I need some instructiions please!

dawnpJune 7, 2012

I posted a feew weeks ago that I wanted to make my brother a quilt.

Well, I have the quilt top done and have it all laid out on the floor and am pinning the layers. It is a quilt in a day log cabin. I am planning to just stitch in the ditch as I'm not really a quilter.

One question(maybe a stupid one), after I pin it, do I sew around the edges where the binding will go first or do the stitch in the ditch first?

Thanks for help and I'll take a photo and post it in a couple of days!


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Typically you start quilting in the center and work your way out. This will keep the backing from wrinkling. You can smooth it out or even re-pin it if you have to as you move out to the edges.

Stitching in the ditch is fine and will be beautiful, but here's an alternate idea if you want one. Many log cabin quilts aren't really quilted so if you don't want to do that part on this quilt you could tie it instead. "Tieing" a quilt is when you thread a piece of yarn or heavy string through all the layers and tie the ends together at the front. Often this is done through each small, red center square of a log cabin block.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 5:20AM
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Dawn, Quilt in a Day Log Cabin was my first quilt using the mat and rotary cutter. Aren't the instructions great? You must be delighted to be almost finished.

Good idea from Kate, above. I've tied quite a few quilts using multiple strands of DMC thread, putting the knots on the back of the quilt. Yarn works too. It can be easier than stitch in the ditch for larger quilts, I think.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Thanks for the suggestion Kate. I was going to tie it as that what I did last time but the lady at the fabric store said I should SITD. What do you think will look better?

Socks - YES! The instructions are very clear. It really is a good starting point for quilting - it's not complicated or too big a project to get overwhelmed.

When I pick the pinned quilt up off of the floor, do I stitch around the quilt edges to hold the layers together or do I do that last after the quilting/tying is done?

Pictures to come!


    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:00AM
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That was one of my first quilts too! I tied mine in the red center and at each corner, I think (it was a long time ago).

Do all your tying or quilting first. You can do either...it's your quilt. Never mind what a 'professional' at the quilt shop told you. With your limited experience, I'd suggest tying it, myself. Both are historically appropriate.

After the center is all finished, then you'll tend to the edges. You'll need to add a binding to cover the edges & seal everything together. We can help you with that too, but don't worry about it now. Do the quilting step first, then ask about binding.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Dawn, my advice would be to not baste or stitch the edges of the quilt together before you quilt it. Sometimes the fabrics shift as you are quilting (working from the center outwards), and you might have to smooth out the top or the back and reposition the pins so you don't end up with wrinkles or puckers. In fact, you should watch for these wrinkles, especially on the back. Check often as you are quilting. If the edges are stitched together, you won't be able to smooth the fabric out and move the excess to the edges.

Your first quilt - how exciting!!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 3:27PM
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It was one of my first quilts as well.I took the class from Eleanor Burns,before rotary cutters and her name was popular.In other words she was just starting out and taught at one of our better fabric shops,and at churches and activity centers.

We tore all our strips back them,and believe me we wondered what we had gotten ourselves into.Couldn't believe we were going to make a pretty quilt with all those strips.But we did.My first one was done in blues and browns and was for our first grandson.

I still like to make log cabins and i've tied all of mine with either embroidery floss or yarn.Works great.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 6:13PM
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Wow! Thanks everyone - you are so helpful and nice!

Kathi - how cool! I would love to meet Eleanor Burns. She created a great method.

I spent a few hours on the quilt today and ended up doing the SITD. It came out great and with no buckling on the back! I was most worried about that! I did not have a surface large enough so I did the pinning on the floor. That was not the fun part of making the quilt.

I decided to SITD as opposed to tying because I was worried the batting would shift. I am not a quilter but I have lots of sewing experience so that helped.

I did do the SITD before I did the edges as you suggested,

I am now working on the binding. I used the tutorial linked below. I am now hand-stitching the inside of the binding. That's going to take a while! Hopefully, it will be all wrapped up tomorrow. I am meeting my brother for his 60th birthday dinner celebration on Sunday night so I am highly motivated to get it done.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Congratulations, Dawn. It sounds like you did a great job! You are right, the pinning is not particularly fun (at least in my opinion) and hand stitching the binding does take quite awhile. But you are so close to finishing - that is fantastic. I'm sure your brother will treasure his new quilt.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Thanks Lola!

I forgot to post the link to the binding tutorial. I thought these were great instructions. I know you all are experts but maybe a newbie like me could use them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Binding

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 11:29PM
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Good Morning, Dawn. That's basically the way I do my bindings, too. I love the easy beginning and ending.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 9:16AM
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Dawn, be sure to take photos of your quilt before you give it to your brother, and please post one on this forum. We'd love to see it.

I have to crawl around on the floor to pin too, and it gets less and less fun as the years go by. Hand stitching the binding does take a long time, but something one of the forum members (I think it was Kate) said has helped me get through it. She said she considers it her long goodbye to her quilt. I liked that concept.

I bet your brother will be delighted with his quilt.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 11:53AM
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If you were to tie a quilt with dmc thread how many threads would you use. I have lots of thread, I also cross stitch. Would you suggest that you only tie a log cabin quilt?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 10:01AM
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Dawn, One of my first quilts was a log cabin using the quilt in a day method. I tied it instead of quilting it. I still love a log cabin quilt. Can't wait to see a picture of yours. Thank you for the tutorial on binding. I have tried several ways to do it and can't wait to try this one. My corners on the last quilt wouldn't stay down and now I know what I did wrong. But I love the way she explains how to join the binding. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 8:00AM
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Hi Darlene.

That binding tutorial worked out perfectly for me and I've never done a binding before.

I posted photos of the finished quilt on a different post. The link is below.

Here is a link that might be useful: photos are here

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 10:34PM
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