Yes! Marissa's Moment of Caprice is finally at this station. That makes me super happy even though my Hawaiian mini is sooo close to being finished that it was a shame to have to set it aside once more. I love the back on this (seen here) as much as the front.
Let me say: Scalloped binding is gorgeous and I know I'll do it again for sure, but WHAT A JOB! Luckily I picked up a few tips from around Blogworld, and let me pass those along.
- You absolutely must use a bias-cut binding. You cannot go around those curves and inward corners with on-the-grain strips.
- The tip I picked up a couple years ago to starch binding shut on itself as you press the fold (this lightly "glues" the layers together so you don't get slippage puckers) was immensely beneficial for scalloped attachment.
- Don't cut the scallops until you've attached all the binding. You lose a ton of stability on your sewing base if you turn that into bias as well. In a couple of the pics below you can see the blue-line edge I had traced onto the quilt top before quilting.
- Another thing that really helped with putting on this binding is that I'd basted just inside that line (about 2 mm) when I was going to start my FMQ.
- You're going to need a lot of time for this task. It normally takes me 30-35 minutes to attach a twin-sized binding. This took several sessions (it's VERY intense work), and added up to just under 3 hours! So plan for that if you've got a deadline on a project.
- While sewing, you'll need a tool to hold the edge in place around those curves and to swing the seam allowance out of the way on the inner angles. Did your trusty Purple Thang get lost during a recent move? Grab a seam ripper. Worked great.
You don't need to fuss and worry about easing in fabric on the curves, but I found it extremely helpful as I approached those angles to lay in a pin parallel to the next curve's beginning, and 1/4" in from the edge line.
Then I knew to stop the end of the curve I just made and pivot on my down-needle when I arrived at that pin. Just be careful to get your binding bent around that needle-down without stretching it. Be meticulous about getting the little folds that will form out of the way of the needle. You gotta get the next couple of stitches without going through any of those. If the needle does go through a fold, you really need to pull it all out from under the foot and pop out that stitch. Leaving it in will steal way too much of your binding from you for turning over the edge later. Trust me, it's worth the extra effort to fix that.
And you go along, doing the Dory thing - "Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming" - nice and slow, until you finally arrive back where you started and you do some funky Twister struggle to get a bumpless binding connecting seam in one tiny scallop space. That was an adventure, but happily successful. :)
Even the quilt was happy that this part was accomplished! Look at it grinning away at me from where I set it down to await TV time and the scallop-trimming:
Again, with that task - go slow! You don't want to slice through your stitches when you're cutting those inner angles! Yeah, I was holding my breath a lot for those. It took 50 minutes to cut this twin quilt's scallops - Just so you know. You also want a nice, smooth edge. You do NOT need to snip the angles into the point of the stitching to achieve pretty inner corners later. Let it stay stronger by keeping its seam allowance intact.
Also - I would stick to scissors for this task. A rotary cutter, even the tiny one, would be too risky at those inner angles.
All sources and quilters stressed to me that scalloped bindings really, REALLY need to be hand-stitched down. This was fine for me, as I only machine-finish bindings on baby quilts and quilts with super-thick backings like corduroy and minky. This is another point you need to allow extra time for, though. I had comforted myself during the attachment time that at least the hand-stitching part would be more regular in time demands. However! Judging by the distance I got while watching movies with my very sick 15yo - - - it will take a total of 9 2-hour movies to stitch this baby all down, compared to a usual 3 or 4 for this size. So..... all together, at every stage, you need to factor in much, MUCH more time to put on a scalloped binding. But they're worth it!
I was happy to find that the bias binding eases around the curved edges quite nicely after you practice a few. For me and my tastes, the 2 1/4 inch strips I sewed on were a perfect match for the 1/4" seam allowance I cut. I usually use 3/8" allowance on bindings, but with the curves I went a little shallower.
I found it easiest to stop pinning at the middle of a scallop and jump ahead to the next angle.
Fold the first edge flat like this, keeping a good tension at the stitches on the right.
Fold the second edge flat like this, again making sure you don't have gapping at the stitches on that side. (Don't pull it all super-tight, just get it to the stitching.) You'll have a nice pleat running up the center of the angle.
Now you can bend the whole she-bang up at the edge. You want to pinch the fold in place at the edge of the quilt while allowing it to spread back out on the edge of the binding that will meet the corner when you finish laying it down. My thumb is hiding the folded part that I'm pinching here:
Now lay it down flat on the point of stitching. You can see how the fold slid open so that it disappears right at the edge of the point, but remained in place at the inner angle. All this prep work is the part that gets much faster and neater for you after you've fumbled through a few.
These want to be pinned vertically. I can't get clips to hold the fold nice enough for me, so I just be careful of the porcupine effect as I'm working.
Now you can go back and pin the gap just behind the angle. Don't worry about the fullness at the sewing edge. . .
. . . It will lay itself down very nicely because of the bias cut if you use an invisible ladder-type stitching that you can see Nadine show at her tutorial.
I tried to get a shot for you to see how I treat the angles. As the quilt is used, I don't want those folds to get pulled out and then be all ugly-popped. So I stitch each one invisibly shut - front and back. *However* - I was also concerned that pulling stress on twisting scallops might pop stitches at those corners, so I left the outer 1/3 or so unstitched, to allow for a wee bit of give without giving the fold room to pop out. Hopefully you can see here what I'm talking about. I'm sure this is where all the extra stitching time is coming from, but I'm also sure from playing around with an un-secured angle that I will not at all regret this extra care in the stitching. It just gets all messy without it when you manipulate the quilt edge.
So! If you're considering a scalloped edge, leave yourself plenty of time, understand that it's an adventure, and go for it! They're beautiful edgings for the designs that want them, and well worth the time and effort. Feel free to share with me your own experiences, tips, or ask questions.
It's time to get the next party started!! This is getting pin-basted today. I have chemical sensitivity and some systemic health issues that I protect from carcinogenics like the propellant in spray cans, so I pass up all the basting sprays.
Hounds' Blues is 60 x 60 inches. I succeeded once again at keeping everything limited to what was already in my stash! I was even able to Frankenstein some Hobbs Heirloom batting pieces together for it.
I splice them using this overlapped and curvy cutting approach shown by Anne. I call it "Frankensteining" because I don't buy the iron-on tape - it's easy and quick enough to just whipstitch the joins. I use big stitches, approaching an inch apart and spanning a 1/4 inch either side of the gap. They look like Frankenstein stitches! Or big football stitches. And they go very, very quickly. You just snug it enough to make the gap disappear but not enough to make a ridge. See how hard it is to find that join?
It likes to pull a little loose when you lift the batting, but just smooth it all snug again when you layer your quilt sandwich. If you baste sufficiently (whatever your favorite method), you will have no pull-away or bunching. Works like a charm.
[I need to add this qualifier: if the quilt is going to have fairly wide-spaced quilting (like 4" apart or so), you'd need to use much closer stitches to keep it more stable. At that point, I'd probably opt for the ease of the iron-on tapes. ;D]
For myself, I have not had good results zigzagging batting seams in the machine - They like to bunch or stretch, and I find the resulting depression still detectable after the quilt is finished. (Although I'm sure it would disappear completely in something that is hyper-quilted.)
Just started going through my scrap bin, cutting blues and whites into log cabin pieces for the next gift needed. They'll grow up into Run, Kitty, Run, but right now this station does not get priority.
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