Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Binding the Four Seasons

Last night I worked on the handwork portion of the binding of my Four Seasons quilt. I always say it gives me a permission slip for television watching. I was focused on the having the batting and the backing for the BOM quilt when it was completed, but gave no thought to the binding. When it came time to create and attach the binding I had to pause for a second.
I had left-over backing, but it was a homespun yellow and I knew I didn’t want a yellow binding. After “auditioning” a couple of colors, I chose this homespun check from my stash. As quilters, we talk of getting rid of our stash of fabrics, lowering the yardage. There are articles and even books written on busting through the yard goods we stack on our shelves. While I don’t have a closet full of fabric I do have a cabinet full and have photographed it in prior postings. I was really thankful for those shelves of fabric because I went to the shelf and chose fabric that worked--- without traveling through an ice storm, without added postage. It felt pretty good, that after working all day, I just open a cabinet door and had fabric waiting for me. Bindings aren’t my favorite part of quilting, and after committing to the project I was lucky enough not to be slowed down.

Here is a photo of a quilt my Grandmother made roughly forty-two years ago. The binding on this quilt is the backing folded over twice.
All of her quilts were made this way. How did I know how old this quilt was? There is no label – but this block is made of fabric from the dress my Mom made me from my first day of Kindergarten. So, by my estimation--- I’m in the ballpark. Muslin was always a staple in her quilts.

When I first started quilting, I read anything and everything I could find on the subject. That’s when I learned that it was better to make separate bindings because that is one place that a quilt gets most of the wear and tear. Think about it--- it’s where we reach to tuck loved ones in, cover ourselves up when we’re cold. Bindings made separately can always be replaced. I have a couple of my Grandmother’s quilts. I’ve studied the hand-quilting in detail. I’ve investigated the way she created her appliqué, and I’ve look at the worn bindings carefully…realizing she must have tucked many loved ones in with those quilts.

Good memories.

Warm socks
My lunch box
My rocking chair


Norma said...

I love your comment about your stash. I have never quite understood the "stash busting" thing. Why build a stash just to have to sew to get rid of it? Makes more sense to buy wisely and have it there when you do need it. Just my humble opinion there!

What a great treasure ot have your grandmother's quilts. I hope that someday, my grand kids will look at my quilts in the way, you are looking at yours.

Shasta said...

My mother made bindings the same way. She has taken up quilting again after seeing me do it, and I think I've convinced her to do a separate double fold binding. And when she is done with the quilt, I'll show her how.

Stina said...

Glad you found the right fabric for the binding... I get kind of happy when my stash have the fabric that is "perfect" for just that project...doesn´t happen always...but sometimes..:o)
Love your Grandma´s quilt...take care of it..:o)
And I agree to your gratitude for today...WARM SOCKS!!!

Belvie said...

I like the binding you are planning to use.

I love that butterfly quilt! I have some old quilts made by my grandmother and her bindings are like your grandmother did. I sometimes wonder if it was a fabric saving thing. Most of the time they were using scraps and big pieces to make the binding....well, they usually didn't have those. Just a thought as my "Ma" has been gone for many years and I can't just ask.

Sue said...

I really think the binding you chose is great! The quilt is lovely also.
Your Grandmother's quilt is so sweet! What a treasure to have.
Stay warm up there. It's not much warmer here in the Swartz Creek area and I'm beginning to wonder if spring is really on the way!

Judy said...

I'm so jealous...doing those blocks suffered when the arm went and I'm still doing the last three blocks, then finally I get to finish the quilt. I love the binding you picked! I always use separate double fold binding if the quilt is to be used. I'll do single fold only if it's a small wall quilt. My grandmothers quilt did the same thing for the bindings...folded from the back.

McIrish Annie said...

I'm in agreement about the stash. It is nice to be able to just open the door and walk into your own private quilt shop.

Never really gave much thought to the binding,probably because it is my least favorite part of the process, but you are right. It makes sense to do it separately.

I have gotten into the habit of making the binding once the top is done and tucking it in with the top, back and batting.

Crazy for Primitive Quilts and Gardens said...

A very good point! Thank you for sharing :o)

Fiona said...

My Nan made all my dresses when I was little, I wish I still had one, or a quilt with pieces of them in.

Greenmare said...

don't you love picturing your grandma tucking little ones in under those quilts! that's precious. I have some tops that my grandmother made also. I've managed to get some of them finished. My grandma didn't have awesome stitching skills, she was more of a make it work kind of quilter, which I sorta love! it makes me see a different side of her.

Blondie ~ Vintage Primitives said...

glad that I found your blog through surfing. Binding is perfect for your quilt; I also have a butterfly quilt from my Grannie. Thank you for sharing.

Mary said...

What a nice post! I admit I do have a stash to work through, and it is fun to have a mini quilt shop on hand; but I am learning to simplify, simplify, simplify and make do with what I have. The butterfly quilt is lovely.

Journeying said...

You've touched upon some of the best things about quilts - they are useful for warmth and for memories and connections between loved ones, often of different generations, and usually beautiful to boot. Wallhangings and tabletoppers are nice, but bed quilts are the heart of quilting.

Your binding choice looks good - can't wait to see the whole thing!

Libby said...

I can just see you going off on the first day of school in your darling little red dress - it's so precious to have a quilt with the fabric from it to help you keep the memory *s*

Claudia said...

I have my grandma's quilts, too. She made one quilt every winter and I remember her working on them. I'll have to check out her binding!

Jeanne said...

I have a butterfly quilt that looks similar to yours only mine has pink instead of the green. I feel the same way, it is a treasure to have. :) Too bad I don't have anywhere to display it so it is in a pillowcase folded up waiting for it's chance to "Fly". BTW, I am waiting to see your vintage quilt blocks put together. :) GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. I haven't attempted cutting any of my vintage fabric, I like looking at it too much I think. LOL. Besides if I use it for something I won't have any more of it and to replace it would be difficult. That is my excuse anyway. :)