Amistad Chapter 9: giving the fingers a rest

All the remaining blocks are marked up and waiting for quilting.

One more 9-patch and then the four square corner blocks to go. But my fingers have registered a protest, not just the callused and punctured tips, but the joints too. So I moved onto an alternative and more comfortable activity: the binding.

Screen shot 2014-09-07 at 12.22.20 PMI had lots of scraps left from cutting the blocks. So I cut 2½” strips from all the fabrics I had, and cut those into 6½” lengths. Then I laid them out and randomised them as much as possible; I had lots of some, very little of others, so I tried to distribute the ‘lots of’ fabrics evenly through the mix. After that it was simply a matter of chain piecing the lot, pressing the joining seams open and then pressing the binding in half lengthways. There’s a little extra bulk from all the seams, but it’s a great way to use up the scraps.

Screen shot 2014-09-07 at 12.22.53 PMIt’s all tidily rolled up on the cardboard inner tube from one of my endless rolls of packing tape… Knew they’d come in useful!

In case you were wondering, I cut 6½” lengths because the blocks are 12″ square, so in theory everything should line up. I’m wondering, though, if I’ve given myself another headache trying to match seams, or if I should offset everything on purpose.

What do you think? Would you give yourself the extra work, or make them purposely offset?

Right, time to go and hang out the laundry.  Have a lovely day.

21 thoughts on “Amistad Chapter 9: giving the fingers a rest

  1. Kim says:

    Random, definitely random! Will be more interesting, I think. Lots of places for your eye to travel.

  2. I would offset – if the seam matching is occasionally a bit off (not that yours would be, of course) it will be very noticeable! I do something similar for binding: cut strips from the bits, stitch them together and then cut and join slices of the long strips.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m glad you agree. I’m not sure I can claim perfect seam matching, but I think, like you, that slightly wrong is much worse than properly wonky on purpose! I do dearly love a scrappy binding if it adds to the quilt, but some just need a continuous frame in one colour.

  3. Your poor fingers!
    I’m all for offsetting too…you wouldn’t be happy if you chose to match seams and then not all of them were spot on, would you?

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re right about that. I accept I may be just a touch anal about these things… Let’s see if I can be content with potentially slightly imperfect offset, then!

  4. Barbara van Rhijn says:

    Know what: keep it simple! It Will turn out well either way and you have enough on your plate!

  5. rutigt says:

    I usually do it by random. I like it when it´s not perfect, gives the quilt more life I think 🙂
    Gun, Sweden

  6. claire93 says:

    I’m thinking that once you start sewing binding, and turning corners on your blocks, you’re going to be off anyway ^^ so random would be the way to go

  7. extra stress trying to match up all the seams ? that’s a no-brainer, kiddo !

  8. Packing tape roll – good idea!
    You know I would do whatever it takes to give myself extra work. When the quilt is done, try pinning a section lining up. If it fails to cooperate, offset it.

  9. Kirsten says:

    Do you cut the strips on the bias or straight? And how do you finish your corners? This is a tall ask and maybe once you have moved and sorted out but could you do a little tutorial on how you do your corners? I usually just fold mine over which give three neat ones and one no so neat one!

    • katechiconi says:

      I cut most of my binding strips on the straight grain. I just find straight grain more durable than bias, and less liable to stretch all over the place when you’re sewing them on. Of course, if you want to bind round a curve, it has to be bias. I’ll certainly do a tutorial, but the trick to tidy corners is not to finish off at a corner, but part way along one side. Oh, and it makes a huge difference if you can use a walking foot to attach the binding to the front, since it prevents ‘creep’ and feeds everything through smoothly.

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