Classes and Holiday Shopping Events


Tuesday Oct. 25.  Country Charm Table Runner by Faye
1-4 pm.  $35 includes fabric and instruction
Take one charm pack, add a border and made a charming table runner.  Perfect for the first time quilter or a quick gift for the seasoned quilter.  Limited to 4 students.

Tuesday Nov. 1.  Winter Woods Table Runner by Faye
1-4 pm.  $35 includes fabric and instruction
Take a printed panel and create a table runner.  No matching points.  Suitable for beginners.  Limited to 4 students.

Tuesday Nov. 8.  Half Hexie Technique by Faye
1-4 pm.  $35 includes fabric and instruction
Use Jennie Doan's "Half hexie" tutorial to make a table runner or turn the squares into a quilt.  Easy for beginner and experienced quilter alike, with dramatic results. Limited to 4 students.

Call the shop at 941-330-0993 for a seat. 

A Pinecraft Christmas, Saturday Nov. 5, 9-4
Have something to sell?  Grab a booth for $10 and join fellow artisans to sell at the annual holiday shopping bonanza.  Call Susan at 941-350-0427 for a space. 

Christmas at the Quilt Shop, Saturday Dec. 10, 9-4
Another day to sell your goods and/or shop for holiday gifts.  $10 per space.  Call Susan at 941-350-0427 for a space.

Food trucks will be at these two events, hot pretzels, pretzel hot dogs, popcorn, and we are hoping for the Amish Donut truck.  Both events are advertised in the Florida Register, Herald Tribune, Craigs List, Sarasota Patch and on the radio.  So grab your stuff and sell it, or come and shop for holiday gifts.  Jewelry, quilted items, wooden items, chocolates, hot pads, team sports items, and more.

More classes are in the works, yes we'll get Attic Windows soon!

So you are ready to bind the quilt, and sometimes those corners just don't want to make a nice miter, or that pesky seam winds up being on the corner.  After binding a few thousand quilts I can give a few suggestions for binding, but there is no cure to eliminate seams in the corner miters!  Invariably one of the seams will wind up at the corner, no matter how large the quilt or where you start with the binding!  It's a lucky day if you can bind 3-4 quilts and no seam is in the corner.  It's really not too bad if you have carefully sewed the binding strips together on a diagonal so the seam bulk is spread out.

Making the Strips. 
Grab a package of precut 2.5 inch strips.  We use a lot of black so it's convenient to have a set of perfectly precut strips ready to sew.  Or cut your own strips.  For most quilts I start with 2.5 inch strips.  If the quilt is bulky with a lofty batting and flannel back, then I start with 3 inch wide strips.  If the quilt is a vintage piece with flat batting and tiny piecing (as a grandmother's flower garden) I use smaller strips (usually muslin) that are 2 inches or even smaller widths.  I prefer strips from the width of fabric (WOF).  Strips cut on the BIAS are a must for scallops and curves, and picots.

Be accurate!  Use your RULER to cut the strips, not the marks on a cutting mat!  Put a piece of masking tape, or highlighter tape on the ruler so the eye can quickly locate the proper width.  Cut on the width of fabric.  Sometimes we need to make binding from the leftover lining or backing fabric, often on the length of fabric which may be a wideback.   I am known to tear the strips to make sure they are on the straight of grain to avoid shifting or bunching up.  This works really well on the wideback muslins which we use a lot on vintage tops.  For a BIAS cut, come in and watch our folding method.  Take a yard or 45" piece of fabric, fold it like a kerchief or babushka, the fold is the perfect bias;  keep folding it on itself at this fold, then turn the triangle and take cuts from the folded side.  Sew the bias strips together to make one very long binding strip.  I have never seen this in a book; my mother and I invented this folding method years ago because we could never understand that other way where you sew the fabric into a tube and cut around the circle over and over.  Our way is faster and easier to use once you see it done.

Ok, strips are cut.  Now sew the strips together into one long piece.  Use a 2.0 stitch length (usually one notch below the regular sewing length). Sew one strip to the other at a right angle (like snowballing a piece) and sew a seam on the diagonal.  Clip the threads and cut off the triangular piece.  Now you are ready to attach the binding strip to the quilt. 

NO, Don't Iron It!  Why not?  The two edges of the binding must be in absolute alignment to attach to the quilt.  It is much easier to fold the binding strip as you sew instead of having helping hands iron the strip.  Invariably the ironed folded piece has a top or bottom that is not lined up, and your sewing line will miss that piece, to be discovered when you turn the binding over to the other side.  I also like the look of a soft edge instead of a flat ironed piece.

Ok now you are ready to sew and I hope you haven't trimmed your quilt down to the quick..and the edges sew best if basted.  It works much better for me to leave about two inches beyond the quilt edge.  This ensures the binding will be filled with batting, and also gives a buffer if the lining wants to creep behind the quilt.
Now is the time to set the stitch length to at least 3.0 for normal batting, and 3.5 for lofty batting and flannel linings.  And FORGET about that 1/4 inch stitch.  For most quilts, now is NOT the time to sew a 1/4 inch stitch.  I use at least a 3/8 inch wide stitch.  You want to be sure all layers of binding are sewed in the front, nothing more aggravating than turning the binding to the back and see a layer with a scant seam or missed seam.  The time to use a 1/4 stitch is if you need to save points or are applying a 1 inch binding to a vintage top. 

Sewing the corners.  Start the binding about 6-8 inches from the top of a corner.  Sew to the bottom corner and pause before the end and sew a diagonal stitch to the corner.  Cut threads, and fold the fabric strip in a miter.  First fold the strip up (North) then back on itself (South).  If this turn is not correct you can't make a nice miter.  The fold at the top should be even with the edge of the binding sewed on, if too much is hanging over the top edge there is too much fabric to turn a miter, if the fold is too short there isn't enough fabric to turn a miter.  Begin sewing again at the top edge of the fold and continue down to the next corner.  

Now I realize this is difficult to visualize if you don't often do binding.  I will put a video on our FaceBook showing this corner fold.  Or stop in the shop any time and I will show you the fold.

After the strip is sewed on, then turn it over and attach to the back.  We do this by hand sewing it.  This is the French Double Fold binding technique.  I believe once you understand where the pitfalls are you will be able to make a perfect binding.  Now according to Joe The Quilter, a binding denotes that your piece is a "quilt.'  If it has no visible binding from the front, then it is a piece of "art."  What Joe does is apply the binding as described, then he turns the entire binding over to the back so the seam line where you sewed the binding is at the edge.  Gives a different look.  You can then topstitch the quilt edge from the front, or back, or both, or hand stitch from the back and your quilt will look live an art canvas. 

We are moving some things around for the season, making room for another hand quilting frame.  I have retreated to the back room with my sewing machine(s) most times; since quilt design and creative sewing works best in large blocks of uninterrupted time, and I still have a few customs to finish for Christmas.  Faye is encamped in the small nook at the back of the shop which is now her classroom.  That's the small nook that has at times housed batting, the Christmas room, and widebacks.  Seems to work well as a classroom, keeps classes out of the daily traffic.  

Later this week I'll send another letter as we develop dates for other classes. 

Ella at Alma Sue's