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Archive for the tag “Binding”

The first flannel is complete!!

After making so very many purchases to get all of the different flannel I wanted in this small quilt, I had to make an additional trip to the store for more of the solid flannel.  This last trip left me with enough flannel to make two quilts.

IMG_0006You might think this would  be a good thing, but in my opinion it just reminds me that there’s another quilt that needs my attention and I don’t even get the sense that I’ve completed one.

This of course is a flannel quilt, rife with it’s own issues.  I did pin… every… little… piece… and still managed to get it all wonky somehow.  IMG_0007

By the title that I’ve chosen, I’d have you believe this was the very first flannel quilt I’ve every made but that would be incorrect.  Allow me to say that I’ve made several, but the others’ that I’ve put needle and thread to were of the Christmas and baby variety.  This is the first truly flannel quilt for flannel quilts’ sake.


I learned quite a bit while shopping for fabric for this quilt.  Apparently there is a great difference in flannel fabric.  Without going into too much detail, I’ll limit myself to speaking about the flannel you’ll find at the fabric store.  Generically it comes down to about four types.  Baby flannel, quilting flannel, felt flannel (my term), and shirting flannel.  The difference caught me off guard when it came to the register.  The differences were so minute that the store gets them mixed together.

The lady checking me out gave the total that shocked me and as we looked at why the discounts weren’t applying found that I had chosen three different types of flannel and only one type was on sale.


Back to the quilt as it came together.  Normally square quilts don’t blow my hair back and as you can see, I sort of painted myself into a corner with the pattern I came up with.  Que Sera, Sera…  Quilts I’ve found can take on a life of their own.  After this one was complete and I did the mad dash the day it was due at Linda’s, the backing almost became a huge issue.  Why, oh why, don’t I factor in the size of the quilt when selecting the amount of material I purchase for the backing?!?

The finished quilt, bound with so-softies and pierced with yarn.


Flannel Binding

If I were to talk about one of the biggest obstacles that I’ve face since I started piecing quilts, top of my list is piecing and binding a flannel quilt.  It’s almost like sewing a Lycra skirt together I would imagine.  I am a “fair-weather” pinner and will always try to get away without pinning where I’m able, so long as the fabric I’m working with cooperates.

Flannel is one of my favorite fabrics to piece and wrap up in after a well-done job.  This is also one of the fabrics that needs the most pinning due to the stretchiness of the material.  To go a little into the woods with this topic, when I initially started quilting I wanted nothing more than to make a flannel quilt.  Off to the store I went to pick out some of the warmest, softest, and flannely flannel I could find.  I purchased much more fabric than was needed using the… “if it calls for a yard and a half why not buy four yards” guy mentality.

This of course saved me.  I knew something was off, and at first it was that I had indeed cut the wrong size on a couple of pieces.  Standing there trying to line the fabric up after I re-measured however I started to sew only to have the squares go all wonky on me once I tried to join them together.  This was my initialization into the world of flannel.

Lesson #1, pin… every… little… piece… to sew it together.  Then, pin each and every piece as they come together.  Use the steam and weight of the iron to flatten the material and set the seams, do not stretch the material while pressing.  Now I know there is someone out there that may be able to sew this without pinning using the proper tension and fabric selection on their sewing machine.  When I first started with my singer, I have a difficult time getting this correct.  Now that I have a husqvarna viking, it is a little easier, however I still have to ensure I have the machine set correctly.

I’ve posted before about how much I love to put satin blanket bindings on baby quilts, but I wanted these to have more of a homemade look to them.  People are finally getting vocal about what works for them on a flannel blanket and I’ve decided to go with the double-fold binding.  I’ll cut the fabric 2 1/2″ before folding rather than my normal 2 1/4″ wof.

Lesson #2, Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone.  I’ll post the pics of these next week to show you how they turned out.

Until next time,

Keep Sewing!!

Are you like a crazy person?

I love the world of quilting.  I love to design, sew, and finish these wonderful projects.  I am especially fond of having a finished product to admire at the end of all my hard work.  The flurry of the holidays is long since passed for me and my time is starting to open back up ever so slightly.  If I am to be perfectly honest, I’ve noticed that something has been missing in my life, a certain lack that when I tried to pinpoint exactly what it was, I realized that I hadn’t created anything new at all for over two months.



Does anyone else feel the same when life has “caught them up”?  Given the fact that the holidays are a busy time for both work and life in general, I sacrificed one of my passions to make room for others.  It’s the dance we do when a choice has to be made.

The Persian Plum that I started last year will be complete by next weekend and then it’s off to the quilters.  Between then and now, I have two flannel blankets that simply need to be bound and they will be complete as well.  I should have pictures up of those by tomorrow.

To everyone reading…  Thank you for all your wonderful comments, they mean a great deal to me and are very much appreciated.

Sew Happy!!

Finished at the last gasp

Kay was getting a little upset as I started putting on the first of my planned borders for the Christmas quilt.  We had two hours before we needed to leave to get to Linda’s house clear across town and I was just starting to put the first of three borders on.  I really meant to do them the day before, but lacked the motivation.

Meanwhile, Kay had a lot to finish and DID do a lot of it the day before with only a little bit remaining on the day we needed to turn it over to the quilter Linda.

As I was sewing on the first border, I looked at the back and realized that a patch was all wonky!  That’s what I get for trying to go too fast… another ten minutes wasted.  I finally got on-track and managed to get all three borders sewn on in less than two hours.  The last border was the toughest and required the most amount of attention with all the seams it had.

We were talking to Linda after we had arrived and were discussing thread colors and quilt patterns and I looked down at the six piles of fabric, their backing, and the batting realizing that this represented six quilts (translated… a LOT of difficult work) and it honestly put me in awe of what we had accomplished.  Two of the quilts Kay had ear-marked for a firehouse, one of the large purple ones to our oldest daughter Amanda for her birthday, and the last three to keep.

As I mentioned before our daughter Samantha had a valid point that we can only use so many at a time.  I really do like having them around the house though… on the backs of our couches, on the bed, and in the closet.  I keep saying 10 more quilts should be sufficient, but don’t feel the slightest bit of bad when I make one for a relative and two for me.  It’s not like we’re charging anyone.

Anyway, I actually wrote all of this to say that by the time I’d finished the Christmas quilt we had to leave immediately.  Yes, I did finish all three borders.  With Kay’s help I had the backing sewn as well.  As we rushed them out to the car I realized that I hadn’t taken the photo of it yet.  Delaying our trip slightly more, I placed the last bundle in the back of the car and snapped a quick shot of all six bundles on their way to the quilters.

Bound and Determined

This weekend I finally did it!!  I received a call from Linda who had my blue and yellow Sage Garden Quilt that it was ready to be picked up!  After wrapping up what Kay and I were working on we drove the 45 minutes to the quilters and picked it up.  It turned out so very beautiful and I could hardly wait to get it home.

What I didn’t know at first touch, was how stiff it would be with that much quilting on it.  I was actually unprepared and we started joking about it being so stiff that it may just walk off on its own.

When I got it home and pulled out the fabric to use for the border, it was close to 8pm already.  Determination set it however and I put most of the fabric together for the binding… yes I said “most” of the fabric.  Like any great story with trials and tribulations, I hadn’t measured correctly and while sewing the binding on came up a little short.  Not to worry though, I quickly added two more strips on and I was off and running.

No one every mentions it, but when you have something with that much quilting pushing the needle through the fabric is very difficult.  On several occasions I looked at my finger at the hole that was forming from where it created an indentation!  Well, here it is, I’m very proud of how this turned out.  Now I have but to put the label on to put it in use.

Binding the weekend away

A friend of ours that’s been there for us throughout the last three years is going to receive a quilt on Monday that she knows nothing about.    This will be the first time we’ve given a quilt to someone outside our immediate family.  This means though that I’ll be binding all weekend since I plan on finishing the binding on a Christmas quilt that was put together in March.  After that quilt is finished, I’ll bind our friends quilt and finally the Arbor Lane quilt.  Not bad now that I see it in print… binding three quilts in two days!

If you are interested in the how to of binding, check out this link Crazy Mom Quilts.  This is more or less the method that I’ve used since I started up quilting again two years ago.

If I can squeeze it into the weekend, I’ll also finish the mini quilt that I started and maybe piece one of the nursery blankets together for my nephew.

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