Mid-August doldrums here …. it’s that time of the summer when you begin to notice signs of the coming fall. The gardens look a little less vibrant, the lawn not as green (especially here in north Iowa because we need rain!) and school is starting. I just sent my son back to his 2nd year of law school, so the house is quiet again…. a bit too quiet. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the empty nest. At least I have Addie to keep me company!
She’s usually good for daily entertainment in the studio.
I have been working on finishing a stack of small quilts this week when it occurred to me I had some tips I could share. I’ve had a lingering cold this week, so the fact that my brain is working enough to come up with a blog post idea is exciting!
First tip – Hanging Sleeves:
For a wall hanging or larger quilts that needs a hanging sleeve, I will cut a 2 1/2″ strip of fabric, either the same as the binding fabric or the backing fabric. The strip should be about 1″ shorter than the width of the quilt you want to hang. For example, if the quilt is 24 1/2″ wide, I’ll cut the strip 2 1/2 x 23 1/2″.
Once the strip is cut, make a hem on each end of 1/4″ and stitch that in place:
Then, place the strip at the quilt’s top lining it up with the raw edges. Pin in place. Once that it done, stitch the binding on the front of the quilt. When you get to the top of the quilt, the top of the hanging sleeve strip on the back is stitched to the quilt top as you are attaching the binding to the front. Be careful that the strip is not folded up as you are stitching. This is what it looks like when you are done. As you can see, the top of the hanging sleeve is secured.
To finish, simply fold about 1/4″ under and hand stitch the bottom of the hanging sleeve.
Second Tip – Labels:
We all need to remember to label our quilts better. It’s good for family history or even for our own memory! If you take care of affixing the label while you are doing the binding, you won’t have to worry about it later. The steps are similar to the hanging sleeve tip. I usually press the two sides of the label that will not be sewn into the binding be for placing it on the back of the quilt. This will make it easier to stitch down those sides later.
Once you have the sides pressed, lay the label right side up on the back of the quilt aligning it with either the bottom left or right corner. Pin in place so you can move on to stitching the binding on to the front of the quilt. The two sides of the label that are aligned with the edges of the quilt will be stitched down when you stitch the binding. Like with the hanging sleeve, be careful not to catch the loose part of the label in your stitching.
As you can see in the above photo, the bottom and right side of the label are stitched down now. The next step is to hand stitch the top and left side of the label:
Now with a permanent fabric marker, I have plenty of space to write the name of the quilt, year made and any other information I would like. Instant documentation!
So there you have it. I hope these two little tips are useful to you for future projects!
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