Binding: Serger Quilt part III (finally)

I apologize for this taking so long.  Has anyone finished the quilt body?  Is anyone ready for binding yet?  Please send me a picture when you’re finished with your baby quilt. So, why put on a quilt binding with your serger?  First, it is fast.  Second, you end up with an evenly wide seam allowance, which means when you wrap your binding to the other side, your binding is even.  Third, if you use fusible thread in your lower looper, you fuse the binding down to the other side of your quilt and it holds it there, without pins, for you to sew down with your favorite sewing technique, either hand or machine. If you are just joining us, you can find Part 1 of this baby quilt here, and Part 2 is here.

Serger Quilt Binding

Materials: 1/2 yard binding fabric for straight grain binding decorative serger thread

  • if using embroidery thread, you need 2 spools of at least one color

water soluble glue, such as Sewline glue stitck, Scotch permanent glue stick, Elmers blue gel glue, or equivalent Construction: Cut four (4) 2 1/2 x WOF strips of binding fabric.

  • If quilt is larger than planned, cut 5 strips.  Cut one strip in half and sew each half onto the end of one of the other strips, so that two of the strips are longer than the other two.

To serge strips together: Lay one strip end perpendicular to the other strip end, right sides together with bottom strip going east-west and top strip going north-south. binding 1 If desired, draw a line from upper left to lower right of the square formed by the intersection of the two strips. Serge with the needle stitches falling on this line and with the knife cutting off the extra. binding 2

binding 3

Press seam to one side.

binding 4

Fold strips in half lengthwise and press. I wanted to add a piped detail to my binding, so I used the wave stitch on my serger.  You could also use a rolled hem or a narrow hem just as well.  Set your cutting or stitch width to the widest setting you can for the stitch you select, and set your stitch length to form a satin stitch, probably around 1.5mm. Although I like the sheen of embroidery thread on rolled hems, I find it is too fine for good coverage.  I fix this by putting two (2) threads through the same looper.  Since I have a Baby Lock, that means putting them both into the same looper port.  On a different brand serger just thread the loopers with the two threads as though they were 1 thread.  It works for all rolled hem applications.

fancy threads

2 in each looper

I then serged the wave rolled hem on the folded edge of the long strips of binding.  I chose to use a squared off binding, but you could also try this with a mitered binding.  I worried that the piped effect might get in the way with mitering, so let me know if you try it out!

Place the raw edge of the shorter piece of binding against the edge of the WRONG side of the quilt sandwich, and use a 4 thread overlock stitch, only trimming enough of the edge to even it out, to serge the binding to the quilt.  Repeat this on the other short edge.

binding attached

Fold the binding to the front of the quilt and use water soluble glue to hold the binding in place while you use a sewing machine to stitch in the ditch of the faux piping to attach the binding to the quilt.  Trim the ends even with the long edges of the quilt using a rotary cutter or scissors.  Why didn’t I let the serger trim the ends?  I wanted to be sure the serger didn’t get hung up on the multiple fabric and thread layers.

binding topstitched

You can also make this quicker by using a fusible thread in your lower looper.  Then when you press the binding to the finished side, you fuse the binding in place so it holds still while you stitch it down.

Repeat this process with the long strips of binding on the long edges. Make sure that the binding extends about 2 inches beyond the quilt at either end.  But what to do with those ends when you stitch it down?  The piped edging made it too thick for a traditional fold at the end. Fold the tail back on itself to the right side of the quilt, tuck the piped edge underneath the tail, then fold the binding down over the tail and stitch it in place.

binding corner 1 bound corner top

Beautiful, embellished binding, both front and back.

bound corner final

back of binding

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Quilt-as-you-go, Serger Quilt: tutorial Part 2: BORDERS

Last week we started a baby quilt by serger.  I hope some of you are sewing this along with me and will send me pictures of your completed project.

Part 1 ended here:

Fabric Preparation for Borders

Cut the following from Border 1 fabric AND from batting:

2 – 2 ½” x 30”*

2 – 2 ½” x 38”*

*Cut borders 2” longer than length needed.

Let’s put these borders on, shall we?

The reason I suggested you cut your borders 2″ longer than the length needed is to give you a little wiggle room at each end.  As we practice quilt-as-you-go by serger, I find that sometimes my fabric shifts at the beginning of my seam.  I have gotten to where this rarely happens any more, but this extra length will help alleviate that, if you find it happens to you.

CUT BACKING STRIPS:

I just realized I forgot to tell you to cut your backing strips as well, so now go ahead and cut 4 backing strips to match your border 1 and batting strips.  These backing strips might match the backing for the central square, but that is not necessary.  This is a perfect opportunity to have a pretty pieced backing.

The order of the borders, based on the measurements I gave above, is to serge the top and bottom borders first, followed by the side borders.

For serger quilt-as-you-go, you will layer your fabric from the table up as follows, with top raw edges matching:

Backing strip: RIGHT side UP   (green in picture)

Quilt sandwich: RIGHT side UP   (pieced in picture)

Border fabric: WRONG side UP    (orange in picture)

Batting: on top.

border arrangement

The raw edges are not aligned in this picture, but you want to align them.

Start your border strips about 1″ before the central square.  Pin all layers together carefully.

*Pinning Recommendation:  I use LONG quilting pins when I serge.  I will often pin parallel to the edge, which keeps my pins out of my knife, but if I pin perpendicular to  the edge I place my pins so they hang off the edge of the fabric about an inch.  That way they are both easy to see and easy to remove.  NEVER serge over a pin.  I have only had to replace my knife once in 12 years, and that was after serging over 1 pin.  That is all it takes.

**If  you find your fabric edges slip and slide around despite pinning, use glue in the seam allowances to hold them together.  I use glue stick or Elmer’s blue gel a lot, especially when serging.  If the glue does not dry fast enough, iron the two fabric layers together as you glue and it will dry quickly.

Serger Setting for SERGING SEAMS:

4 Thread Overlock
Stitch Width: Widest Setting
Stitch Length: 3 mm

Serge the long seam trimming off an even amount.

Flip the border pieces out from the center and press on both sides.  Press to flatten seam as much as possible, pulling on the fabric against the seam to be sure it was caught in the stitching everywhere.

flip borders out 1

flip borders out 2

Change serger stitch or cutting width to narrowest width and serge baste the long edge, without trimming, to hold the 3 layers (backing, batting, and border) together.  * As you serge, continue to smooth the fabric out from the seam to be sure the raw edges meet and all layers are caught in the basting.

Return stitch or cutting width back to widest setting.

Repeat for opposite border.

You can cut off the 1″ of border that hangs off each end with a rotary cutter to square up the center, or cut it off when serging the side borders.

Arrange the fabrics the same way as explained above for the side borders, serge, press, and baste outer edge.

BORDER 2

Cut border 2 fabric, batting, and backing strips as follows:

2 – 4″ x 32″

2 – 4″ x 42″

Repeat the same procedure with the first borders.  When you are finished your outer edge should be completely squared up, basted and ready for binding.  If your quilt needs additional squaring up, it is fine to trim away some of the serger basting.  If you trim away all of the stitching in an area, rebaste that section without trimming on the serger to hold the layers together.

BINDING Prep:

Coming up in the last installment of this series will be adding a straight grain binding with a faux serger piping.

1/2 yard binding fabric.

Cut 5 strips 2 1/2″ x WOF (Width of fabric).

Thread: at least 2 spools of 40 wt. polyester or rayon embroidery thread, or 1 spool of a 12 weight decorative thread like Sulky Blendables, Jean Stitch, or Pearl Crown Rayon.

Part 3 Binding here.

Until next time,

Sherilyn

Summer harvest

I am sorry, but since I have not been able to do any sewing this summer since my accident, I have not been able to make anything new and exciting, sewing-wise. But, I have been healing, which also means my husband has been insistently asking that I make him some jelly. Then we had an early frost; yes, even Fairbanks, Alaska does not usually have a frost this early in August, so, after our wonderful warm summer allowed our tomato plants to produce tons of tomatoes, they ended up frosted while still green. So, what to do with several pounds of green tomatoes?

First, I made some chokecherry jelly from the chokecherries on the tree next to our house.

20130830-194506.jpg20130830-194548.jpg

Then I was able to make 9 pints of green tomato mincemeat. That will sure make some yummy pies this fall. Finally, I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce with lots of fresh veggies. I included some chopped starting-to-ripen green tomatoes, which worked really well. Now there’s tomato sauce in the freezer as well. I still hope to make some relish, but we’ll have to see if I get around to that or not.

At least I am starting to contribute to the family again, even if sewing will have to wait a little bit longer.

Fondly,
Sherilyn

Internet Safety: What you need to know before posting pictures

I have heard before about the geotagging on pictures, but just today I was reminded about how important it is. Chances are that if you are reading my blog, you also publish your own pictures online somewhere, if not in a blog, then perhaps Facebook, Instagram, or some other photo site. With my recent injury, I have had more time to read more blogs and involve myself more in the blogging community, making me think more and more about all the pictures we post, especially of our children.

I have trusted www.Snopes.com for years for helping me distinguish rumor from crisis, and today I was reminded, via snopes.com, about how important it is for all of us to consider how our phones are set up before we take more pictures. I was glad that I had previously turned my geotagging photos off, but I am sure we don’t all know about this. Please take the time to read this Snopes article and watch the short news video attached to it. This is important.

The link is: http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/smartphonepix.asp

It’s a girl!

I have a granddaughter to sew for as of 4:16 pm this afternoon. Congrats to my daughter and son-in-law.

Family

I have had a wonderful week with my daughter visiting on her spring break.  But, what have I accomplished this week?  Washing clothes, washing dishes, cooking meals, going to the aquarium (the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is marvelous, by the way), going to the zoo, and going to a wonderful promotion ceremony.  We’ve been together, we’ve had fun, the greatest of which was getting to ride horses together again.  I struggle because my projects, with deadlines, have been put aside, more have been added yet again, and everything I’ve done this week has been ephemeral.  Washing dishes and clothes – it never ends.  The aquarium – now a memory.

Yet, my daughter has had a good spring break, or so she tells me.  She does not want to go back to school, although she loves it there and will be very happy once she’s back with her friends.  Isn’t this what we are really about? Family and relationships?  Isn’t this what builds out society?

So, I remind myself that it is only one week and my bond with my daughter is strengthened yet again. This is a forever bond and worth every moment of effort.  Nothing I invest in this bond with my children or my husband is ever wasted.  It’s like deposits in the bank – I must make deposits, or in those times when I am not a nice person to be around, I will have nothing on which to draw, and they will have nothing to give.  Not that this should be the reason for the bond, but it is a part of how family and society work.  It also means my daughter has made deposits in my “bank” this week.

I think I am one of the luckiest and most blessed mothers on this planet to have a daughter who loves me and wants to be with me.  Yes, this week was time well-spent.  The projects can wait. My daughter is more precious than any one of those tangible projects.

 

 

 

© Sherilyn Siegmund-Roach and Cherished Needle Creations

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