And On the 8th Day, She sewed the Binding
But, the trick is to keep going. So, I did. For seven days, quilting about 4 hours a day. The last day (today), was spent in making the binding, and sewing it to the front, turning, making the mitered corners and then hand sewing it to the back.
I actually like doing the hand sewing, with a fine invisible stitch. I kept in mind that this quilt will have little toes crawling on it, so none of the stitches are wide enough for a little toe to get caught.
You can see the progress of this quilt here, especially the starching process that helped to keep the blocks straight. I also starched the whole top and the backing again, using a 1 part starch to 2 parts water ratio. It helped to lay out the top and bottom and keep them stretched to allow for all the parts to be spray basted and ironed together to allow for the quilting to begin without pinning.
There are some things I learned about quilting these lines so closely.
1. It is difficult to curve lines closely without causing whiskering. This means that the top fabric starts to pull and turn on itself, or to stretch. So, this being a quilt sewn completely by a fairly new quilter, there are some areas of whiskering. I was able to unpick some lines and correct a few areas, but a couple of curves have some interesting wrinkles.
2. Starching is a bonus that is a surprising aid. I feel like I should have passed on this piece of laundry advice to my children. Ironing a starched fabric is a sensual experience. Really! I mean that. There is a smoothness and crispness to the fabric that provides a sense of accomplishment.
4. I will follow the guidelines provided in Jacquie Gehring's Creative Quilting with the Walking Foot course on Craftsy. I should have made my design more simple, and started with straight lines, rather than the gentle curve. (Perhaps I was too cocky thinking I had done that spiral on my son's quilt.) But, if you know me, you probably know that I often start things with less planning, rather than more, or any!)
This quilt is a gift for my goddaughter, Stephanie. She is getting married in two weeks, and Tod and I are heading back to Ontario to enjoy her day, with Mike and Sulev, their young son. I hope they can use this quilt to cuddle under while reading stories, and watching their favourite movies. Tod and I want them to know that the lines, and colours of the quilt that echo and dip and swirl, will be like the paths and tracks, the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows that their family will experience. We want them to have the comfort of family and a nice, textured quilt to warm them as they travel together through life.
And, it is finished on time!