Saturday, December 14, 2013

'Tis the Season - II

Have you attempted to quilt a quilt AFTER the edges are finished?   

"Pre-binding" a quilt is my favorite technique when tying a quilt, especially baby quilts or charity quilts.  This is also a good treatment for other small projects like this tree skirt ↑ with all its odd angles!  See a full tutorial: Pre-binding

We use tacks to anchor the finished edges to my mother's old quilt frame.  Then when it's all tied, pop the tacks off and the quilt is done!!  Here's a picture of my then-16-year-old as he tied quilts for a local charity.  

If I want to machine-quilt either on a home machine or on a longarm, I've found that the edges can be a bit... "ruffly".  That is because the actual quilting takes up fabric.  Here are my TOP 5 TIPS for quilting a quilt with pre-bound edges.  

   1)  The technique seems to work best on smaller quilts, baby quilts, wall hangings, table runners...
   2)  Keep the quilt straight/taut and edges aligned while quilting.
          a)  If quilting on a home machine, PIN-BASTE every 3 inches.
          b)  If using a longarm machine to quilt, mount quilt to the leaders that will provide the least "rolling".  I also anchor the sides.  I use clamps, but you could also pin muslin strips to the quilt sides to keep it straight.

On this Baby Bullseye quilt, I pinned and clamped the scallops.

   3)  Use quilting motifs that are a little larger and looser than 1/4" echo/stipple/super-quilting.
   4)  Keep the quilting at least 1/2" to 1" away from the outer edge.
   5)  Keep quilt flat by using a low-loft batting (such as Hobbs 80/20) 

For this odd-angle pre-bound Star Medallion Tree Skirt, I quilted it on the longarm.  I simply found a straight edge to pin it to the leaders, and clamped the side triangles to keep it taut as I quilted the sections. 

When those areas were quilted, I pinned and clamped to keep the unquilted sections straight and taut, but not overly stretched as to distort the quilt. 

Worked great!  
Can you see how I quilt my feathers?
Chalk a center spine (cheap school chalk will easily brush off)
Quilt teardrop shapes on each side of the chalked spine.
Looks festive for my daughter and her new husband's first Christmas!
Happy Quilting!


  1. The circle quilt is beautiful, and so is your tree, Fabulous quilting!

  2. Great way to secure that while you're quilting! Beautiful.

  3. many thanks for the tips, have yet to quilt my first quilt, keep putting it off!


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