Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Miscellaneous Musings On Borders, Backings and Bindings (Oh My!)

First off, I'm glad to report that my Pineapple Log Cabin quilt top is finally, FINALLY finished, a mere FIVE years after I started making it in June of 2014.  Unfortunately, I have no glorious "ta-da" photos to share because the quilt top is a massive 120" x 120" and, with all of those pieces (3,492 pieces not including border strips, but who's counting, right?) and three layers of fabric at every seam allowance, it weighs a ton.  I was concerned about the border fabric tearing from the weight of the quilt if I dragged my menfolk out to do a fancy photo shoot somewhere before the top gets layered and quilted.  So this is all you get today:

Pineapple Log Cabin Top is Finished!  120 x 120 with Borders
I am so, SO HAPPY with the my border choices.  That Kaffe Fassett floral print ties all of my scrappy strips together, just like I'd planned it all along.  


Here you can see the quilt top draped across my 12' APQS quilting frame:


This is What a 120 inch Quilt Looks Like On a 12 Foot Frame
This quilt was my catalyst for buying a longarm machine in the first place, the reason I ordered my APQS Millennium longarm machine with a 12' frame, and why I nearly went with a 14' frame instead.  My pineapple quilt top will fit, but just barely!  I got my binding strips all cut for this quilt and have purchased and prewashed the backing fabric.  


Backing and Binding for Pineapple Quilt
I just need to press my backing yardage, cut it into three widths, and seam it together...  But then it all gets folded and neatly hung in the guest closet.  I can't even think about quilting this until after Lars's graduation quilt is 100% finished, and that's not happening until I get back from my marathon of longarm quilting workshops with Lisa Calle and Judi Madsen at Spring Quilt Week in Paducah.

Speaking of Lars's Geese In Circles graduation quilt, it's coming along nicely, too.  I have 26 of the 48 flying geese arcs pieced, and I lucked out with the discovery of the PERFECT batik binding fabric in, of all places, my very own STASH!


Binding Fabric Discovered In My Fabric Stash!
Very excited about that discovery, because usually when I find the perfect fabric for a project in my stash, I don't have enough of it.  The half yard cut of this fabric was just enough to cut binding strips for Lars's XL Twin graduation quilt (72" x 96", sized for a college dorm mattress).    

While I was in Binding Mode, I also located an orangey-gold metallic fabric that I'd chosen to bind my Jingle quilt and cut that into strips.  This green swirly fabric is the intended backing fabric for that quilt, it's already been prewashed, so it just needs to be cut into lengths and seamed together before I can pack it away with the quilt top (Jingle needs custom quilting, so don't expect to see that one quilted right away, either).
Binding and Backing for Jingle Quilt

I made the jaunt to my not-quite-local quilt shop yesterday to select backing and binding fabric for the vintage quilt that I'm repairing and requilting for a friend, and I am really, really happy with what I came up with.  The challenges and objectives for this shopping trip were as follows:
  • This quilt was originally backed and bound with a cheerful and hyper-bright, Day Glo MOD orange solid fabric that gave me a strong 1960s vibe, and tied with matching orange yarn
    Vintage 1960s Leather Jacket in Exact Same Shade as Original Backing and Binding Fabric
  • The quilt's current owner is ready to part ways with the orange, but since the quilt's value is sentimental, I didn't want to introduce anything for the backing or binding that would substantially alter the color palette and make it seem less like the quilt that Grandma made
  • Since the current owner likes to use this quilt as a picnic blanket for concerts in the park, I wanted a print backing fabric that wasn't too light in color so that minor grass stains or soiling wouldn't stand out as much.  The goal here is to prolong the life of the quilt by minimizing the frequency of laundering.
  • I preferred a print backing fabric in case my quilting stitches and tension are not 100% perfect under magnification...  Print backings hide a multitude of sins, and if there's one thing I'm sure of during the season of Lent it's that I'm a wretched sinner!  ;-)
  • The fabrics in the quilt top are severely faded from their original vibrant hues.  This is challenging because I want any new prints to complement the originals, but although '60s and '70s inspired prints about in today's quilt shops, those fabrics all have bright, saturated colors that would draw way too much attention to themselves.

Backing and Binding Fabrics for Vintage Quilt Project
Since the quilt top fabrics have been subjected to many washings over the years, I prewashed my new backing and binding fabrics in HOT water with regular laundry detergent.  I don't think any bleaching is necessary, though -- these fabrics already blend right in with the quilt top.  The purple fabric with the swirls is the backing fabric and the soft coral orange will be the binding, so there's some continuity with the original orange but now it's in a much smaller dose and more subdued.


Purple Backing Print, Coral Binding Print
Best of all, I found both of these fabrics at the back of the store in the sale section for 30% off.  When does THAT happen?!

So, it being Tuesday, let's set some goals.  Here's what I hope to accomplish in the next week:


  • Finish piecing another 12 of the arced flying geese for Lars's graduation quilt (goal is 36 by week's end)
  • Press, seam, and store backing fabric for the Pineapple and Jingle quilts
  • Press and seam the vintage quilt backing and load it on the longarm frame
  • Press and cut coral binding strips for the vintage quilt
I'd really like to get the quilt top off the wall, patched, and loaded onto the frame for quilting this week, too, but that would be an awful lot to bite off in one week and the graduation quilt is still my primary focus.

I'm linking today's post up with:

TUESDAY

·      Colour and Inspiration Tuesday at http://www.cleverchameleon.com.au
·       To-Do Tuesday at Stitch ALL the Things: http://stitchallthethings.com

WEDNESDAY

·      Midweek Makers at www.quiltfabrication.com/
·      WOW WIP on Wednesday at www.estheraliu.blogspot.com

THURSDAY

·      Needle and Thread Thursday at http://www.myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.com/  

FRIDAY

·      Finish It Up Friday at http://www.sillymamaquilts.com
·      Whoop Whoop Fridays at www.confessionsofafabricaddict.blogspot.com
·      Finished Or Not Friday at http://busyhandsquilts.blogspot.com/

19 comments:

Ann said...

These blocks are quite delightful all put together. I don't quite understand why the quilt needs to be 120"x 120". Have you always had your heart set on a border?

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

hope everything goes as planned - when is the graduation? The pineapple quilt is wonderful it turned out so great

chrisknits said...

How can you hide Pineapple in the closet!! Don't do it. Let it live in the world with all its beauty displayed in a case or something. Not the closet! Says the lady who has umpteen little and big tops stored in her guest closet. It must be a thing?

dq said...

That is a super amazing pineapple log cabin quilt. It also looks like a lot of work that was well worth it.

Vicki in MN said...

You are just like the rest of us with gobs of projects in the works. We are all anxious to see Pineapple done as it is a beauty for sure!

Rebecca Grace said...

I responded to Ann's question directly but thought I'd answer it here as well in case others have the same question. My quilt top is 120" x 120" because I want it to fit my extra-deep California King mattress, completely covering the mattress with no sheet hanging out below the edge of the quilt once it's finished. Multiple longarm quilters who are way more experienced than I am have told me that they always factor in 10% shrinkage from quilting -- that's not laundering shrinkage, but the amount that the quilt draws up from the quilting stitches themselves. Starting with a 120" square quilt top and factoring in 10% quilting shrinkage will assure that the finished quilt measures 108" x 108" when it comes off the quilting frame, and that means it can still shrink another 4" in the wash and STILL be big enough to completely cover the mattress of my extra-deep California King bed. I measured the bed and my absolute minimum finished quilt size to totally cover the mattress was 104". You can read more about my size calculations in this earlier post: http://cheekycognoscenti.blogspot.com/2018/04/pineapple-log-cabin-block-36-finished.html

Ann said...

Hi again,
Well thought out, your 120" x 120". I have had quilts shrink 4"-5". Usually one dimension more than the other. It is hard to predict. I prewash all fabrics before I use them and prewash and iron all backs. I generally sew backs with the straight of grain being the longest dimension. Thanks for the explanation.

quiltingbydawn said...

Wow! I love your pineapple log cabin quilt! I have only made a small pineapple log cabin block for a wall hanging before. There are certainly a lot of seams in them!

Gretchen Weaver said...

Pineapple quilt is a beauty but the flying geese quilt is going to be a knock out quilt! Happy stitching!

Christine Slaughter said...

Whoa, you have so much going on! That pineapple quilt is amazing! YAY for a finish on that! The graduation quilt is coming right along and how exciting to find the perfect binding in your stash... and have enough to boot (always my problem too)! I absolutely love the fabrics you chose for the backing and binding of the vintage quilt. When you are done with this, it is going to be so perfect! I'm just in awe of the whole process. I'm learning a lot from reading about you repairing this quilt!

Lynette said...

Wow, Wow, WOW!!!! Your pineapple quilt is AMAZING!!! Congrats on that top finish! Are you going to preshrink the batting to minimize that part of the shrinking factor, or are you planning on that being part of the end result you want? I LOVE this quilt SO MUCH!!! (Note to self: 120 looks like the limit for quilting on my frame.) ---- You did a superb job of finding project-appropriate and aethetically nice fabric for the backing and binding on that rehabilitation quilt. Score on the sale pricing! ---- And I'm thrilled you get to do the week of longarm workshops at Paducah! Judi is on my list of master quilters I want to study with. I keep having other big-ticket things take my travel/workshop money away, though. lol!!

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Love the vintage quilt you are repairing, hope it all works out ok.

Vivian said...

Great work on getting the Pineapple quilt top a finish! You say "finally" but you are already way ahead of those of us for whom a Pineapple Quilt is still a WHIMM (Work Hidden In My Mind)! Thanks for sharing the tip about quilting draw up, it helps to keep that in mind when calcuating how big you need to make a quilt top for a particular bed. Your perserverence on the vintage quilt rehab is paying off! Looks like it'll be back in the loving family's arms (and under their picnic basket) just in time for the outdoor concert season.

Genevieve Gerrard said...

Wow, that's a big Pineapple Quilt. Do you know how many pieces there are in total? It looks beautiful!

Rebecca Grace said...

3,492 not including borders (97 per block x 36 blocks). Thank you !

Annette Mandel said...

Did you find a place to stay in Paducah? My friends and I are staying in Metropolis. We will gladly give you rides back and forth, if needed. A78mandel at yahoo dot com

Preeti said...

Are you still calling it your Pineapple quilt? It is time you renamed it your Sistine Chapel quilt. It is just as exquisite and took almost the same time. Please promise me (and others) that once finished you will send it to a quilt show (or 100) so that others can wonder and marvel at it. Allow me to explain. See when folks make a very detailed (finicky, million pieces, inspires cuss words) kind of a design they will make a small wall hanging type project. A large bed quilt means the quilt pattern will have simple and large blocks. Here you have combined the finickiness of a small quilt and supersized it. Hence, it needs to be shown-off. To many and often.
I missed you too but that is on me.

Dione Gardner-Stephen said...

I'm wondering.... if I do a huge pineapple quilt, whether I'll be allowed to buy a longarm too...... hahahaha. Totally in love with your pineapples and also the flying geese. They are both amazing.

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Three super interesting projects going on in your studio!!! That pineapple quilt. I had to measure my APQS and see if I could get a 120" quilt on it. Yes, but I know one has to be careful not to get too close to that automatic feed motor or it will block the quilting area. As a LA quilter, I, of course, am wondering how you're going to quilt that beauty. Well, actually, I wonder how you're going to quilt each one of these 3 quilts. I guess I'll just have to follow along and see! Amazing quilts, all 3.

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