Friday, May 8, 2020

A Quilted Christmas Village / Beauties Pageant 80

This week I checked another project off my list of WIPs. It’s the first of two versions of Kate Spain’s Chalet pattern I have planned ...

I own a bunch of Basic Grey’s Juniper Berry collection, and this pattern was a satisfying way to make a dent in that stash. To showcase those Juniper Berry prints with a lot of white, I chose a tone-on-tone gray polka dot from Riley Blake as the background. It was not a typical-Michelle fabric decision—and one I’ll make up for in the second version I have ready to sew, which will have a white background—but it works here. (I also used Kona Pepper in this quilt. That’s another odd choice for me. And I bound the quilt in the same polka dot I used as the background. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. Weird!)

This pattern was a hit with me. In addition to being super cute, it was a straightforward sew that had me piecing the many flying geese in a clever, new-to-me way. The lessons I’ll take into my second quilt, however, include the precious points in those flying geese. I always default to a scant quarter inch when I’m at my sewing machine. For flying geese (especially ones that I cut down to size, as is done in this pattern), a more generous quarter inch gives me more wiggle room to preserve points. Remembering that would have made sewing the blocks together an easier process.

Even if I had sewn generous quarter-inch seams on my flying geese, I would have encountered a problem with the binding. I almost always attach my binding to the back of a quilt and finish it from the front by machine. There have been some occasions when I do the opposite—attach to the front and finish from the back—but without exception, I finish binding by machine. I don’t ever tack binding down by hand. (To those of you who do—and to those of you who do and even enjoy the process—good for you!)

It was impossible to keep all those points intact when finishing the binding. I did allow some extra space when I trimmed the excess batting from the quilted project, but I wasn’t comfortable providing too much. With my second Chalet quilt, I plan on adding a thin border—maybe just an inch or two—to address this issue.

If this post has stirred up your own feelings about binding preferences, I want to hear about it! As I mentioned, my bindings are 100% machine sewn. I’m also a width-of-fabric binding maker. What are your binding preferences?

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  1. So cute!!! I love any Basic Grey fabric line, and this one is such a fun Christmas grouping! For utility binding, I machine sew on the front, then machine sew from the back, in the ditch or inside the quilt (not on the binding), using clear thread in my bobbin and thread that matches the binding in the top. It isn't noticeable from the front. If I'm going to enter the quilt in the fair, I do it by hand, because I know machine binding there will be criticized!?!

  2. For machine binding, I like to finish on the front as well and always forget to add a thin border like you are proposing when there are so many points. I think it came together beautifully and look forward to seeing your next version, too!

  3. First of all, I love the gray background and the matching binding. It looks wonderful to me - also love the collection of prints - I hadn't seen that one and wow, how pretty.
    Binding for me depends - sometimes I really want to hand stitch - I like doing this in the evenings - it can be sort of meditative. Others, I machine stitch and when I do this I attach to the back and bring it around to the front. I am also a WOF kind of gal.
    Nice finish - you have really been productive lately Michelle. I cannot say the same for my sewing. It has been very hit and miss.

  4. Hi Michelle! Oooh, is there going to be a binding throwdown??!! Fists to cuffs and everything? HAHA! Of course, I'm just kidding. My motto throughout life is whatevs. You can do it whatever way floats your boat. Love, love, LOVE the gray background. I never in a million years would have suspected that was a polka dot print. Of which I'm a HUGE fan. I love all dots - have never met a dot I didn't like. And, I'm a huge fan of village/neighborhood patterns. Your version is no exception - the fabrics are gorgeous and so is the quilting. I look forward to seeing your other version! I am one of those odd persons who LOVE to hand sew a binding. I'm not adding anything more because a) who really cares how I do it, and b) see the afore mentioned whatevs. Just like politics - why waste my breath discussing it. {{Hugs}} Take care and thanks so much for the link up today. I really enjoy your posts so much. ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. Wonderful chalet quilt! The fabrics are so yummy! As for binding techniques, I believe you should do whatever fits your needs. I prefer to hand sew the binding down and actually enjoy the process! I machine stitch the binding to the front and hand stitch the back. I use either a 2" or 2 1/4" binding.

  6. Great finish Michelle. You are plowing through those older UFOs.

    I am a hand sewer. It is probably one of my favorite steps to making a quilt :)

  7. This is reminding me that I also have this fabric stashed away, and a good amount of it at that! Can't get enough Basic Grey of course. This is very pretty, I love the background and binding fabric. I've done machine stitched binding but haven't ever gotten it to be as good as I can do by hand, so I stick with that method.

  8. It turned out great. I love Kona Pepper. I, too, bind totally by machine. Sew to the back first, and then to the front. I also forget that I lose some points...must remember to add a thin border. ☺

  9. I also bind by machine - one exeption doesn't count, right? But I attach to the front and then do the second step on the back. But even then I prefer a small border to not cut off points from the design. For some designs, it is not necessary, but if I have points... Even if I add only an inch and cut it even further down when trimming the batting... I prefer that scan margin for the binding :) xo Melanie

    PS: Enjoy your finish! And I like the grey polka dot you used for the background a lot.

  10. A lovely quilt and so good to mix up the 'usual' and discover new things by doing 'weird' stuff! :-D
    I machine stitch most bindings but do handstitch sometimes. Most quilts I make do have some kind of border to overcome that problem of loosing points

  11. Love this! Fabric and pattern together are great! I may have to borrow this idea for one of the Christmas quilts I need to make! I'm all over the place on bindings. Most quilts I hand sew on the back. However, if I know the quilt is going to be used and washed often (all the baby quilts for example) I machine sew the binding down. I started using the Red Pepper Quilts method of sewing the binding on the front and attaching it to the back by sewing on the front in the seam. I like the look on the front of the quilt but I am unable to catch 100% of the binding on the back. My most accurate machine binding method is sew on the back first and sew around the edge on the topside. Good idea about dealing with cutting off points!

  12. Lovely little houses!
    Thank you for linking at Patchwork & Quilts.

  13. Beautiful finish, the quilting compliments the design well. I like to sew the binding onto the front by machine then sew it onto the back by hand.

  14. That is lovely & the grey background shows the colours beautifully. Take care & stay safe.


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