Finishing touches

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think.. I just saw that my last blog post (of 14th February) gave me no more excuses for not blogging – I now have wordpress on my phone and everything!

I’m back at work now 3 days a week, which is actually giving me a nice work/life balance. I have Tuesdays and Fridays off, which I would highly recommend! It’s lovely to break up the week and still get a long weekend!

In my absence from my blog I have been working hard on Little E’s quilt. I didn’t quite get it finished before I was back at work, but was just finishing the binding. I spent so long focussing on finishing the pieces for the front that I didn’t even consider how it would all fit together!

Luckily Mum came to stay while we were having settling in days at nursery and she did a great job at distracting me from missing my little guy! We dropped him off that first morning and drove straight to my local quilting shop to buy supplies..

Most of the techniques you need for finishing a quilt are easily found on YouTube and as this was a first attempt I won’t pretend to give a tutorial here! I will however lay out the steps for finishing up – I had no idea what was involved:

1, piece blocks of quilt together

2, create sashings/borders as required, to get a lovely join Mum showed me how to do this by laying the 2 strips right sides facing and at right angles

machine stitch together across the diagonal
iron open and trim the join down to a quarter inch

3, tack together the backing, wadding and top – this is a huge job, tacking in lengths every 10/15 cm down the quilt ( I did it in thirds) to avoid any wrinkles in step 4

4, quilt – I used the machine to stitch in the ditch around some of my blocks, as they were pretty uneven in size to begin with I just picked them at random. I also did some hand quilting around a couple of the big chicks in my biggest block – just to hold it firm. Apparently there is a proportion which should be quilted, but Mum couldn’t remember and Google didn’t help on that occasion!

5, binding, which comes in parts
a. prepare the length of binding, I used the odds that were left and joined in the same way as with sashings, this is ironed in half and
b. machine stitch raw edges together – so sewing through both edges of the binding, the top of the quilt, the wadding and the backing (in that order – so binding on top). Tricky bits include corners – drop the needle a quarter inch from the end and turn the quilt round; and joining the ends up – this was the bit that I’m still not clear on – I fudged it a bit, it looks OK – I’m sure Little E won’t notice! But I will do a practise before I attempt this again on a quilt!
c. hand stitch the binding round to the backing to hide those raw edges

6, pull out all the tacking threads – very therapeutic. I guess this could be done before the binding, but I love the dramatic big reveal so held off until it was finished! Drum roll please…

So proud, you get two photos! – I bought the fabric for this quilt in October 2010, I then left it in the paper bag and got it out every so often to look at – I was so scared of starting and getting it wrong! There were a few mistakes – I ironed the bondaweb to the wrong side of the fabric I had chicks facing in the wrong direction, but all in all I’m very pleased with my first quilt!


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