Finishing off the edges

You've made your quilt top or wall-hanging, but do you give enough thought to how you might finish off the edges? I thought I would run through some of the techniques that I like to use.

Of course, you can bind the edges with fabric that matches the last border. That's what I've done with "You're Welcome" wall-hanging. I wanted the eye to be drawn into the centre so I chose a binding that does not distract the eye:

With the Showers of Blessing quilt, there was a lot of colour going on in the border of squares, so I chose the bright red fabric for the binding. Rather than being a distraction, the binding complements the red around the nine embroidered squares:

With the Pastel Panache Bed Runner and Cushion, picking out a light colour for the binding - in this case the grey of the border - has given a pleasant but unobtrusive contrast:

I'm very fond of the Les Macarons wall-hanging. Making the black and white of the embroidery stand out by using the same colours for the binding, has really enhanced this design: 

I find that binding cut on the cross can give a real 'zing' to a project. I love the red and white check on Cook with Love:

The Away in a Manger Australian Advent Calendar is a bit outside the box. Rather than have the design as a one-piece wall-hanging, it consists of four pieces. The three lower pieces are bound with matching colour and they are joined together with ribbon when sewing the binding:

Of course, you can finish off the quilt or wall-hanging with no binding at all. All of my children's interactive wall-hangings are joined with the backing and then turned out and quilted. My Kitchen Dresser

The same principle applies with the Vintage Christmas Pudding with some bells added at the lower edge:

Flutter-by bag has an easy variation for its edge - Ric Rac:

I hope that has given you some ideas to think about when you are choosing how to finish off the edges of your projects.

I've had another week where I don't seem to have accomplished much in the sewing realm! I enjoyed a full day out bird-watching with a lovely group of people, watched grandson perform in a school production of Peter Pan, spent some time learning to play our church's new Clavinova, prepared for and enjoyed having lunch visitors, and sent off a package to a magazine editor. I did manage to whip up a few items for our Church's market stall:

I also put a new pattern in my Craftsy Store - the Chevronetta Table Runner:

With the right colours, this would work as a Christmas project.

 Enjoy your week!

Shades of purple

When we arrived home from our overseas trip, in amongst the mountain of mail that greeted us were our lovely Australian craft magazines. Some of them had my projects in them, one of which was the "Gathered 'round the Christmas Tree" Candle Mat:

This year I decided to go with non-traditional colours for my Christmas designs. I love how rich purple is. The fact that it goes well with either silver or gold just gives more reason to use it for Christmas! Then, of course, Radiant Orchid is the Pantone Colour of the Year so that was inspiration enough. I had so much pleasure in making this design. I'm very fond of felt and using it for applique is just a delight.

We live quite a distance from any craft stores, so I rely heavily on what is in my cupboards when I'm producing projects. I was very disappointed when I went looking for some gold star charms to top the trees and found nothing in my stash. I was thinking I would have to embroider some when I had the brainwave to look in the button drawer. To my delight, I found eight purple star buttons which were just perfect for finishing off the trees.

You can find the pattern in the latest Patchwork & Stitching magazine Vol 15 No 11.

Springtime in the Australian bush is quite spectacular. We saw so many beautiful wildflowers during our recent time away: 

The intricate detail is mind-blowing:

I always say that purple is obviously one of God's favourite colours:

It's one of mine too!

Happy stitching.

Free Block of the Month Wall Quilt - Pattern 10

We are finally home from all our adventuring! Last week, we finished off our holiday with five days out in the Australian bush. It was such a change to Yokohama where we felt we were surrounded by the nearly 4 million people who live there. We found it very peaceful and refreshing to enjoy God's creation and be spotting birds with a lovely group of people from our local Birdwatching Club. 

Now we are hoping that life will resume some sort of normality in the lead-up to Christmas! The first thing to get back on track is to give you the next pattern in the 
free block of the month pattern. Now that all the mini-quilts are accounted for, it's time to show you how to construct the pockets.

You can find the instructions for Pattern 10 here.  Next month I will give you the final details for finishing your wall quilt. 

I had just a couple of free days at home between Japan and 'the bush', so I uploaded two more Christmas patterns to my Craftsy Store -  a table runner and a cushion.

The Ding Dong Merrily Table Runner is ideal for using up Jelly Roll strips. It has the first two lines of the carol embroidered down the long edges.

I love the Joy to the World cushion - some easy applique and a little bit of stitching combined with some scrappy squares and you have a beautiful decoration for your home. The pattern is only $5 in my store.

There are a few more Christmas patterns you might like to look at too. There's plenty of time to do some sewing - Christmas is more than 10 weeks away!

My fingers are starting to "itch to stitch" now that we're home so I'm just about counting the hours to when all the washing, ironing and cleaning is done and I can open up the sewing machine again!

Happy stitching!