Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A new tool.....picture heavy post tute

I don't know about you, but binding to finish off the quilt has always been a bit of a chore for me: miles of fabric that gets tangled in the ironing cord, round my legs, the sewing machine etc etc, unpicking dodgy joins and faffing about big time with pins (and usually some reverse sewing) to join the 2 ends once the rest is on the quilt.

With this in mind, when I went to the Quilt Show, here in Melbourne recently, I went looking for a binding tool I'd seen on Pinterest.  I found the tool, but the helpful assistant said she used a different one which she preferred and would I like that one instead.  "OK" says I, and I bought the Westalee "Bound to Fit" tool (it's designed and made in Oz)

Well, let me tell you - it's BRILLIANT!!

You can cut your binding strips with a 45 degree angle which are easily aligned and then, the ease at which you join them at the end is just fabulous, sweetie darling.  Let me show you......

First up you cut your binding strips, then, you line the 'Bound to Fit' along the bottom edge - the black part provides a ridge that helps you line up the binding strip more easily

I cut my binding at 2.25" wide - and obviously usually longer than this piece - it's just so you can see

Then you cut it, including the little straight bit on the bottom right there - this is what helps you join the strips together with more accuracy

Then, you turn your strip around (or turn the tool around - but not upside down) to create angles all going the same way - they'll be parallelogram shaped for those geometrically inclined

obviously way smaller than required!
To join your binding strips, you simply line up the edges and the little straight bit you cut means you don't have to try and gauge there the 1/4" seam will be

Then you sew - and I like to press the seam open to reduce more bulk, but I know some people prefer to press to the side

seam pressed open
binding folded in half lengthwise and pressed ready to attach to the quilt

Look at that - perfick!  and just wait til you see how easy it is to join the binding strips together once it's on the quilt..

So now I have a real quilt and I did all of the above to join my binding strips.  I left a 'tail' of about 8 inches before I started sewing the binding on as normal, then once round to the end, I left another 'tail' to give me enough room to maneuver..

Next you need to make a mark where the 2 'tails' have to join - simply fold the binding back on itself, opposite ways, and finger press (or iron) to create a crease - make sure your 2 folded 'tails' are touching each other..

Then, whip out your tool and align the white 'to fold' line with the crease - I've chalked the crease line in so you can see it better..then cut off the tail..

Next step is the other 'tail' - but remember to turn the tool around - and cut that tail off too..
You'll be left with this..

Pin them right sides together and stitch..

Finger press the seam as before, refold the binding and stitch into place..


This is the quilt completed after I stitched down the binding (by machine and using my trusty Clover binding clips - love them) - this will be for sale at Red Hill Market.

Westalee have a very helpful video tutorial.

I hope to stock these wonderful tools for resale - let me know if you'd like one :)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Moving right along.....

There's a sniff of Spring in the air, which means Red Hill Market is almost upon us - the first market this season is 7th September and I've been busy creating some new stock - I reviewed what I made last year and decided I'd been making things to sell, as opposed to making things I would want to buy - make sense????

So, I decided things needed a bit of a change up.......

I've been hand dyeing fabric, choosing my most favourite commercial fabrics, embroidering a little and obviously missed photo lessons (really MUST do something about that...).  I've got screen printed fabric drying ready to make up into some ipad covers, pouches and journal covers.

It's going to be difficult to let these makes go.....

ps - check out the awesome changes on Picmonkey - there's new features and I have to say, it's a lot more user friendly than Photoshop (which I also think is awesome, but it takes a bit of getting used to)

pps - England has retained the Ashes, so I'm pretty happy about that - good old Manchester rain!!