June 27, 2017

Week 16: Long Time Gone Sew Along | "Amnesty" Week

We're on hiatus for a week! Use this time to catch up or take a break. I'm working on quilting in sections this week.

In the last 4 months, you’ve seen my sections 1 and 4 completed and layered for quilting. I’m not sure I posted it when I combined sections 2 and 3 and layered them for quilting. Now all three of those sections are quilted and I’m taking advantage of the hiatus week to join them.

You may remember that I checked to make sure the measurements for the sections to be joined were accurate and matched before layering. Then if you do the same general density of quilting, they will still match when joined.

My quilting is quite simple. I love the patchwork. In my mind there is no need to overpower it with too much quilting. So, there is some in-the-ditch quilting, a little outline quilting, a string of free-motion stars in the sashing strips, etc.

When I layered, I did allow a little extra batting and backing on the edges to be joined so I would have something to hold on to when I was quilting near the edges. Here you can see the edges of sections 1 and 2 and 3 ready to be trimmed… (click images for larger views)

and trimmed!

On this quilt I am using the single finishing strip method for joining the sections. It is also sometimes called an 8-layer seam method. It can be used with sections that are quilted all the way to the edge. It does not show on the front of the quilt, but will show on the back and does require being sewn to the backing by hand OR with a blind-hem stitch by machine.

In my book, “Machine Quilting in Sections,” and even in my Craftsy class of the same name that was filmed in January this year, I say cut a finishing strip 1-1/2 inches wide and as long as the seam if you are finishing by hand and 2 inches wide if you are finishing by machine. (Click the purple links to learn more about the book and the class.)

I was planning to hand stitch because there are only 4 seams to do and because any time I would save doing it by machine would be spent setting up my machine and testing, etc. So anyway, I cut 1-1/2 inch strips for the first joining, but changed to 2-inch strips when I added Section 4. Why? Perhaps because a few weeks ago I sprained my left thumb very badly and it hasn’t, and may never, recover completely. Anyway, I liked the 2-inch strip better.

Short Version of Single Finishing Strip

1. Cut 2-inch wide strip on straight grain and as long as the sections to be joined.

2. Press in half lengthwise. Better yet, press just off-center. The result of that is one less layer of fabric at the actual edge of the seam.

3. Put right sides together of sections to be joined. Match any seams and pin. You have 6 layers of stuff…quilt backing, batting and front…twice! Some people like to stitch now, and then again with the finishing strip.

4. Align edge of folded finishing strip with edges of the quilt sections on either section. It doesn’t matter which section except, it will end up on the opposite back section.

5. Join all 8 layers with a regular 1/4-inch seam. This is what it looks like from the back. Please don’t be surprised that there is a bump! If it bothers you, there are lots of options for reducing the thickness. They all involve more pre-prep. There are lots more details in the book or class.

6. Press all of the layers and the finishing strip to one side so that the finishing strip covers all of the raw edges. Use steam! Check from the front.

At this point, I actually cut a narrow strip of Shades SoftFuse (link), a very lightweight paper-backed fusible web, and press it in place on the wrong side of the folded finishing strip. Let it cool and remove the paper. Then, I do the final press. All of the layers go to one side, the finishing strip covers all of the raw edges, the fusible hold the strip in place for the hand stitching. I don’t need to pin.

7. Stitch folded edge of finishing strip to backing of quilt. See the finishing strip?! I like to use different fabrics for every section so that when I teach, people can see where the quilt was divided into sections.

The big pay off! Here I am adding the first border “stitch and flip” to the long side of sections 1,2,3,4!!

There are many other methods. I hope you will give Quilting in Sections a try!

For a short introduction to sewing the finishing strip with the blind hem stitch, go to http://www.frommarti.com/vid_MQIS_blind_hem.shtml

Visit these other blogs in the Long Time Gone Sew Along, too, to see what else is happening this week!



Use the hash tag #LongTimeGoneSAL to share photos of your blocks on Instagram.

Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. Copyright 2016 by Jen Kingwell Designs. Available on From Marti Michell website, www.frommarti.com

1 comment:

  1. This was the post I've been waiting for. Thanks for posting this and giving us a good look at your process.