So. CLOSE!

Gardener's Supply Company - Deal of the Week

I really wanted to finish the pink quilt (which I’ve unimaginatively dubbed, “chocolate kisses,”) tonight. So much so, I stood in line at the fabric counter at Joann for an hour. And then in the check0ut line for another 20 minutes. Armed with a gorgeous Kona Expresso backing, a nice package of pink binding (of which they had only one – no matter, it’s a small quilt,) and some thread (and a few assorted odds and ends, dammit – included barrettes to hold on the binding tape (no kidding!)) I left the store.

Am I a wuss for buying pre-made binding tape? I’m just not emotionally ready for the commitment to making my own… I hate it. I truly, truly hate it. It’s one of those things I don’t ever see myself liking, but I hope I can at least someday get used to it. I’m probably not emotionally ready to attempt putting binding on the quilt, either, but I planned to completely phone it in and not miter the corners, meaning I could machine stitch once around the top side and be done with it.

I marched out into the miserable, rainy day and drove home.

Playing with the blocks and the dark brown, I realized it would look really good with dark brown patches in between the blocks, so I did that. I needed to add another row to make it look complete, though, and it ended up looking like this, once pieced:

Chocolate Kisses

Chocolate Kisses

I hacked out a swath of batting a good bit larger than the top, and a chunk of backing even larger than that and headed downstairs. Shit. Forgot to buy masking tape to stick it to the floor. Ah well, no matter – it’s a small quilt, I’ll manage.

Ready to baste

Ready to baste

I’d seriously considered doing a binding-free quilt, and putting the sandwich together in reverse order and then turning it inside out and topstitching around the edges… but I realized that was seriously, seriously cheating. I should at least make an effort, right? If I’m eventually going to be any good at this? Right. How difficult can it all be…

To give the Expresso blocks some texture, I chalked in X’s. Throughout the quilting process, however, a lot of the chalk rubbed off. For this instance, not a huge deal – but had I put intricate stenciling on there, I’d have been quite annoyed.

Silver Chalk Pencil

Silver Chalk Pencil

The quilting process all started out so tidily. I had the throat-side of the quilt all rolled up nicely into a little burrito (sandwich, burrito – why do they have to be food?) and started out. I made a dumb decision, though – I decided to stitch in the ditch around each block and each brown pinwheel blade, leaving the white and pink ones unfettered,
without going over the same area twice. Guess what? That doesn’t seem possible, especially with the X’s. Also, quilting without either a darning foot or a walking foot is kind of a pain in the ass. Looking at the walking foot I bought weeks ago and never opened, I don’t see how it can attach to my machine. Reckon that’ll be going back, and I also reckon the seaside and Hello Betty quilts will have straight lines, nothing else fancy. At all.

Mmm, burrito

Mmm, burrito

Things rapidly degenerated.

Pile

Pile

Additionally, I realized I needed to go around some areas twice, which meant I needed to do all lines twice – otherwise the back would look all janky. Note to me – start using prints for backings, because they hide the screw-ups better.  The pattern on the back more or less looks like this, but not with great uniformity:

Star?

Star?

It actually looks better in the photo than it does in person, believe it or not. Oy.

After perhaps two hours, I was in the home stretch. The quilting was done! There are maybe one or two lines that aren’t doubled, and I didn’t care. I wanted it bound and washed, so I could see how much it shrank, see a finished product. I wanted to have finished An Actual Quilt!

I trimmed:

Yay for rotary cutters

And then, it was ready for binding:

Full Bind Ahead!

Full Bind Ahead!

I truly wasn’t willing to do mitered corners. I’d screwed up enough pinwheel points and quilting lines to realize this was strictly A Practice Piece. It wasn’t going anywhere but into a closet. I clipped, clipped, clipped. Pinned corners, clipped some more:

Doing it wrong

Doing it wrong

I know. I know I’m a colossal wuss. I even have seen the world’s most awesome binding tutorials and I still shudder at the process. So, screw it. wrapped corners it is!

The binding package contained 3 yards of tape, which would have been more than adequate… had I not added that one extra row.

DAMMIT.

DAMMIT.

So close! So very, very close! It was 8pm, Joann’s might still be open… but they have no more of this color! GAH! I pondered doing the last corner as a fun, scrappy binding, but no – that wouldn’t do. I still wanted it done. Screw it again, I’ll use a not-quite-the-right-color Hello Betty pink solid to finish it off.

So I made the stinking binding tape after all, hating it the entire time. Fold, press. Fold, press. Fold, press, sigh loudly, fold, press. Hate.

The color was off, but I didn’t care. However, I ran into one additional snag:

F-bomb

F-bomb

I do try to mind my language somewhat here, as sensible people stop in from time to time, and I don’t want to make anyone blush. If ever I were to type the f-bomb into this blog, though, it would be Right Here. F. F. F. F. F. F!!!

So, I have to go buy more tape tomorrow, and the quilt isn’t done tonight, and I’m annoyed.

It’s not as if I had a deadline or anything, it was just something I wanted to get done, and when I want something done… it tends to get done.

I believe I am done with sewing for the evening. Hello, deep space shenanigans in EVE.

Gardener's Supply Company - Deal of the Week

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3 responses to So. CLOSE!


  1. Lisa

    Cute stuff! Sorry you’re having a crappy time finishing it up… but after all… you’re quilting!~ LOL! It happens.

    Yaknow… In all the quilts I’ve done, I’ve never done a proper binding? And at this point I’m skeered to.

    I have my quilt top and the batting cut evenly at the exact same size, and then the backing fabric is like 2″ bigger all the way around underneath. I roll/fold that backing fabric neatly up and over the edge of the quilt and sew that bad boy down with the machine… a one-time stitch all the way around. It LOOKS like a proper binding from the front!! 😀

    To me, it’s amazing that you’re attempting real binding so soon! 😀 😀

    • Erin

      oh wow – that’s a fanTAStic idea! A heck of a lot faster and easier, and I’ll bet it does look “real” from the front. Very clever, lady. 🙂 Buying the prefab tape really does take most of the pain out of the process, and the binding clips make things a lot faster and less ouchy, too. Currently, I would rather chew off my own legs than make binding tape… although I do have those little tapemaker thingies – I just haven’t quite figured out how to make them work properly.

      I may try your technique on the Betty quilt, because I couldn’t find a prefab color that was exactly what I wanted. Hm…

  2. I must be weird because I love making binding and putting it a quilt is just the icing on the cake for me. I guess either you love it or hate it. I would suggest looking at some youtube videos to learn how to do your bindings.

    The pinks and browns are gorgeous. Fabulous quilt.

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