Saturday, January 29, 2011

How To Fix a Sloppy Quilt

Wes' son is obsessed with Thomas the Train.  Maybe it's a toddler thing but he kind of has a crack-fiend jones on for him.  My mother is obsessed with the idea of having grandchildren.  My brother is halfway to social security and clearly I'm hopeless so she has just decided to adopt Wes' kid.  Hence . . . THE QUILT.

My mother is one of those hard core quilters.  She sees fabric she likes-she buys it.  And she can sense cartoon characters like a heat seeking missile.  She saw Thomas.  Had to have Thomas.  Had to make her "grandbaby" a quilt.  Which all meant that I had to sew it.  Which I did.  Not at all well.

So here, exactly twelve months after the fact, is my do-over.

First assemble the supplies: quilt-notice the ridiculously narrow and jacked up binding I did the first time around, scissors, embroidery thread, pins, and quilt binding tape.  I got the wide kind because I want that look.

Then, Wes and I cut it apart which was necessary to correct the bunched up batting.  By the way, that's what happens when you don't actually quilt the thing.  I also wanted to replace the binding so we trimmed off the edging.  Not AT ALL WELL, lol.

We ironed the front and backing and re-trimmed the edges, then reassembled the quilt sandwich.

Then, we pinned the layers together.  Which . . . thank God for safety pins.  We did them in a grid, every six or so inches apart.  Give the batting another trim as well.

And believe it or not, that's what it looked like post-ironing, lol.

Now for the fun part. . . and I don't meant that completely sarcastically either.  This is a really cool binding method that I could not explain intelligibly if I tried.  Check out this video for the binding and this page for info on how to neatly miter the corners.

What I especially love is that this required a minimum of pins.

One thing I did do that I found helpful was to press the seams on the back and trim them a little more before folding the bias tape back over and stitching down.  Also, shape the corners before stitching them down.

Here's my finished result.  Yes my binding is somewhat puckered, but that's because I'm impatient, lol.

This time I did quilt it to keep the batting in place.   I went ahead and bound it first just in case I didn't have it finished by the time the Kid came over.  He likes to go to sleep with it.

Anyway, after binding, I decided to go with hand-tying or knotting instead of hand stitching or machine sewing.  I threaded a yarn darner with embroidery thread took small stitches through all layers.  This is difficult to see in the pictures I took, but I did my best.

When hand tying, take small stitches and make sure to leave tails long enough to knot.  I just did your basic square knot and trimmed the tails but feel free to get all fancy and French with it if you like. 

Here's what they look like on the back

I didn't follow any sort of pattern with my knots.  I just tried to cover the whole quilt and take them in spots where they would do the most good.  I think knots look especially good on block quilts where they can be placed uniformly too.

And that's how you do over a quilt.  Wes helped out a lot and was very excited to show the new and improved version to the Kid.  Who was less than impressed but there you go, lol.

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