Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I should probably have split this into two posts...

Firstly, I'd like to apologise for any aneurisms had on Sunday morning. When I pressed the publish post button, blogger told me that it had been scheduled for 5 minutes away, and I was too lazy to go back and make it post straight away. Then I fell asleep, without checking it had uploaded, and got a bit sad the next day that noone had said anything, but I figured it was just because I was being a grumpy bum, and it probably didn't deserve commenting on anyway. Then, when I went in to correct a typo on last night's post, I realised it was still there, labeled as a draft. I backdated the post and made sure it actually uploaded, and went to bed. I'm very sorry Helen, it was Blogger's fault, I promise.

Anyway, tonight, having bought myself a new cutting mat, I got started on my next mingle quilt. I hadn't realised it, but it's been ages since I chopped fat quarters up into neat little squares as a precursor to making blocks one at a time.

I gotta say, it feels inefficient. And after all that time pondering as I tried to iron out a not quite flat bit of strip piecing if it was actually any faster, what with having to do more cutting afterwards and all, I'm thinking it doesn't matter. Cutting (fabric) for two hours is almost enough to make you start cutting (emo style)

Still, my initial squares are all done now, so at least from here on out everything is perfect and regular.

This quilt design is odd, by my standards, since it actually contains no maths. None. At all. You cut four squares, the biggest you can from a fat quarter - I've gone 22cm, but honestly, there's no reason even to conform to whole numbers. Then you pick a point a little way from one corner along an edge, say, 5cm or so. Then you cut from that point to the middle-ish of the opposite side. You remove the small bit of fabric and go from the ghost point that would have been the 5cm or so (same as last time) from the corner in the other direction, and you go to the middle-ish opposite again. The only hard part is your ghost corner, but if you get a piece of paper, draw both lines, then cut one, and then the other, wallah! Templates. Then all you've got to do is shuffle around your insides and your outsides until you've got a design you like and sew it all back together, kite shape to short wedge, then attaching the long wedge to the side, lining up the wide bit with the top of the kite so that your overhang is the narrow bit, which you can then chop off without much waste. Doesn't even matter what your seam allowance is, so long as it's constant. Pretty much a perfect first quilt.

But it's not my first, it's going to be my 50th. Because, dirty little secret, this one was #38.5 - the quilt with no number*.

That's Graham. He's like a ninja, and it's very rare for he and I to cross paths.
This is the quilt I made for the Two Tyred Tutorial, and I'm glad I finished it on the weekend we actually won (please forward your insults regarding our Round 1 performance via the comments box) The colours above are the colours of the Hawthorn Hawks, an Australian Rules Footy team. Any non-Autralian readers should declare their support before Shay tries to woo you to the Adelaide Crows.

Anyway, as well as posting the instruction for this one, here's a quick little thing on how I usually bind quilts, when I'm not boring myself silly with hand sewing them on. I usually call this double wide binding, and it looks best on quilts that are straight line quilted on the machine. Go read this, and then I'll explain my changes.

Firstly, cut your binding 1/2 an inch wider than she says, or 1/2 inch wider than you usually would. I like 9cm, but I also put my needle to the far left so I get a wider binding.

Instead of pinning from the back, put your pins in the front, right up against where the batting folds back on itself. Try to keep a fairly constant amount of excess binding beyond where your pin passes through to the back, you want it to be a quarter inch or so.

Use a zipper foot - one of the ones that has the metal in the middle and open sides. This lets you get really really close to the edge - you want to be stitching into the ditch. Once you've gone the whole way around, tie off your threads.

Flip the quilt over. There should be a quarter inch or so of overhang to your binding. In some places it might be less, in some places a little bit more. Now sew that down from the back - when it gets narrower, you go in so you don't miss any of it, which you might have if you were sewing it blind from the front. I tend to not go out too far even on the bits where it's a bit wider - it makes for a straighter finish on the front if you only veer off in one direction.

Once you've done your full loop, tie off your threads.

The quilt from the front will look like this, with a narrow binding and a second line of quilting about a quarter inch from the edge, just like all the actual quilted lines where the seams have been echoed.

The back will look like this - binding a quarter inch or so wider than it is on the front, double sewn.
That's not brilliant explaining, I know, but despite the fact that this is getting published at 2.45, my body clock still thinks it's nearly 4am.

Damn You Daylight Savings!

*So we're disregarding it with regards to both my "finish half the WIPs before #50" and "do that one you've been gunna-ing since the beginning as #50" pledges.


  1. Since you totally lost me on the binding and on the cutting for that matter -- I am in a total fog, probably because I haven't sewn anything since Thursday and am missing my Bernina desperately -- I decided to defer my support for the Hawthorn Hawks until I know what the colors are for the Adelaide Crows. I like hawks better than crows, but I'm not really sold on the colors (an important point for me in deciding which team to support). How does one who lives in such a backward place as California get to view these teams in action so that she can pretend to be knowledgeable about what's going on?

  2. Quilt Number 50 ? Good grief. I dont think Ive done that many quilts in my whole quilting career..You're amazing. The fabrics are pretty too. You know Im a kinda visual person so even though I read your description Im going to have to wait for the pictures to get a proper idea of whats going on here !

    I noticed we were both very quiet about the first match of the season Sara (and I want brownie points for not gloating ...)

    Thea -Crows colours are dark blue, red and bright yellow. Much nicer, and a far better team ....you could google AFL video's and a trillion would pop up. I watched some American football eary this year and didnt understand a bloody thing. What's the point of throwing stuff backwards?

    As far as DLS goes my body thinks 10.30 is 11.30 and so Ive been falling asleep early this week...which is completely weird for me.

  3. Okay Sara, I confess. I do like like the crows colors better .. but crows?? y'all don't make it easy.