Saturday, June 1, 2013

How to Sew Quilt As You Go Sections Together--My Way

Things are finally coming together!
Remember this project?  This picture shows the three sections of this quilt, which I am quilting separately, layered with batting and backing.  The quilting went fairly quickly, and this week I finally got around to setting the sections together.
There are lots of ways to do this, and several books that describe them (I think I own most of them).  Over the years, I've been evolving a way that works for me.
When I do this, I use a two-layer seam--just the top of one section and the top of the other section.  I fold the batting and backing out of the way, and use lots of pins to secure the seam.  (When quilting, I have to make sure not to quilt too close to the edge of each section.  If I do, it's much harder to get the backing and batting out of the way.  Sometimes I have to resort to the trusty seam ripper.  Sigh.)  I like to allow at least an inch un-quilted on each edge.
Here's the beginning of the seam.  I use a ton of pins, and go slowly.  I have to be careful to support the weight of the sections on the left, or it pulls on the machine.
Once I've sewn the first seam, I do the same thing for the second seam.  Now the quilt is finally in one piece!  Here's what the back looks like.
As you can see, I have a lot of extra fabric here.  I do that on purpose.  I have tried this with a bare minimum, and it is too easy to pucker the seam or to not have it lie flat.  In this picture, I have started trimming the batting.  I do NOT want it to overlap.  I'm aiming for it to meet at the seam line.  If it overlaps, I get than unsightly bump on the seam.
Once the batting is trimmed, I trim one side of the backing.  I don't trim it very much, just enough so that it lies flat and smooth.  I trim about to the quilting closest to the seam.  I will end up with four layers here--top, batting, and two layers of batting.  Because I'm machine quilting, the thickness isn't a problem.  Having extra backing here also means less stress on the hand stitches, which makes them less likely to pull out.
Next, I smooth the upper layer of backing over the seam, turn the edge under (at least half and inch), and pin.  I'm working to make it very smooth and very flat.

The next step is blind stitching the backing in place.  I usually work with the quilt on the kitchen table, to keep the quilt flat.

Since there are only 2 seams to do by hand, it doesn't take too long.  I finished them both the other night, between supper and bedtime.

And here's the quilt from the right side. When I'm working on it, I check the right side occasionally to make sure I'm not causing any wrinkles or puckers.
 I still need to quilt the sashings where the pieces are joined (this will quilt down any loose batting), and quilt the borders.  Maybe tomorrow?
I've finally thought of a name for this quilt.  I'll share it in an upcoming post.

On another note, don't you just love summer?  I think it's finally here!  On Thursday, I washed some of our everyday quilts, and hung them on the clothesline.  The wind dried them in a hurry.  This is not recommended for antique quilts, of course, but it works fine for the ones we use for cover when reading or watching TV.

I just noticed--all the quilts in this picture are quilt-as-you-go quilts too!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I'm going to do it your way today. My 3rd quilt. 1st was queen size, 2nd was king which I pieced with no instructions, this queen size should be easier with you instructions!


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