Posts Tagged ‘binding tutorial’

Deconstructed Circles

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Someone commenting on my latest work said last week wrote “deconstructed circles are popular now”, and she’s right, they are appearing in more art quilts, though I’ve been using them on and off for some time.  For someone who loves grids and works freehand the way I do, the deconstructed circle has great appeal as a design unit, as these two works in progress show: early stages in the construction of Maelstrom (2006)  left, and Anna’s Quilt (2008) right respectively.









What new work? you might be wondering.  True, it’s been a long time since I blogged, chiefly because I wasn’t creating (not even sewing hexagons) during a long illness late last year and the subsequent recovery period.  But recently I’ve found mental+physical energy coinciding, and have begun exploring ideas that have been on my mind a while.  I’ve keenly followed the the rise of  the Modern Quilt Movement with light clear colours plus greys and white that are so appealing to many that they are even beginning to populate traditional designs.  MQM’s website calls this overlap ‘modern traditionalism’, I just noticed.  A favourite Uruguayan artist, Mario Giacoya uses wonderful greens and yellows with small amounts of other light bright colours in his many rural landscapes.  A primary influence in my work is still landscape shapes, and earthy Australian colours, but I’m finding I’m wanting more ‘light’ and ‘bright’ in my work.











Although I’ve used the unit before, and am always happy with lines that don’t connect, I drew a diagram this time to emphasise that I’m thinking of some units having many lines of fabric in them, others few, one or possibly none, and I’m still mulling over that and will continue as the work proceeds.  This sample has more in common with Maelstrom above as the arcs are segments of colour.  My sample shows a complex set of them.  These were a bit tedious to make, but I’ve been thinking about this too and will rationalise and synthesise what I learned in this sample making stage:















When sample making I normally just go as far as I need to learn something.  But this one I finished and bound because I plan to hand it on as a gift, hence this documentation.  I still have to think about

  • hand v machine quilting ?
  • any role for glitter here ?
  • what about dots?
  • And what a shame I only bought about 20cm of this wonderful striped fabric …

Wavy Edges of Wall Quilts – Additional

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

I’ve realized that there was another suggestion I could have made in the previous post on this issue, but didn’t think of it until just a short while ago:

wavy quilts - extra horizontal slats

It struck me that although I have never had to do this, it would be an easy thing to place a few extra horizontal sleeves on the back of a quilt, from just inside the binding edge on each side, and into these slide fine, light rods of either acrylic, wood or even very fine metal, to help curb that tendency to curl forward.   The exact same principle as those little stays you can find in some men’s shirt collars.  Now, how close should the  sleeves be?  I have no idea, and facing this problem I’d have to wing it myself !!  Initially, I’d think about 8″ or 9″ apart would do it, but it might depend on the weights of the fabrics, and if the problem didn’t seem entirely solved, I’d be prepared to move them a bit closer and add another one.

I’m sure that the wavy edges I saw are solely due to the pressures of heavy machining producing slippage and distortions between the layers of the quilt.  I don’t believe in the process of blocking quilts as a permanent fix for bubbling and distortions that do arise with large variations of quilting density from one part of a quilt to another.  Believe me, the fine gathering line will work wonders in a bumpy area surrounded by ‘flat’ quilted areas.  And if one of those bumpy areas goes out to the edge somewhere, the gathering and re-applying that bit of binding will work, too – you might have an 1/2″ or 1″ or so of binding spare to remove. Of course these little processes are fiddly, but they worth doing; they do work, and can make all the difference to your final result, so that in addition to being a marvelous assembly of colour and design it appears well and professionally executed.  Remember, once a quilt leaves the maker’s control it should be flat, and stay stable in that condition, whatever the atmospheric conditions in its new home.

Finally, I must say that every exhibition I saw was carefully presented, the pieces hung level, and were attractively and sympathetically grouped for a good overall impression. There was no sloppy presentation anywhere, as one commentator suggested might have been the case.  The works I observed were all machine quilted, and I don’t believe this edge distortion was due to any rolling the works on the vertical axis for shipping, as logically most people wouldn’t do for a portrait oriented work.

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

The top picture shows how the finished binding looks – in this case about 1cm wide, and lying totally flat on the table. This pic was added in the edit phase to avoid having to totally re-do the post – collages are great but I didn’t notice how bloggger or picasa in effect added an extra crop in the collage process. It was late – I was tired. Note how the corner folds into a mitred fold – this has not even yet been pressed as I usually do to give the crispest possible appearance, and never needs any stitching to hold it in place. As you turn over the binding to the back to hand stitch down the corner again folds into a mitred fold; and I only secure it with a couple of stitches at the base of the fold, right in the corner, before continuing hand sewing towards the next corner (see final pic in the first collage, above)
Using the walking foot and a 3/8″ seam allowance as I did here, sew on, repeating all steps at each corner until you come to within about 6″ of where you began, and here let’s hope you were right in your estimate and have a few inches of strip left. Trim to leave a generous 1cm or about 5/8 ” seam allowance on each end UL – pin and sew. Flatten out seam allowance, refold, and check to see it lies flat against the front of the quilt; if necessary adjust the seam allowance to take up any slack or ease a little out. Refold and pin, sew along the seam allowance UR

LL Wherever there is a join in the binding it will be a bit thicker – so carefully cut a little of the seam allowance away in the zone of the join as shown (say about 1/16″) – to accomodate the extra thickness of the binding here as it is sewn down. Hand stitch down all round the edge on the back of the quilt. The corners need only a stitch or two at the base of the fold before starting on the next side.

The width of the binding can be varied – so, as it is double, if you want it to look 1/4″ wider you need to cut 1/2″ wider strip – and might need to adjust the seam allowance so that the edge of the quilt including batting is neither squashed nor too narrow leaving empty areas to go limp – experiment is all I can advise, although if you get Mimi’s book, from recollection there might be some tables of widths in there… but I can’t check that – my own copy is on a bookshelf on the other side of the world. I can’t emphasise too much the value of a sample or two before tackling the binding of your Family Heirloom or Award Winning quilt. This also looks wonderful done in silk or nylon organza using a very fine seam allowance…
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