2013-5: Rail Fence Baby Quilt

Rail Fence Baby QuiltThis little baby quilt top is one I made last year after I was given fabrics from a shirting fabric.  All of the top and border fabrics are from the bag of scraps.  It is a simple pattern and it went together quite quickly.  Great way to use random scraps.  I quilted it with a Deb Giesler digital pantograph, a very dense panto of daffodils and tulips.  I decided to enlarge the panto to the full width of my throat space so it would be less dense and minimize the need to advance the quilt.  It worked out to almost three full rows.  I chose a purple Poly thread on top with Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Binding for me is always the element that causes quilts to pile up in the “Still-more-to-be-done” corner.  I applied the binding to the front and it sat in the pile for a while.  Then the quilt made it to my hand sewing bag, which I carry with me to meetings and events, always with two projects.  If I get one finished, then I have another one ready to go.

Last week, Patti Carey of Northcott came to our guild as the guest speaker.  She showed her machine bound quilts and explained her technique and said she has never been caught by the quilt police.  At break, I examined the quilts quite closely and decided that her style of binding would work well on my utility quilts and gift quilts.  I would still bind competition quilts by hand, but for other quilts, this is perfectly acceptable.

Patti applies her binding to the back with a regular straight stitch.  She then folds the binding to the front and fastens it down using a blanket applique stitch.  As her top thread, Patti uses a clear polyester thread like Superior MonoPoly and in the bobbin, she uses regular thread in a coordinating colour.

I decided this simple scrap quilt was a good one to try out a new technique.  I pulled it out of my hand sewing bag and decided to give it a go.  Since my binding was already applied on the front,  I did the reverse of Patti’s method.  I used clear Superior MonoPoly in the bobbin and a pale blue thread as my top thread.  My preferred binding is 2 inch double fold fabric, so when I fold it to the back side, it ends up very close to the seam line.  With the blanket applique stitch set with a length of 5 and stitch width set at 1 I carefully stitched so the vertical stitches were a fraction of an inch outside the seam line and the horizontal stitch made a small sideways stitch into the binding.  I am very pleased with the resulting look of the binding.

Here are photos of the binding from both the front and the back:

Binding from the back

Binding from the back

Binding from the front of the quilt

This method will work very well for my regular quilts.  I will still do competition quilts by hand, but this method should keep my pile of quilts waiting for binding under control!  In fact, I can hardly wait to bind the next one.

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3 responses to “2013-5: Rail Fence Baby Quilt

  1. Laurie in Brampton, Ontario

    Wow, Peggy, great job on the machine stitched binding! I have tried Patti’s method too but my results were not as good as yours. I’ll keep trying though–it’s an excellent technique for finishing charity quilts.

  2. Bravo for tackling something that was holding you up! Looks great!!

  3. More and more I am machine binding my quilts. I have quilts 10 years old that all it is waiting for is the binding.

    Yours look super!

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