It’s raining cats and dogs outside today, we’ve had a lovely dry autumn so far this year in Yorkshire, but last night the rain arrived big time, this is the view outside, misty and murky, a perfect sewing day really!!
I’m in binding mood at the moment. It started when I was quilting and binding my Vacation Time quilt. I managed to drop the cover of my bobbin holder on my sewing machine when I was changing the bobbin, I heard it drop, but could I find it!!! I ended up getting one off my spare sewing machine! This was compounded by my sewing machine breaking down so I had to find where I had stashed the foot and cable for my spare one…a major tidy up was required!!
Once I’d found the offending articles I then started looking at my stash…it’s quite big! I spotted a beautiful length of furnishing fabric I bought for £10 as a remnant. It’s a soft gold with gorgeous embroidered red flowers on it. I bought it with the idea of making a throw. All it needed was edging!
I decided to bind it rather than hemming it, as with the embroidery it would have been too bulky. As it was quite a rich fabric, it needed a rich binding so I looked in my silk scraps drawer. I used to make lots of ball gowns and evening dresses for friends back in the 80’s and 90’s and my rule on scraps was if it was big enough to cover a padded coat-hanger, it was kept! I had several pieces of a beautiful red silk dupion, it was obviously the bits left from cutting the skirt out as they were long and tapered! It matched perfectly and I had just enough.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really understand the maths or geometry behind the binding of quilts with perfect mitred corners, I follow the instructions and 2 1/2″ strips become a perfect 1/4″ binding with perfect mitred corners. Having not quite followed the instructions, I now understand when it doesn’t work so perfectly!
I cut 3″ strips to give me a slightly deeper binding. I decided instead of stitching with the edges together, I would place my binding just slightly in from the edge of the throw, thinking it would give me a even deeper binding. It did give me deeper binding, but I realised later it meant my mitred corners were slightly off. They look fine, but I know they’re not perfect! I hand stitched the binding down as I still wasn’t sure about machine stitching it down whilst keeping it neat on the other side.
I’m really pleased with the finished throw, it’s in the lounge where we have a red feature wall, so it co-ordinates nicely, I’m not sure my OH ‘gets’ throws so I don’t think he’s quite sure about it, especially as I’ve put it over his old chair!
Once the throw was completed I turned my attentions to an old blanket. When my in-laws come and stay they do like blankets on the bed rather than duvets. I think they like the weight. I read in a magazine some time ago about backing and binding blankets, so they’re softer and not as scratchy. I thought it was a nice idea.
Having measured the blanket and discovered it was 2m x 2.20m I abandoned the idea of backing it, I just couldn’t face trying to baste it and tie such a big blanket. I still liked the idea of binding the edges though with a pretty cotton. Such a big blanket still takes a lot of fabric just to bind it! I found two lengths of Liberty lawn which my mother passed on to me years ago, I know the sale she bought it in so it must be about 25 years old. Half of me felt guilty using a Liberty lawn for a blanket, but I rationalised that it wasn’t a design I particularly liked and that it was more of a waste having sitting in a stash unlikely to ever be used.
I wanted a traditional deep blanket binding. I had enough to cut 8″ strips, folded in half to a 4″ binding strip. At that point I still hadn’t quite realised the link with positioning of the edges and perfect mitred corners…so I stitched with the binding about 1/2″ in from the edge! I’ve got a lovely deep binding, but I’ve rounded the corners as the mitres definitely don’t work unless you stitch edge to edge! I still don’t understand the geometry behind stitching perfect mitres with the double fold method, but at least now I understand how it doesn’t work!
I machine stitched the binding down as the thought of hand stitching over 8m was somewhat off-putting! It’s not perfect and it has confirmed to me that I’m better hand-stitching a quilt edge down. It does make a difference having a nice soft cotton edge to the blanket and it looks pretty too, I still prefer duvets with a quilt on top though !
So that’s three lengths of fabric out of my stash, I might have a look what other quick projects are in there waiting for an afternoon’s sewing.