Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Decisions and Thought Processes

No matter what kind of quilt you make, at some point you must figure out how you will quilt it.  Maybe you like stencils.  Maybe you trace someone else's design. Maybe you draw your own designs.  No matter the origin you have to figure out placement, marking methods, thread choice and factor in your own capabilities.

I'm almost ready to quilt.  I have the thread except for the order that should arrive today.  I have the batting and backing.  I have 2/3 of the quilt sandwhich pinned together.  I wanted to try using Misty Fuse, but with blue marker designs all over I cannot use the iron....so back to the old faithful safety pins and a bandaid on one finger to prevent abrasion.  I tried a thimble, but it was too annoying.

One more problem to solve.  I have a one-inch, dark blue border on the outside of my quilt.  I have tried a wider border on the digital version of the quilt, but one-inch is what speaks to me.  How am I going to quilt it, considering that I need to have room to put a binding on it too?  More problematic is that the quilting design must not get caught in the binding unless I do something like stippling or straight lines.  The dark blue abuts a medium blue and I tried dense, straight line quilting across the seam.  No go.  I don't like it, and trying to use two thread colors was mind-bending, and my mind refused to bend.

I could do diamonds as I will be doing on a one-inch border within the quilt, but I was afraid I would have trouble lining up the points and not catching them in the binding.  Perfection might be hard to achieve.  On the other hand, it would echo the quilting on an internal border.

Diamonds on the tester do not sing for me.
Now I am contemplating a tiny feather line, but I will have only 5/8 - 3/4 inch, and I can't let it get caught in the binding, but it is more flexible than the diamonds.

Should I do it after I sew the binding on the front, leaving it open to be hand-sewn to the back later?  It works nicely on a tester, but I don't know about the corners.  Time for another tester.

I like the feathers and they echo the rest of the quilting designs.  Click to see large
and you will see the binding seam at the top sewed before doing the feathers.
What about blocking?  Block it after the binding is stitched to the front and quilt when dry?  Will the after-the-blocking stitching alter the shape?  I know the quilt can be blocked after the binding is on.  I can also block it before sewing the binding down on the back.

I could mark the border with a ceramic pencil and keep the feathers on the inner side of the line  Block and bind after stitching.

This is what I will be contemplating as I sit down to stitch every seam in the ditch, before doing the fun, decorative quilting.  It will be awhile before I have to make a decision about that border.

TIP:  Take the time with thought processes such as these.  Do the testers.  You will be more likely to end up with a product that you like.

Sew a happy seam this week.  I wish you lots of ideas from which to choose.



  1. There are so many choices. So far, my skill still limits me to some pretty basic quilting. I think that little test feather looks lovely. I am sure you will come up with just the right thing. And you are right, testing things out is a great idea.

  2. I like the feather border, too. And the light blue stands out nicely.
    I seldom block my quilts. They're not going to a show. When I do block, I do it before binding for squarer corners. JMHO

  3. You have a slender arch showing in the light blue. Perhaps you could try that shape repeated sort of like - curve, curve, curve. It may nees to be smaller. Or the same curve but then have it repeat from the other side of the dark strip so where the curves intersect there's an x. The other thing that came to mind was doing the vine with leaves but a less dense version. I'll look forward to seeing what you decide.

  4. I once quilted a small border after attaching the binding to the front. I was worried the quilt police would catch me, but it worked perfectly and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Like you, I didn't want the design to get caught in the binding, and that was the solution that worked for me. I hope you find a solution to your problem! :)

  5. I love the feather in the border - but yeah - that's going to be tricky, huh?! I wonder if LOri (inbox jaunt) might have a border motif that would be perfect... I really like reading your thought process ~ thanks for sharing

  6. I like the feather option for that darker fabric. As for blocking, I would do it after binding, as I've noticed that binding can distort the quilt. Be a drag to have to block twice. Thanks for sharing your progress on Midweek Makers

  7. I like your light blue thread on the dark blue fabric! I also have never thought about adding the binding before adding the border design, seems like a great way to keep from losing any of the stitching. Have you ever tried pin basting where you use a spoon to close the pins? Once you get the hang of it goes pretty quick and is easy on the fingers.