I am definitely NOT a magician. I'm far too clumsy for one thing. Life is kind of one big OPPS! with me *VBS* But none the less, a minor miracle took place at Finn's house yesterday. And I'm going to waste your time telling you about it because its a rare occurance. Since the 'stitching bug' has grabbed me, I have to admit I needed something to stitch on while watching Survivor Thursday night. I remembered that there was a lonely utility Strip Twist with quilting done except for one side. So I grabbed it and stuck it in my half hoop just as Survivor was starting. All that it needed was the border on one side. I was using big stitch and black perle cotton. Well, Survivor was turned out to be a double episode..2 hours. The side got finished...wow! Now it needs trimming and a binding. Believe it or not(pardon me Ripley!) I made a scrap binding Friday morning and sewed it on. In the afternoon, I sat down to watch CNN and fret over my pension and social security as the government slogged onward towards oblivion. I stitched on the newly applied binding. By this time I've already broken several of my best time ever time records *VBS* And here is the result, as of 10 p.m. last evening, binding was finished. I tossed the new quilt onto the chair next to me. It was adopted immediately! The picture is from today, but the miracle happened yesterday, when, in a 24 hour period I finished quilting, made binding, applied it and got it sewn down...amazing!! Of course this is NOT going to be a trend. All the sitting and stitching got me to thinking about bindings in general. Normally(read in previous years, many of them)I cut the binding when I cut borders. I almost always match the binding to the border because I don't want a 'break' as you look at the quilt. Keeping the binding inconspicious lets me appreciate the 'break' between the main part of the quilt and the border, or borders. That's still the rule for me, except when that wild maverick streak pops up. A few years back I decided to bind a utility type quilt with a scrappy binding. Meaning I used whatever I found in my 1.5" strip bin. And I loved the look. I use that method more frequently now. Obviously I used it on the Strip Twist that Ebby is enjoying.
Here it is on the Hourglass quilt finished this past week. When faced with binding this one, and all its odd fabric(read fungly)choices, I decided to take the scrap binding one step further and use the OLDEST(most tready)stuff in my bin, and there is quite a bit of it!. A strange thing happens when you are sewing together random lengths of 1.5" strips. You can't tell when you have enough, so you just keep adding them. When I bound the Hourglass, there was a HUGE length left which I threw back into the bin. Yesterday I added more to the other end, but as fate would have it, started with the previous end and never did get to the newly added. Mow it's back in the bin waiting for another quilt.
And it isn't just the fungly utility type quilts that I attack when the mood hits me. This is a really lovely star quilt, with lots of nice fine hand quilting. It got the scrappy treatment also a couple of years ago. The fabrics for the blocks had come a 5" charm swap, and then we had to make a quilt using only one additional light and one additional dark. I did a modified Sawtooth Star, as you can see. Modified in that I didn't have 3" squares to split for my star points, I had to work with the 2.5" squares I got from my 5" square. It's do-able.
So there you are...one minor miracle and another peek at my maverick nature.
I told you a week or so ago, that when I am cutting scraps now, I've abandoned the 1.5" size completely. I'm only cutting as small as 2" in squares in strips. I will continue to bind with 1.5" but will no longer keep a tub going for that size. This was prompted partly by my failing vision and clumsy hands. But whatever the reason, a shift took place in my thinking and I decided I may as well just sew up all the old, ugly, thready, small and whatever else 1.5" strips into binding. I've accomplished about 2/3s of that today. I dumped all my 1.5"stuff onto the table and began sorting. All the 1.5" squares are in a cool-whip tub for little 4 or 9 patches. The 3.5" X 1.5" are in a pile to make little fence rails, a few odd ones are set aside to finish up a 1.5" log cabin I have started, and everything else(IF it was truly a 1.5" strip is in a pile to sew as bindings.
I found my older strips were a scant 1.5". Those I tossed. I always used to work with Quilters Rule rulers(read black lines). Since I can no longer see those, I've gredually switched over to Omnigrid with yellow lines. It's amazing what sitting a table with a pretty good light and checking strip width reveals about your cutting. Please don't have a hissy fit over what I threw away. I'm a Scrap Queen after all, with more than 30 years of scraps behind me, the tossed stuff is less than a baggie, all total *VBS* AND I have a newly emptied Rubbermaid bin!!!
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