It's time to finish up our Holiday Hustle quilts! If you are sewing along, I hope you've found this quilt fast and fun (and easy!) to put together. Today, I will be sharing how to quilt and bind your quilt. When you get your quilt finished, link it up in the linky post and share! Link up by 8/31/13 to be entered for a chance to win $40 to spend in our shop! Aren't you excited to have a great lap quilt done months before Christmas?! :-)
Step 1: Prepare the Binding
Last week, in the borders and sashing instruction, I shared that you'd cut SIX 2.5" x WOF strips for your binding. If you haven't cut those yet, grab a half yard and slice it up!
You are going to join all six strips together, end-to-end. Line them up as shown and stitch along the diagonal. Be sure to leave the selvages out of the way - we'll be trimming those off. (Note: if your fabric is directional, like this one, make sure they will line up right before sewing!)
Trim the ends off leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance from the sewn line.
Press open. And repeat until all 6 strips are joined in one long continuous piece.
Fold the binding in half lengthwise and press. Roll it up really pretty (or don't) and set it aside for later. :-)
P.S. You can totally make the binding later, but I lose steam if I don't do it first! :-)
Step 2: Prepare the Backing
You need 3.5 yards of fabric for the backing. You'll cut the yardage in half for TWO 63" x WOF pieces.
Join the pieces along the selvage edge. (Note: If your fabrics are directional like my snowmen, make sure you sew them so both sides will face the right direction.)
You'll sew about 1/4" INSIDE the selvage - we'll trim those off. :-)
Step 3: Sandwich your Quilt Top
Find a good spot where you can lay out the whole quilt top.
I like to start with just the batting and top. Working from one end, carefully smooth the quilt top over the batting. Be careful not to smooth left to right too hard or you'll distort your quilt. I try to do the smoothing in a vertical motion. Roll the batting and quilt top up as you smooth it out. The photo below shows me starting this process.
Next, lay your backing out on the floor and tape down using painter's tape. (Note: I have trimmed the width of my backing a little (about 10 inches wider than my quilt top) prior to this step.)
Carefully unroll your top/batting onto the backing. Smooth it as you go so its nice and flat. (TIP: If your backing is directional, like my snowmen, make sure the top of your quilt it as the top of your backing.)
Pin it up! I used a safety pin in every charm square plus some in all the borders and in the sashing. A good rule of thumb would be to make sure your pins aren't more than a handprint apart.
Step 4: Quilt it!
Quilt as desired. You can straight stitch or free motion. I did an all-over free motion stipple on this one - which is usually how I quilt most of my projects.
I do have a pretty small machine. So on bigger projects, I roll up one side and start in the middle. If I can get down the middle section, I can then turn the quilt and work the sides a little easier. I also bring my machine down to the kitchen table and set up in the bottom right corner of the table so that the rest of the table can support the weight of the quilt.
When I free motion, I generally drop the feed dogs and lengthen my stitch as well. I used Aurifil 50 wt in white and I loved the way it kind of melted into the fabric since it is fairly fine thread.
Step 5: Attach the Binding
After you are done quilting, press the borders. And then trim them down. I trimmed them 6" from the seam between the inner and outer border to square up my quilt.
TIP: When I do this, I like to trim on a larger table like my kitchen table and use the table to support the quilt top. If your quilt is hanging off the edge of a table, it might distort your borders as you cut them due to the weight pulling on the quilt.
Using a walking foot and a lengthened stitch, attach the binding to the front.
I am assuming you have a basic knowledge of adding binding. If you're totally new, I have more info here in this tutorial post. (This post by Rita at Red Pepper Quilts is also really good and shows directions for binding completely by machine.)
TIP: I like to put my binding in a little bucket next to my machine as I attach it so it doesn't end up everywhere! :) I think I got this bucket at the $1 bin at Target.
Almost done! Take the quilt over to your ironing board and press the binding open.
And attach the binding to the back as you wish - by hand or by machine. In this case, the quilt is for my mom and I know she prefers the look of hand binding, so that is what I will be working on this week. :-)
Here are a few more shots of my quilt for you ...
Closer detail of the quilting ...
The cutie snowmen on the back ...
Happy Sewing! :-)