Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #23

Linda left her comment on my last post:

“You must have added the last bit of quilting after the quilt was bound, right? Love the little every-other-curls along that edge.”

I have to disappoint Linda as my answer to that question is “no”. :) I am sure I am not the first person who thought this up, but recently I have been using the following border treatment for my quilt. Look at the schematic below closely:

1. This only works on a non-pieced border, as in border strips made of one long rectangle, or at best borders with corner squares.

2. The schematic shows my method for a 3″ finished border.

3. Instead of cutting my strips 3.5″ before piecing, I cut my strips 4.5″ for a “pretend” border of 4″.

4. After the border strips are pieced to the quilt center, I measure and mark 2.75″ from the edge of the quilt center around the border. That delineates the outer limit of the my quilting. The 1/4″ left from the 3″ finished border will be taken up by the width of the binding strip that is going to show on the front of the quilt – I use my 1/4″ foot to sew my binding strip onto my quilt.

5. All the above is done before I even baste my quilt sandwich.

6. I then quilt my quilt as normal.

7. After the quilt is quilted, I check for ripples and unevenness on the quilt. If the quilt looks rippled, uneven and wouldn’t lay flat, I would wet quilt and square up the quilt that way.

8. Usually, when I leave an extra space beyond the outer limit of my quilting (in this case that extra 1″ in my pretend border), I don’t have to wet my quilt for squaring if the entire quilt is evenly quilted. Then I proceed to trim 1/4″ beyond the quilting outer limited, taking care to square up the corners.

9. The quilted quilt top is now ready for me to attach my binding.  What I have, in this case, are feathers quilted right against the binding, but not covered by the binding!

I hope I am making sense… please let me know if I am sounding a bit delusional, by all means!


16 thoughts on “Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #23

  1. OOhh, great idea, and with your steps, doesn’t take a lot of extra time. Waiting for the Wendy teaching tour so we can all take classes from you !

  2. See, this is what I love about your work — that attention to detail, weighing each of the many choices that goes into every quilt against the your vision of what you want at the end of the rainbow, artfully choreographing each step along the way so the finished quilt comes together like a glorious ballet, fully worthy of close-up photography. Your quilts are so beautiful, but I appreciate them even more when you explain the care and planning process that goes into making each one of them so special. Thanks for sharing your “secrets!”

    My client’s big design project is FINALLY winding down, and I bought more quilt fabric when I was at the beach last week. I also found a quilt shop near the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris that I’m planning to visit when I’m there on business next week. I’ve definitely earned some R&R and I hope to be back in my own sewing room soon, but until then, I’ve been quilting vicariously through your blog. Thanks, Wendy! :-)

  3. Hi Wendy,

    I have a question. Your quilting is just beautiful. I am trying to do feathers on my Bernina. I look at your examples and they are so perfect. Are you backtracking on the feathers? It certainly doesn’t appear so. If you aren’t I need your formula on how not to have to backtrack. Thanks so much for your help in advance.

  4. Thank you once again for coming to the rescue of the infamous free motion quilting dummy. I’m learning from each of your thread talks–talk some more!

    P.S. Love your projects in Quilter’s World.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing. I have been quilting for some time and have undertaken a few small projects to actually undertake machine quilting. However, after reading and re-reading your Thread talks, I decided to try my first big project. I am very pleased…your tips have really boosted my confidence and made me believe I could do it! The tip to slow down is the most important thing for me to make my stitches more even. Of course I am just starting but hurray…it is working and I am happy! Thanks for sharing your talent, your quilts are unbelievable. You have an incredible gift!

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