Friday, February 24, 2012

Empire Quilt Finished

This quilt is ready to go off as a gift to a little boy tomorrow! On Monday I had a pile of fabric in my sewing room. Today there's an heirloom. I love it!

I almost tried a new binding technique, but I chickened out at the last minute. I considered trying Rachel Hauser's zigzag binding stitch. (She had me at fast and easy.) I made a test swatch, but I decided against it for this quilt. I felt like stitching in the ditch was a better fit with the clean lines and sparse quality of this quilt.

I ended up combining aspects of both Sharon Schamber's and Rachel Hauser's binding techniques.

1) I cut my fabric into 2.5" strips: Rachel
2) Assembled the binding with Elmer's glue, sewing, and starch: Sharon
3) I sewed the binding to the front of the quilt with a 5/16" seam: I split the difference between Sharon's 1/4" recommendation and Rachel's 3/8" preference. If I had done a 3/8" seam, the binding would not have covered the stitch line on the back. 
4) I glued and heat set the binding to the back of the quilt: Sharon
5) I stitched in the ditch on the front: Sharon
6) I hand stitched the mitered corners in place on the front and back of the quilt: Sharon

If I had nothing but time and fingers of steel, I would have hand sewn the binding to the back like I did the last two baby quilts. I love how the binding seems to be magically attached when you sew it to the back by hand. 

I prefer the slightly larger binding created by the 5/16" seam on the front. There were a few places where I had trouble getting the binding to catch on the back as I was stitching in the ditch. I went back and sewed over the gaps again to get them to catch. When I bind like this again, I'll give myself some wiggle room and cut my fabric strips 2 5/8" wide. Otherwise, sewing a 1/4" seam with binding made from 2.5"strips would be fine. 

I forgot to measure the bound quilt before I put it in the wash, but I used the same Poly-Fil Cotton Classic Batting for them as I did with the other two baby quilts that I finished recently. It's 100% unbleached organic cotton with a 1/4" loft. We're probably looking at the same 3.6% to 4.8% shrinkage. This one came out of the dryer measuring 49"x36."

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom QuiltsAmy Lou Who, Sew Happy GeekCanoe Ridge CreationsShwin & Shwin, and JAQS Studio to see all of the other finishes. Happy Crafting this weekend!


{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations


  1. All I have to say is I love everything about this quilt!! The colors, pattern, and quilting all work so nicely together. I am sure this will be loved and appreciated!

  2. This is a beautiful quilt from your stash! The stars on the blue fabric is great for a little guy.

  3. This is soo beautiful! The colors are gorgeous and so beachy. It has a very summer by the ocean feel to me. I just love it. Janelle

  4. I love it. Especially the asymmetry & great use of whit space. It really turns it into a work of art.

  5. Your quilt is lovely. The colours are very cool and restful and I really like the pieced backing. Yay you!

  6. Oh, this just takes my breath away! The colors are so perfectly soft for a baby! And the back! There's a flickr group you should put this on!

    I've never been able to machine the back of the binding...just can't manage my fingers to do it properly. Yours looks great!

    Huzzah for your finish!

  7. The colors are wonderful. I am going to look at those quilt binding techniques.

  8. What a gorgeous quilt! You machine binding looks perfect too - I sort of gave up on that and am hand sewing to the back again.

  9. So beautiful! That will be a cherished heirloom for sure! :o)

  10. What lovely fabrics! I love how you used the white so that they really stood out! Congrats on the finish!!
    ~Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva

  11. This looks great! I love your pezzy and your quilting looks amazing!

  12. Great quilt. I love your design, the colours and fabrics are gorgeous too.

  13. This is a gorgeous quilt!

  14. This quilt is gorgeous! Thanks for stopping by my blog and I'm loving surfing around yours!

  15. So pretty :) the colors are so soothing.

    Love for you to share it at my Wednesday's "Made by ME" Linky Party here:

  16. Gorgeous quilt, he will be a lucky little fellow. Will check out your binding tips too!