Thursday, June 9, 2022

A 25-Year-Old Finish, Flange Binding, and Chooky's Churn Dash SAL

Wyoming Valley Star is finished! Here it is on the deck off our family room.

Twenty-five years in the making, it was begun in 1997. I didn't finish the top until January of 2000. I had no sewing room, and not even a dining table to take over. I had to go to the trouble of setting up a table in the middle of the living room, and packing it all away when the family wanted their space back. That was a real deterrent to getting things finished. I wonder what I can use as an excuse now?

This is our youngest grandson, Ben. He just had a birthday on June 1st, and this was what I made for him. I didn't get a photo of the whole quilt, but here it is folded in half and laying over Ben. You get the idea.

Among other things, Ben loves Thomas The Train. I ordered this "Thomas" Fabric on Etsy, and had planned to cut out the squares with the trains and make them the center of blocks for a quilt. But our spur-of-the-moment trip to Oregon shortened the time I had to work on this project. So I just attached a couple of borders to the yardage, pin basted it, and did meander quilting over the center of the quilt. On the photos below you can see the quilting in the borders, and my first attempt at doing the flange binding I keep reading about. On the right you see the backing fabric. Ben also likes monkeys, and I found this great  monkey flannel on clearance at Village Dry Goods. Perfect!

A word about flange binding--I am really happy with this first attempt. When I have finished bindings by machine in the past, I was never pleased with the results. But I am so slow at hand binding, that when I was in a pinch, or when I knew a quilt was going to see a lot of wash-and-wear, I would grudgingly machine bind. This time around I had both of those issues involved. 

I have read so much about flange binding, and have seen such good results others have achieved, that I decided now was the time to give it a go. First stop was the tutorial by Jenny at MSQC. I felt empowered after watching, and was certain I could do this, but I watched a couple of other videos and then looked up a couple of written tutorials. If you like instructions you can print out and refer to, Sew Fresh Quilts has good photo illustrations. 

Then, fully armed, I went to work. The only thing I did differently was cutting the pieces each 1/8th inch narrower than instructed. I prefer to make my bindings slim, and the instructions create a wider binding than I wanted. I am not unhappy with the finish, but I think next time I may make the two strips each 1/4" narrower. It really is a clever method (who thinks of these things??). It is fussier prep than a regular binding, but then being able to get a classy looking finish in so much less time than a hand finish, it can be just the method you need at times.

I am keeping up (so far) with Chooky's Churn Dash SAL, making 41 9" blocks. I will be making 10 blocks a month for 3 months, but one month will be 11 blocks--I think this will be that  month. 

Chooky shared some
double churn dash blocks
she was making, and I couldn't resist trying one. The Churn Dash in the center finishes at 3". I was tempted to try and fit a 1" churn dash in the center of it (mini madness), but talked myself off that ledge--for now. I do like the double block, and think I will make a few more and sprinkle them in the quilt.

As to the giveaway for my 11 year blog anniversary, I chose a random number with a number generator, and it landed on Elaine Adair! Congrats, Elaine! I know I sent you some squares for your I Spy quilts not too long ago, but I can't find your address for the life of me. Please email it to me again, and I will get your winnings sent off to you! I discovered Elaine's blog just a few months after I started blogging 11 years ago. She makes great quilts. Check her out at the link above.

Recently hubby and I have enjoyed spending some time on our deck, using an app on his phone to identify the bird sounds that are a constant around us. So many varieties, and it is fun to be able to identify them, even if we can't see them among the leaves. This photo of a Eurasian collared dove was taken about a month ago. This honey locust tree is now leafy, and photos are harder to capture.                                          
I hope you are able to find some quiet time doing something that fills you--whether it is quilting, walks in your neighborhood, curling up with a good book, relaxing with family or friends, or just resting with your feet up. Times are stressful. Take care of yourself.

Until next time, be creative and be kind.
Janet O.

Can't leave you without sharing this lovely sunset from an evening walk last week.