangles to one side of the center unit. Press either way, although I would recommend towards the frame.
Step 9 – Repeat the above process with the remaining triangle set.
Step 10 – Place the two long rows as shown. The background squares should end up in opposite corners, and note that the sawtooth triangles always have a seam against the inner frame. Piece as shown. Press the seams whichever way they want to go.
You’re done! And, I must confess, I still haven’t actually finished last month’s. Hopefully I’ll be able to show it off by December!
Edited 5/26, 8:30AM – Our two lucky winners are Holly and Candy! I’ll be contacting you ladies shortly about picking up your awesome goodies. Thanks to all who entered, and thanks for your list of not-to-miss Market things, as we didn’t get to see everything.
Today is the last day of Market, and is just a little bit shorter, which means the vendors have a chance to pack up. We came back to the hotel and did our own packing and just barely got everything in. We’ve got plenty of fabric in our suitcases, but are ending up having to carry all the books we purchased in laptop bags on the plane. We are bringing home two display shelves from our Australian distributor and have split them between the two suitcases! After an awesome dinner at Hell’s Kitchen, we came back to work. Well… I called my wife and accidentally fell asleep. At 8:30. The good news is she know I had to do a blog entry so she kept pestering me until I finally got up. While I was asleep Phyllis put together this little message she wanted me to share with you all:
“This has been an amazing week. I have seen a lot of beautiful (and not so beautiful) fabric, met lots of designers, vendors, fabric reps, and friends of Phoebe’s. I could not have done any of this without the great staff from Quilting Adventures. Phoebe has been a great mentor and teacher. She has guided me on what will be liked and not by our customers, introduced me to many, many people, and most of all been patient with me while I looked at all the booths and asked lots of questions. Phoebe is respected in the quilting industry and is considered a knowledgeable guide for me. We (well at least I) have enjoyed all the colors, textures, patterns, and toys that have been displayed in the booths. Phoebe’s pictures have shared some of this with you, but not nearly enough (due to time, not effort). Come by later this week and see what we were able to bring back.
I also want to say thank you to the staff. I could not have done this without the shop staff that kept the store open, and helped customers. Pattie has guided the shop this week. The rest of the staff have been invaluable. I am glad to have such a wonderful group of women to work with.”
Well, since we’d already gotten some awesome pictures yesterday, there wasn’t much left to photograph today. Almost all of these pictures are of patterns or fabric we’d ordered, all of which are awesome! Here’s the best of the best:
Succulence fabric from Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics.
Artisan fabrics by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics:
Carolyn Friedlaner’s other new pattern, Austin House:
Elizabeth Hartman’s new patterns, made from her new line of fabric, Rhoda Ruth, for Robert Kaufman. We will be getting the patterns and the fabric!
And now onto the giveaway! Please read carefully: We are doing 2 seperate giveaways, both of which are pictured below. Each winner will receive a charm pack of Timeless Treasures’ new Studio blender, a mini charm pack + fun storage jar of the new modern batiks from Hoffman, a full fat quarter set of the colorway pictured below of Morning Walk by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics (in the store now!), one Elizabeth Hartman and one Violet Craft button, and one pattern, all in the cute Ella Blue tote pictured!
Here’s how to win: Leave a comment below telling me what you saw from Quilt Market that you absolutely loved – it doesn’t necessarily have to be something we showed you – tell me what I missed! We’ll pick TWO lucky winners using random.org. The deadline for comments is 8AM EDT on Tuesday, May 26. Only entries that mention their favorite thing from Market will be considered valid!
We’ve got serious winds here as a front moves in and the temperature drops – somewhere around 50 miles per hour. I’m hoping it will die down before the morning – it should be somewhere around 30 degrees when we leave in the morning (the high here tomorrow will be 45!). We can’t wait to get home!
Well, I did it – I took a bunch of pictures today! And when I say a bunch, I mean a BUNCH! Here’s the best photographs of the best things at Market (that I remembered to photograph):
Some new cross stitch ornaments and necklace blanks and kits from Red Gate Stitchery.
Some cool new patterns from Pattern Workz. We just got a few of these to see how they work, so we can’t wait to make one!
These awesome new embroidery patterns from Olive Grace Studios. We can’t wait to try out the little seasonal mini quilts as well as the bird quilt!
The new line from my friend Emma Jean Jansen, 60′s Scrapbag:
This awesome stag quilt pattern!
Some awesome new patterns from Australian pattern distributor Creative Abundance. This distributor features many Australian pattern designers, so we’ve got some from all of our favorites!
Bareroots designs has some of our favorite embroidery patterns, and we were happy to see that she’s come out with this new candle mat, as well as these awesome table runners! The table runners are all done with chalk cloth, so they can be doodled on at the table – perfect to deliver tidings of the season!
Last up is a local designer – perhaps you’ve heard of her? – Alison Glass! Here are pictures of some of her current fabric lines as well as some new patterns plus projects from her new book that released a few months ago. Yum!
Now, these isn’t even everything. I had a few pictures that didn’t turn out – convention center lighting – and a few other things where there weren’t any pictures! We bought the new Kate Spain fabric for some of our staff (and the former shop owner ), along with some other great fabrics we know you’ll all love. We’ve ordered books and patterns and gadgets and figured out what we’re going to demo for NEXT New Year’s Day. We’ve planned several million different block of the months to start in January, now we just need to whittle it down. Phyllis has had a chance to experience Market and I’ve had a chance to catch up with friends. Tomorrow is the last day of the show, and so we’ll have one more entry tomorrow night before we fly home on Monday. Please keep in mind that we’re bringing some of this home, but some of it won’t be in for a little while, so please let us know if there’s something you want us to hold for you when it comes in!
Today is the day that the show floor actually opens and we have a chance to start buying! For us the really exciting news is that we walked the entire show, which means we got to, theoretically, see everything. We saw some awesome new books, patterns, fabric, a little bit of everything. The catch is that I didn’t take too many pictures – I’ll try to get more tomorrow!
This first picture is of me and my friend Becky Goldsmith of Piece O Cake designs in front of one of the quilts from her new book that I mentioned yesterday. Right after Phyllis took this picture Becky signed a copy of the book for me – I can’t wait to take it home and work on a color class!
Carolyn Friedlander has a new hand appliqued block of the month releasing soon. I am so in love with this – I am a hand applique stitcher, through and through! Would any of you be interested in doing this in the store as a class series? Please say yes so we can do it together!!!
And my last set of pictures are from Heather Ross’s booth and showcase her newest line Tiger Lily. We’ve ordered some pieces from this line and it ships this summer! Now, I have to tell you something here – I stopped in Heather’s booth to talk about something deeply personal with her, and I have to say, she was so sweet. I meet a lot of designers at these shows, and there are some really lovely people here, but Heather was just so approachable and lovely and sweet.
We saw all sorts of other wonderful, awesome, amazing things, but… I didn’t take any pictures! We finalized some details for both our upcoming anniversary celebration as well as our New Year’s Day celebration for 2016, and have many ideas for new classes. I will demand that I take more pictures tomorrow!