Hooked on Needles

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mystery Quilt Project Finishing Finale -- Finally!

The last few finishing details are all that is left for this fun Mystery Quilt Project I've been working on. The next thing I did after layering the backing, batting and top, and machine stitching the quilting lines, was the binding. On other quilt projects, I have left the backing big enough around the edges so that I could simply fold over the extra and stitch it in place on the front, but for this quilt, I decided to cut bias binding from my leftover piece of backing fabric and bind it that way.

Here's an easy way to make bias binding from a square of fabric...

You can go to this handy bias binding calculator to see how big your square of fabric needs to be in order to get the length of binding you need. For this little quilt, I used a 17 inch square of fabric and drew my lines 2 1/4 inches apart which gave me enough to bind the quilt and have about 8 inches leftover.

So you figure out what size square to start with, then you cut the square in half diagonally. Sew your triangles together with two short sides right sides together and the right angles at opposite ends from each other. Mark lines
parallel to the long side of the triangles the required distance apart for the size binding you want to make.

You can either cut the strips at this point and sew them together end to end, or you can sew the other two short ends of the triangles together, matching up the marked lines but offsetting them by one. This will seem very awkward, but if you do it this way, you will only have to sew this one seam instead of having to piece all the short strips together individually. After sewing the offset seam, start at one overhanging side and cut along your marked line, going around and around until you have one long strip of bias binding. It's a real time saver once you figure it out!

Mystery Quilt Project FinaleThe next step in binding the quilt is to fold the binding in half with the wrong sides together and pin the raw edges to the raw edge of the quilt on the top side. Stitch the binding to the quilt using a 1/4 inch seam.

Mystery Quilt Project FinaleNow bring the folded edge of the binding to the back of the quilt and pin it in place over the stitching line.

Mystery Quilt Project FinaleUsing the blind stitch, hand stitch the folded edge of the binding to the backing of the quilt. To do this, you simply take a small stitch in the backing fabric, bring your needle up into the binding fabric and take a small stitch, then back down into the backing fabric and so on, in a sort of weaving motion, until you have gone all the way around the quilt. This makes an invisible seam where the thread runs along the edge of the binding, alternating between the backing and the binding.

Mystery Quilt Project FinaleThis is what it looks like on the back once the binding is complete.

Mystery Quilt Project FinaleRemember the little stitching mistake I made where I stitched the edge of the backing to the back of the quilt? I figured out how to cover it up...this is where I placed my label. It was actually a good place for it since it was close to the edge. Now that mistake can be our little secret, right?

Mystery Quilt Project FinaleOn a scrap of the gold fabric from the front of the quilt, I wrote my little label with the quilt name and date and my name on it. Then in keeping with the "criss-cross" theme again, I stitched it onto the back using the herringbone stitch, just like I used in the assembly of the "Here Kitty" scissor holder I made for my Angel Swap friend Lyn in Australia. I think it's such a pretty stitch anyway, don't you?

Mystery Quilt Project FinaleSo this is what the finished back looks like.

Mystery Quilt Project CompleteAnd here is the finished front -- finally! I think I will put this in the center of the table at Christmas with a pretty wreath or flower arrangement on it. A very satisfying finish to a fun project. Thanks Myra!

Happy Stitching!

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  • Your project is gorgeous!! I always use the label on the back to hide booboos - usually I have to pick which is the worst one to hide, haha. One of my quilts had THREE labels on it ... covering a variety of sins :D

    By Blogger Sandra :), At November 30, 2008 at 2:23 PM  

  • Hello Mary Grace, I love the colours/design you have chosen for the Mystery Quilt.At least you could find a way around the booboo.Regards Lyn

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 1, 2008 at 12:52 AM  

  • Looking good MG!
    Mine is still on my display wall waiting for the finish... I don't do fast... 8-)

    By Blogger Myra, At December 2, 2008 at 11:33 AM  

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