Sunday, April 11, 2021

Of Piecing, Binding, Eastering, and College Visiting

It's been a busy week, but I still (barely) managed to squeeze in enough personal sewing time to stay on top of my goals -- in addition to my "extra duties" as Family Event Planner, Easter Chef, and Travel Agent/Tour Guide to Out-of-State College Towns.  My label is appliquéd to my bear paw quilt and I sewed the binding to the front of my quilt today.

Bear Paw Binding Began Today

Notes to Self: I'm still tweaking and improving my binding process.  This time, I cut my binding strips at 2 1/8" wide and sewed them to the front of my quilt with my walking foot and a 1/4" seam allowance.  I've given up on that Binding Tool that I thought was going to make it so much easier to join the two binding ends.  Fact is, the regular Binding Tool is designed to work with 2 1/2" cut width strips and the Mini Binding Tool is designed for 2" wide strips.  I've decided that the "old school" method works more reliably for me than the gadgets: just trimming the loose binding ends so they overlap by the exact width of my binding strips (2 1/8" in this instance), rotating the ends RST to form an "L" shape, and sewing across the diagonal from corner to corner as shown below:

Back to My "Old School Method" Binding Join

I've also been busy attaching corners to the kaleidoscope blocks for Anders' high school graduation quilt and joining those blocks into rows.  I even found some ombre lime green fabric in my stash that might work for the kaleidoscope backing, and I've been thinking ahead to quilting designs as well.

Adding Corners to Kaleidoscope Blocks

I tried a new roast leg of lamb recipe for Easter dinner that was okay but not a keeper, and I bribed my not-so-little boys into participating in an Easter egg hunt after church by putting dollar bills -- as well as a few fives, tens and even a twenty -- inside the plastic eggs along with the candy.  They were good sports and it was a fun spectator activity for me, my husband and my mom.   (Dance, little monkeys!  Dance!!)

Easter 2021 With My Sons: Lars (20), Mom and Anders (17)

Lars went back to college after the egg hunt because he had classes on Monday, but Anders was on Spring Break from high school all last week.  We took advantage of his time off school to visit some of the colleges that have offered him admission, since he needs to make a decision no later than May 1st.  I wrapped up the week by getting my second COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday, so I was really tired all day Saturday and Sunday and my left arm and shoulder are still sore and tender.  Considering all of the non-quilting things I had going on last week, I'm really pleased with how well I stayed on track with the sewing I'd hoped to get done.

Here's how I did with last week's goals:
  • Appliqué the label to my bear paw quilt by hand
  • Prep the label for the kaleidoscope quilt (remove all the stabilizer, trim to size, press edges under, and set aside)
  • Machine stitch binding to my bear paw quilt
  • Attach corners to kaleidoscope blocks in rows 2 and 3
  • Begin hand stitching the bear paw binding
This week will be busy, too.  We're doing follow up visits to two schools in South Carolina next weekend so Anders can finalize his college decision, and I'm the scheduled soloist at church on Sunday morning, which means I'll have a midweek rehearsal and some music preparation to do earlier in the week (I hope they pick something I've sung in the past).  I'm looking forward to meeting a new client who is bringing me a quilt top on Tuesday and I am expecting a few other quilt tops from out of state clients to appear on my doorstep by the end of the week, which is great.  

Although my edge-to-edge quilting turnaround is still around 1-2 weeks, I'm keeping my work hours for customer quilting separate from my personal sewing time.  Think Oil & Water or Church & State!  I am really enjoying being able to do more of the fun part (for me!) of quilting customers' tops, especially since my own quilt top finishes are so few and far between.  It's fun to help another quilter reach their finish line with a project, and each time I transform a flimsy into a finished top, I feel energized to move forward with my own projects again.  It's a win-win!  (If you or any of your quilting friends have tops that need quilting, check out this page to learn more about my long arm quilting services.  I'd love to quilt for you!)

So, keeping all of those obligations in mind, here are my personal sewing goals for this week:
  • Seam kaleidoscope backing & set aside
  • Attach corners to kaleidoscope blocks & assemble rows 4-6
  • Begin hand stitching the bear paw binding

I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:


Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué

Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework


Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

BOMs Away at What a Hoot Quilts


To-Do Tuesday at ChrisKnits


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

love your hair cut - good photo of you and your sons - I never have used a binding tool - just old school here - sounds like you have been busy and so glad you were able to get your second shot - I'm considering I am pretty save on Friday it will be two weeks since I got the second shot. Love the quilt

Karin said...

Lovely photo of you three together.
I have a tutorial on my blog somewhere re the binding. Almost do it the way you describe but I leave a scant 1/4in gap between the two binding ends with the right one folded over. Then measure exactly the width of the binding and cut it off at that point and then sew together like in your photo. Absolutely foolproof.

karenbbsnow said...

I join my bindings that way too, it always works perfectly.

That's a really sweet picture of you with your boys.

SJSM said...

Busy woman! Your BearPaw quilt photography does make your work show well. Just that corner area gives one the glimpse of the care and thought you put into the quilt. College touring can be stressful as well as tiring. I’m sure Anders appreciates the visits and it will help him to resolve the big decision of which school to choose.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

My, those are handsome guys! Two in college at once will be a challenge. I hope Anders is happy with his final choice. Your quilt is lovely too. Have fun this week!!

Nann said...

Handsome fellas! Hope the college choice comes without great angst. It is a life-directing decision, for sure. I might compare your dilemma--personal sewing time and professional sewing time -- with being a librarian and never having enough time to read. Have a good week!

Bonnie said...

I have a tried and trued method of joining the ends of the binding strips. I got it from a Bonnie Hunter tip but couldn't find it when I just checked. Here's what I do though: on the right side of your binding cut off the excess amount. (I usually start with a 10" tail. Once I have the correct amount I fold the edge back on itself diagonally. (Bottom left section folds up to the top right.) I stick a pin where the two meet. Then I put that section under a small cutting mat with the pin visible. I put the leftover left side binding so it is snuggled to the pin. I carefully cut the excess off. Next I just set it up so I can put the two edges together right sides together, mark a diagonal sewing line and pin it. It helps to leave a good distance of binding unattached so you can manipulate the seaming of the two edges. It usually ends with a binding seam that matches the direction of all the other seams in the binding. (Actually I can't remember ever having it different.) Let me know if you need some photographs. It really makes a nice flat joining of the two ends. You might poke around Bonnie Hunter's free tips to see if you can find it. Hope you get a lot of sewing done this week.

Sara said...

Handsome young men, and good sports too if they were willing to hunt down those eggs. College decisions can be so stressful. My oldest daughter really didn't have a choice if she wanted to stay in-state, because only 1 university offered her program. But the younger daughter agonized over her college choice for quite a while before making the final decision.

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Old School Method works for me too ;) La bonne vieille méthode est la meilleure !
Très belle photo de vous trois, ce sont de beaux jeunes hommes.

Mary from Arkansas said...

Very beautiful quilt!! And Very handsome sons indeed.

Cynthia Marrs said...

Love the pic of you and the boys. I makes it more personal to know what you look like when I read your posts and Berninaland comments.
I agree with you on the binding. I do mine at 2 1/8 and connect like you do. I sew my bindings on back first, then the front. And I sew mine on by machine. I don't have time to sew a binding on by hand. I like the finished look.
It looks nice and green where you live. We're greening up here. Spring has definitely come to Oregon.


LA Paylor said...

I liked the idea of an egg hunt. Better make note of where you hid them! And I'd happily hunt eggs it was so fun as a kid.
as to the second shot. You did well... I had my first last week, moderna, and not only had a migraine on the way home, but got hives , then another not so pleasant side effect. Everyone one else I know just had a sore arm including my husband who got it at the same time.
Now I don't know whether this means don't get the second dose so I have to set a consult with a doctor.
wish I was just an average person at times like this
anyway, you and your sons are all so pretty/handsome, good job with genetics!!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Nice job on keeping up with your goals (in spite of your busy week, Rebecca!) said...

Loved your Easter egg hunt. I can relate to the egg hunt. We had a hunt until the kids totally moved out. . .they were 23 and 25! We hid the eggs first and then they re-hid the eggs for us! The photo of the three of you is precious! Congratulations on having a great week! May this week be equally as great!

Ivani said...

The Eastr hunt sounds like fun.
Your quilt is beautiful and the quilting is wonderful. I make the binding like you described.
Beutiful family picture.
Good luck with your goals.

chrisknits said...

I always cut my bindings at 2.25" and sew a bit more than a 1/4". I like a bit more binding to show. But only when I don't have pieced borders. Thanks for linking up today!

dq said...

The binding fabric choice is perfect!
I think it was sweet of your boys to participate in the egg hunt, and I bet they enjoyed the cash as well.
Your sons look happy and like your family is close.