How to Bind a Large Wall Quilt

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Crabtree’s (left panel), a commission quilt by Laura Wasilowski

It has come to my attention that I’ve made very few large quilts in the last few years. Large, to me, means anything bigger than 20″ x 20″. (Unlike common opinion, I believe smaller is better.)

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Crabtree’s (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

But I did make 3 large pieces this Spring. They are companion pieces, a commission for a lovely family in Kansas. Each panel measures about 32″ w x 48″ h. They flow together and tell the story of their family and places they’ve lived.

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Crabtree’s (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

It was important that the transition from one panel to the next be unbroken by a binding. So I used a Faced Binding on each panel. The Faced Binding is the latest addition to my list of Tutorials. I hope you enjoy it and can find a use for it on your next large wall quilt.

How to Make a Nice Abutment

fusingabutHere’s a tip brought to you by the Chicago School of Fusing. When adding another piece of fusible web to fabric, don’t overlap the fusible web papers like what I’ve done above. This is a no no!

fusingabut1Instead, do this: abut the 2 edges of the fusible web paper. This way when you fuse, you don’t get glue on the paper underneath. If you overlap the papers, you get glue on the paper. Your iron picks up the glue on the paper when you use it later and then transfers the glue to your beautiful quilt top. The paper that comes with the fusible web  (release paper) is so useful. You can fuse fabric to release paper over and over again and it always releases the fabric.

lauraandironSo save the release paper that comes with fusible web. By placing the release paper on your quilt top, you protect the iron from fabric shapes that are place upside down on the quilt. Remember: protect your quilts from filthy irons and don’t tempt them with glue on the paper.

Stitching Pinked Edges #2

vase2This flower looks rather forlorn, doesn’t it? But you’ll note that the tips of the flowers are rather jaunty. That’s because they are cut with a pinking blade used on a standard 45mm rotary cutter handle. (If you want to see how similar flower petals are made with this blade, check this out.)

vase3To give our flower a little flair, long embroidery stitches travel from the peaks and valleys of the pinked edge to the center of the flower. This is done with the Sunflowers colorway in a size 8 pearl cotton thread. That same thread couches down the long strands of thread holding them in place.

vaseontable3c French knots added to the pinked flower tips dress up our bloomers even more and our forlorn flower is now fabulous!

More tips on adding hand embroidery to pinked fabric edges coming up soon!

Stitching Pinked Edges #1

vaseontable3aReady for a fabric cutting challenge? With a little forethought, you can cut fused fabrics with decorative rotary cutter blades and create perfect fabric shapes for hand embroidery. Here’s a good example of planning ahead: the 1/4″ green stripes in this wallpaper fabric are cut with a pinking blade.

Each cut of the blade is off set with the previous cut making a “rick rack” edge on the fabric strip. Stitching across the strip with a size 12 thread creates a pleasing diagonal stripe across the fabric.

vaseontable3eYou can see that I didn’t always align the blade on the fabric consistently when cutting the strips. So some of the stitching appears off on the wall paper. My excuse: This is hand work. Made by human hands not a machine.

Stay tuned for more stitching of pinked edges tomorrow!

How to Pick Out Fabrics for Fusing

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It’s a little know fact (I love that phrase!) that when you pick out fabrics for your next fused art quilt you want to look at the back of the fabric. You are making a raw edge or fused quilt which means you don’t necessarily finish the edges of design elements with stitching.

holeyfabricYou see the edges of the fabric shapes.

blackfabricIf you have a great print on one side, the other side may be almost white. When you cut out an element from that fabric, a white edge will appear around the element. Use hand dyed or batik fabrics. The color goes all the way through the fabric.

It’s a little known fact!