I finished quilting the family xams quilt! It took about 15 hours which is less than I thought it would take. I start working on the binding tonight.
Speaking of binding, here finally is my tutorial on how I make my sewn mitered corners.
Take your binding and press it in half lenghwise after sewing the length you will need for each side. Do not sew all the binding into one long piece. You only need the length of each side plus 3 to 4 extra inches. Keep reading and you will see why.
Lay the binding on the front of the quilt. I sew a 1/4" from the raw edge of the binding strip. What you want to do is back stitch so that you stitching is 1/4" away from the corner. Do not fret here - once you get the binding sewn on each side we will go back and check the corner stitching. I have been doing this a long time so I get pretty close just eyeballing it.
Sewn to the other end and stop a 1/4' away from the corner and backstitch.
Fold the binding end out of the way and turn the quilt so you can start sewing on the next piece.
Line up you next piece and sew it on the same way as you did the first strip stopping 1/4" from the corners.
Now that you have the binding sewn on all four sides, let's look at the backside of the quilt and the first corner. As you can see the stitching doesn't come together in the corner - not a problem.
I took out a couple of stitches that went too far to the edge and will resew to where the stitches need to meet.
Before I start sewing I double check that my binding is lined up correctly underneath.
Sew and backstitch. Now you can see my other side is short about one stitch.
Check that you binding is out of the way and stitch. I usually backstitch to the corner and then stitch forward. Here is what the binding would look like pulled out of the way. It looks a bid different than it did when we fixed the other side. Just so you know this procedure does not take that long and of course doing it this way for more than 15 years it does not take long.
See now the stitching comes together in the corner.
Next lay the quilt and the binding flat like in this picture. The binding needs to be at a right angle to you.
You will be using a square ruler for marking the binding where you will be sewing it. You can use a 6 to 9 " ruler and it helps to have a 45 degree line mark from corner to corner on the ruler. Lay the ruler on the binding. The 45 degree line will be in the center of the binding from the sewing line to the folded edge. Do not include the 1/4" seam.
Look at the measurement marks at the point of the ruler and make sure they read the same. Here the 7/8" mark is on the folded edge and where the stitching stopped.
Once you have the ruler lined up and you are centered, draw a line using a pencil or some type of sewing marker. I used a pen that the marks go away with heat only because it makes a nice thin line.
Now take the binding that is going north and south and lay it on top of the binding going east and west.
You need to have the seam allowances pushed away from the binding. Line up the edges of the binding roughly. Make sure the binding on the botton is laying flat. Here is the binding not laying flat.
Just keep adjusting until the bottom binding is flat like this.
Noe pin the binding together for sewing. I usually put the first pin at the binding edge to hold both layers together, then I pin at the point.
After pinning look at the underside to make sure the seam allowance is still pushed toward the quilt.
Sew the binding corner together. I usually start in the middle of the line closest to the quilt and back stitch to the point where the binding is attached to the quilt. I hand crank my machine because the sewing foot gets tilted when it is backing onto the thick layers of the quilt. Once I get to the point where the binding was sewn to the quilt, I go forward and as I get to the point I adjust my machine to make very small stitches on both sides of the point. This is going to get trimmed closely so small stitches are a necessity.
Sew to the point, turn the quilt and binding and sew the other side of the point to the edge of the binding and then backstitch.
Trim the binding close to the stitching. It should look something like this when you are done trimming.
Now we will trim the backing and binding. Lay out the quilt like this.
Fold the binding to the seam allowance stitching.
Now fold the folded binding to cover the seam allowance.
Cut the backing and batting just to the edge of the folded binding. Hang in there - there is a method to this maddness!
You can now let go of the binding. Get a 6" ruler with one of those slide things. Put the ruler on the edge of the binding and push the slide guide to where you stopped cutting.
Now go around the quilt trimming off the excess batting and backing using the slide as your guide on where to trim. This way the amount of batting and backing will be just right for filling the binding.
I even use this for the corners. I will trim the corner just a little more so there is not too much batting and backing to stuff into the corner.
After the quilt is trimmed then I get the iron out and press the binding away from the quilt.
I even get into those corners before I turn them.
Now turn the corners using a point turner or what ever works for you. I don't recommend a sissors and don't over do it. You are turing bias edges and you don't want to deform the corners by pushing too hard.
See how nice the corner looks? Pin it and hand stitch it and admire your work! The first time I did a quilt this way it took me an hour and a half to figure it out, but now I can do all four corners lickity split. Be patient and you will get it!
Let me know if you have any questions!