Monday, August 10, 2009

New York Beauty Quilt Progress

My UFO NYB top [about 8 yrs. old] is finally and in the process of binding. I am so pleased to get this far with it and hope to finish the hand stitching today while we are watching darling baby Matthew [who had his first immunizations today so he may not be a very happy little fellow.]
I had to make bias binding for the NYB because two of the corners are rounded-the original design called for one rounded corner & all these years later I'm not sure now why I went to all the trouble of designing a second one!
Last time I made bias binding for a quilt I miscalculated the square root [explanation later in the post] I think, because I ended up with at least twice what I neededand therefore I have yards of it left over, see?

This time I decided to try something differentand did a rough mental calculation rounded up, I figured hey I know how to do this!
I was a little wary when I looked at the resulting binding that I might be short but decided to sew it on anyway. Things went swimmingly until I reached the final corner when aarrrrrgggghh, I realized that my suspicions were well founded..................
I don't have quite enough,

I'm short about 18". Drat!

Not willing to allow any opportunity to pass me by I decided this would be a good time to illustrate briefly the art of constructing double fold bias binding. This too is "old hat" for experienced sewers but not so probably for newbies and non-quilters.
I need a square of fabric to begin and to calculate the size of that square I take the length needed-18"- & multiply by the width in this case 2.5"[the folded bias binding will be 1.25"]. I come up with 45. I need to find the square root of this number in order to get the size of my fabric square, so I rounded up the sq.root at 7 and then decided on a 9" square just to be really sure I have enough!

Here is my 9" square.
Divide the square cornerwise like so......

and sew the triangles back together to make a rhomboid parrallelogram!

Because I only needed a small amount I then cut the fabric into two 2.5" wide strips & simply sewed the two pieces together to get my 18".

For a longer amount I would sew the parrallelogram into a tube and then cut a continuous strip.
But back to the current project.........

I pressed my new 18" piece in half along the length......

Whew, perfect, I made just the right amount- I will only have about 6" left over!

I sewed it to the piece already attached to the quiltand finished attaching the binding to the front of the quilt. See, no need to panic, it's fixable!
Clear as mud??
Don't despair, there are some excellent tutorials on the web, if you ever really need this very important skill just Google "making bias binding"!
However I am not very trusting any longer of this method of calculating the yardage I will be suspicious in future, will I get yards too many or inches too little! There are limited uses that I know of for left over bias binding.
Now I have just one more step, to stitch the binding down by hand to the back of the quilt with tiny nearly invisible stitches.
Oh & a handy little trick for securing the binding during final stitching whether by hand or machine, these hair clips work really well instead of pins.
You can pay megabucks at the QS or pick them up at the dollar store. They are hair clips after all, no expensive rocket science required!


Dena said...

Great tutorial for making bias binding. I'm always making bias binding so that I have it on hand for smaller projects. It seems to keep my rhythm going when I'm working on a project. LOL

You do beautiful machine quilting. I've always been a handquilter and am trying to master the machine quilting technique. Do you have any suggestions on making this easier for me?

farmlady said...

This all seems very complicated to a non-sewing person but it's very beautiful. I love the fabric and the colors.