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Monday, July 16, 2007

Alice’s Fast All-Machine Binding

For samples, baby quilts and charity quilts, I often do my binding completely by machine.
• Pin binding to BACK of quilt, raw edges of binding to outer edge of quilt.
• Sew binding to quilt, using a ¼” seam.
• Fold binding to FRONT of quilt. Press the binding lightly. No need to get a knife edge – you just want the binding to lie in position. Do make sure the miters on the corners are pressed.
• Choose a thread for the top which contrasts with your binding/top if you want the stitching to show or a matching thread if you want the stitching to blend. The bobbin thread should blend with your quilt backing.
• Using a decorative stitch, sew the binding down by machine. My favorite stitch is the zig-zag stitch which has 3 stitches in each leg of the zig. I also like to use a buttonhole stitch. I don't like to use a straight stitch because it can be difficult to keep it a consistent distance from the edge of the binding.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wool Roving

I've been dyeing wool roving - sort of a bus man's holiday! These are the last five batches. I hang them in my kitchen window to dry. It adds a nice spot of color!

I've dyed wool with Kool Aid. Fun to do with kids, no toxic stuff to worry about, but a little on the expensive side if you want to dye any volume. I switched to MX dyes with vinegar as my acid after a few times playing around with Kool Aid. At first, I used the left-over dye from a fabric dyeing session, now I have to mix dyes just for wool!

There is an color shift when dyeing wool, so the results are less predictable than with cotton. This adds an element of surprise that I anticipate and appreciate. Back to the dyepot - I'm in a green and blue phase right now.