Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Binding and a Bag

Sometimes I look at all the projects I have going and don't want to work on any of them.  So I do some prep work that will save me time when I tackle UFOs or when I start a new project.  I call these days "non-quilting days" even though whatever work I do often is for quilting projects.

One of my favorite things to do on a non-quilting day is make binding for future quilts.  Most of the time I want to complete the top before I even contemplate what kind of binding will complement the quilt.  But lately, I have been making lots of baby quilts for friends who are becoming grandparents for the first time, and I have found that I often use striped fabric, polka dot fabric or star fabric for bindings on quilts for babies and kids.  So having a binding stash helps speed up the production of a new quilt.

 Sometimes I make continuous bias binding, especially when the quilt top is complete and I know the exact length I will need.  But when I'm making binding ahead, I starch and press the fabric and then just cut 2" bias strips from the yardage and sew the strips together on the diagonal to minimize bulk.
Here's some binding that I made recently using bias strips.

I've already used the star binding on this quilt for a neighbor's grandson.  (The pattern is Bonnie Hunter's Pineapple Star.)  The white fabric has multicolored stars on it as do some of the other scraps, so the star binding was perfect.  (This pattern is a great stash buster!)

I used a circle-polka dot fabric for the backing.  I love the cheerful colors.

 Another non-quilting project I made recently was a tote bag for my niece's birthday.    I love these fabrics, too.  The bag has external pockets and is lined with another navy fabric.

So I am making small dents in my stash, doing prep work that streamlines the quilt making process, and getting the pleasure of giving handmade gifts to people I love.  All good.


  1. The tote bag is beautiful! If I didn't live on a boat I'd order one in every color.

  2. I feel the same way sometimes.
    I love the bag, very elegant!
    Pre-making binding is a clever idea. The stars look great on the pineapple quilt, which also looks great1