backings and bindings

It's time to send some quilts out to my longarm quilter. Do you know that it's been over a year since I've sent any tops out to be quilted?! I actually called my fabulous longarm quilter Melissa a few days ago and asked if she remembers me. That got a big laugh!

So let's talk about why I've been so delinquent.

Backings and bindings are my least favorite part of quilt making. I love choosing fancy coordinating backings. But it's nearly impossible to cut, pin and piece 9 yards of fabric together for a queen-sized backing in my small apartment. And so I put it off for months. But then I want to use those quilts, so I eventually make it happen.

I learned this week that I need to mainly use small scale (or very busy) prints for backings. I think that the aqua Kate Spain hot chocolate mug print is really cute, but matching the seam on the cups required more fabric wrangling. The Fig Tree Avalon white floral print was much easier since I didn't need to worry about matching the print on the seams.

Bindings are easy. Regardless of the pattern, I always cut my strips at 2 3/4" wide, which produces a finished binding of about 1/2". I always make approximately 36" more than what's actually needed JUST IN CASE. Then I wrap them around manila folders to keep them flat and smooth while being shipped across the country. (I see other quilters making cute honeybun rolls with their bindings, but I think that they'd just become a squashed mess in transit!)

Now I will package each quilt top with its matching backing and binding separately. This will make it easier for my quilter to know my intentions. We also discussed quilting designs on the phone, and I'll enclose a few inspirational photos. Sometimes we go with fancy custom quilting (she knows that I love feathers) but other quilts really just need a simple, unobtrusive pattern. The plan now is for vines and feathers on the Strawberry Social quilt, Baptist fans on the Homestead quilt and steam swirls on the In From The Cold mug quilt.

I'll get these shipped out right after President's Day, and then I can get back to doing the fun stuff - piecing more blocks!

I'll be  back on Sunday with the February Snapshots quilt along block. It's an aqua and red sewing machine! So be sure to come back on Sunday. Until then, have a happy weekend and stay warm if you're in the deep freeze!