Hi all! How was your week? In just a couple of days it will be June, and you know what that means--it might, just might, be safe to put the long underwear away for a few months. Not saying anything about the electric blankets. Quilts, of course, stay year-round.
So today I have two finishes to show you, both from tops that I finished up some time ago. These are connected to each other in an interesting way, which I'll get to in a minute. First up is this beauty:
This is Summer Picnic, and you can read more about it HERE. It was quilted in an allover design with bright green thread and is showing off here at the formal gardens in the park. I love that little gargoyle, which I think is supposed to be a fish. No one was in the formal gardens since they're not in bloom yet, so the quilt got to shine all by itself.
Along with Summer Picnic is the blue and white fields and furrows quilt, which you can read more about HERE:
This lovely quilt --which needs a real name, if you have any suggestions--was quilted in an allover leaves pattern in white thread by my friend Amy. She has a new long arm and wanted a top to practice on, so I let her use this one. I think it turned out great!
What "binds" these two finally finished quilts together? Well, these are the first quilts I have EVER bound completely by machine! I was scared to do it, but I'm so glad I did. It was not without its problems, but it's a great new technique for me. I stitched the binding to the back and folded it to the front and then edge-stitched it down, which worked so much better than trying to line up everything from the back.
Here was one of my problems:
See how wonky and weird that is, with tucks in the binding? Yeah, that's bad. I started out with a zipper foot to get close to the edge, and that didn't work so well at all. I looked through my machine feet (most of which I never use) and was thrilled to find this:
This is an edging foot, and that little white piece guides along the edge so that the needle hits right at the fold. Doesn't that edge look really good? My stitching got a lot better using this foot. Of course, I still made just a couple of small errors when I got a little over-confident:
See? Oops. I wobbled off the edge there, but it was easily fixed. One thing I need to do is go slowly, and I also need to keep my eyes on the edge every single second, at least until I get better at this.
I loved this technique. It was so fast! I did the blue and white quilt first and it took about 2 hours, from cutting the binding pieces to putting the last stitch in. I kept stopping every few inches to fold the binding back over and straighten it. Summer Picnic took only about an hour and a quarter, mostly because I had everything set up already. I also pressed the binding to the front after it was stitched to the quilt so that it was much easier to position. I've read about glue basting and I might try that on a mini to see how it works.
I am so happy with how these turned out! When I first started quilting, way back in the 90s, there were a bunch of women I met who told me that it wasn't a "real" quilt unless it was hand-quilted. I wonder what they would think of putting the binding on by machine? I can guess, because I already know what they thought of machine quilting. Hint: it wasn't positive in any way.
Anyway, now I've learned something new! And it's useful and I like it! Some more practice and I think I might be doing this on a regular basis. It won't replace hand binding completely, but it's nice to know how to machine bind if I want to.
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I'll be doing laundry from our vacation and finally putting in some plants! Won't that be happy? I have been waiting a long time for some color and now it's past time for it.
Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and also Finish it up Friday. Come on over and join in!