12.10.2013

Alabama Quilt ~ Complete

My first 'official' quilt - ever! - with each and every learning step thoroughly enjoyed and am quite satisfied with the results.  This measures @45" x 60".  I am writing my notes here so I'll remember what I've done.
Quilt for AlabamaAlabama quilt in progress and  Alabama quilt coming along brings us to the point of applying the binding.  Having always loved seeing other's continuous binding all rolled up, couldn't resist taking a photo of mine.  Never been happy with smaller projects I've bound, many websites were read and videos watched over and over (and over!) again for this special project, with bits and pieces taken from here and there to be used on this quilt.

From Red Pepper Quilts Binding Tutorial I learned to cut my strips 2 1/4" wide, fold in half and zigzag the raw edges shut.  This helps stabilize things somewhat when stitching the binding on, and feel it was particularly helpful to me as I do not own a walking foot.  Yes, this quilt was done without a walking foot.  Everywhere I turned it seemed every one was telling I HAD to have a walking foot.  But sewing very slowly and taking extra precautions, like preparing the binding carefully this way, everything came together beautifully, matched corners and seams with no puckers.
At this point I switched to Wendi's technique at Shiny Happy World How to Bind a Quilt's video to begin stitching the binding on the quilt.  I liked that you begin this way, photo below, then end by simply continuing your seam.  There are no binding ends to twist and match and meet-up.  At this point can I say how much I appreciate Wendi's video as this was the go-to video for me here.  I also found out you can move a video frame-by-frame offline on your iPad, which I did, to see exactly what some of her finer points were.  I did my own thing by machine stitching the binding to the back first - then machine stitching to the front. 
Photo of the top of the quilt where the binding joined.
Photo of the back of the quilt where the binding joined.  See those nice stitches just shy of the binding?  Thrilled!!! with the way those turned out.  After stitching the binding to the back, I wrapped then pinned the binding to the front, being careful to place the pins exactly where I wanted my stitches to fall..... and it worked!  Not one stitch drifted into the binding, nor strayed off crooked.  I think I bit my lip and held my breath the whole time.  :)  I sewed this step v-e-r-y   s-l-o-w-l-y and only pinned one side at a time.
Oh, I also used Wendi's corner binding technique, also from her video, that makes a beautiful mitered corner oh-so-easy.
The label I stitched into the bottom corner says   .LOVE.   SOUTH CAROLINA   *2013*
All folded up to check the 'trueness'.  Not having dealt with so much fabric before, other than home dec - but that's a totally different type of sewing - I was happy to see all folds up nice and evenly.  No crookedness..... which means (hopefully) all my measurements were correct and cut and sewn straight.
Kept the quilting simple.  Top is 100% cotton, batting is Warm & Natural 100% cotton, and back is a flat twin-sized sheet 60% cotton/40% polyester.
One last look as it's already been mailed and heading to Alabama to be given to a child living in a children's home through the Quilt Angels project led by Gene Black - an Alabama Artist and Quilter.

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8 comments:

  1. I didn't realise this was your first quilt. It's turned out very well - and all the pieces are on the bias, so it can't have been easy to have made. And I didn't realise it was a charity quilt - what a lovely gift for someone in need. It must have been quite a lot of work and quite time consuming, being your first.

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    1. Thank you so much Sarah Liz for your very nice compliment! It looks like it is on the bias, that's what I wanted :), but is actually a 'strip quilt turned sideways', so I didn't have to worry about cutting bias strips, which I thought would drive me crazy. I thought of you and your advice to 'sew a little every day' and that's how I approached this project.... a little every day.... so it didn't seem overwhelming. Now if I can translate that to garment sewing!

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  2. You did it!! I love this quilt-well done.

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    1. What a beauty for your very first quilt. I know it is going to a good place to bring some comfort and joy into a child's life, but I wish you could have saved it to look back on as your first quilt. (My first completec quilt is at this moment folded into a comfy rectangle and our granddog, Tucker, is snoozing on it.)

      I can't believe you did the fantastic job of machine quilting this withOUT a walking foot! I didn't know anything about a walking foot back in '93-'94 when I started quilting. I was trying to make a baby quilt and made such a terrible mess of it trying to quilt it with my machine and regular presser foot . . . it ended up in the trash! Have you thought of looking on Amazon or eBay for a walking foot. I can't believe they cost $199 in a sewing machine store now. ('Course, you seem to have the knack for doing just fine without a walking foot, so keep up the good work!)

      The blue fabrics in the quilt are gorgeous.

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    2. I have to say, once it was complete, it made me pause a moment, wishing I'd done this before commiting to the charity and completed another for the children's home. But 'a promise is a promise' so with a hug and kiss, my quilt is off to Alabama to be loved by another.... and that's a great feeling too.

      I think what worked for me, without the walking foot, is that I only quilted one direction. There was no going back and forth, crossing seams. Seriously, I will continue to check prices because after this enjoyable experience, I will be quilting more and will probably need a walking foot.

      Thank you so much Mama Pea, as your quilts are so beautiful!

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  3. Fantastic job...welcome to the world of quilting...Imbeleive you have made some table runners though????

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    1. I've made table runners, but not 'quilted' table runners in the past years. You might be thinking of the quilted wall hanging I recently completed for my daughter using FMQ technique for the first time. Thank you for the 'welcome' Kathy! Your work is always so beautiful and creative.

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Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa

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