Saturday 12 November 2016

Porcupine Playground triangle quilt

My triangle quilt is finished!

And I took it out to a really cool steel structure close to my home, the Tetraeder (engl.: Tetrahedron)

I couldn't be happier with this quilt. I love the colours, I didn't know I had a thing for purple! You can read here about making the quilt and what inspired me.

I always like to throw in some colour splashes in my quilts. In this case it's the three orange triangles which I think are a perfect little eye catcher.

For the back I used up all of the left over half triangles and created an improv back which I also like a lot.
Little orange splashes just needed to go in here, too.

I went with straight line quilting at 1/2'' apart and used 5 different coloured thread which match the colours of the triangles. I love how in some triangles you can see the thread very clearly and in other triangles the same thread is perfectly disguised.

That's my favourite 40wt Aurifil thread I used.

It was a beautiful autumn day here today and the Tetraeder was just the perfect back drop. The steel structure is placed on a land fill hill created by coal mines, which were very active in this area from the early 1950s until  the last mine closed down in 2015.

The Tetraeder was erected 1995 and has two platforms, the highest is at 38m above ground. Of course we went all the way up to take some more photos.

It was very windy up there, so once again I have to thank my husband for being so patient holding up my quilt.
That's what you see when you look down from the highest platform:

 And that's the view at the surrounding area. 'Das Ruhrgebiet', my home!

Lovely autumn day! 
The stairs are quite wobbly, that's nothing for the faint- hearted!

But that's exactly why I came here! Look at this! Do you see the three triangles at the bottom of the structure? Almost the same shape!

You can guess that my little Architect heart is all excited by this simple but oh so beautiful structure and I won't bore you any longer.

Here is the back of the quilt again. The quilt measures 52x80'' (or 1.33 x 2.04m).

Once again I had so much fun with the improv piecing of the back, I think I have to do more of this!

Linking this to Modern Patch Monday of the Modern Cologne Quilters
Sew Cute Tuesday
Quilt Story
Finish up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
and Finish or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Monday 7 November 2016

How I do my binding

I always machine bind my quilts. Always.
As I started to learn how to quilt I looked at tutorials on how to bind your quilts and hand binding just never appealed to me. Not that I don't like the look of it, I just don't like sewing by hand, no matter what it is, and I simply don't trust my own hand sewing abilities.

So I have tried out different ways of machine binding. This one here is how I started off. But I didn't like how visible the seam was at my quilts at the front.
After a couple of quilts I have found a method that really works for me and that looks neat at well.

Here is a little tutorial of the binding of my October quilt:

1.) First of all I secure all the edges after squaring off my quilt. I use my 1/4'' foot and sew all the way round.

2.) I roll up my binding. Little tutorial here.

 3.) I attach the binding using my regular sewing foot, that is just a little bit further away from the edge than 1/4'', approx. 3/8''. 

Here you can see the 1/4'' seam line from squaring off the quilt, and the seam of attaching the binding. 

4.)  Secure the binding with pins from the front of your quilt, making sure that the binding at the back is pinned as well. Visible here are also the two seams: 1/4'' seam from securing the quilt and the approx. 3/8'' from attaching the binding. Make sure the binding covers both seam lines.

5.) Use a lot of pins at the front of your quilt. A LOT! Basically there is pin beside pin. That ensures that all the binding is gripped and it will be entirely sewn on to the quilt.
Have them facing all in one direction upwards, so that you can easily remove them while sewing along the binding.

6.) Sew the binding on from the top of your quilt, remove pins as you go. Make sure you don't sew over the pins, that could break the needle in your sewing machine!
Go very, very slowly. Make sure you sew as close to the binding as possible. Use a matching thread so it's not that visible, neither from the quilt top nor from the back. (Sometimes that can be difficult, but use whatever looks right and is the least visible.)

Take your time! Sewing the binding and attaching it takes me a whole afternoon, like 4-5 hours or so for a lap size quilt. You hand-sewn-binding-people are probably laughing at me know, because I could imagine that hand sewing your binding takes about the same time. 

Machine binding is not fast. Preparation is key with this method. I usually use my left index finger and put it beside the binding when I sew along the binding. I've gotten quite good in feeling the edge of the binding through the quilt top. If I cannot feel it I pull the binding a bit across.

And this is how it looks from the top of the quilt:

The seam is barely visible. Yes, it's all beige but I have done white thread with white binding on dark quilts tops and that works, too.

And the look from the back:

Sometimes I miss sections of the binding, as you cannot see the edge from the top. I used to hand sewn that left out section then, but meanwhile I just go over it again, with the machine. Yep, that's how lazy I am. I have about two to three sections (probably 1 inch long or smaller) at every quilt where I didn't catch the binding, but that's ok with me. And I swear the 'double seam' is not visible. 

The corners turn out ok, I'm happy with that. 

All in all this is a very neat way to attach your binding. It takes practice, as everything, but I really like the sturdiness of the binding and this will definitely not come off!

If you have questions about this tutorial just get in touch.  

Linking this to Modern Patch Monday at Modern Cologne Quilters