My Stitch Along August Week 4

Posted by Ruth on 21 August 2017 | 0 Comments

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Today I chose a quilt to finish off that I had made quite a while ago. It's a pepper quilt which I made as part of my Still Life workshop. It was completed and I had not planned to quilt it more than the stitching that edged the applique, but my love for stitching, made me think twice about that decision.... pepper quilt for Still Life Workshop

...so before I even started finishing off this piece, I did need to quilt it.

I'm using stretcher bars to mount this piece..... it won't be within a frame though, they'll be used on their own. These stretcher bars are different to those I've used in the past for mounting a quilt so this is a first. I have used them to mount embroidery though and they are easy enough although the canvas for the embroidery was much more stable than fabric.stretcher bars

So first up after the quilting was done, I auditioned the stretcher bars I had purchased. These stretcher bars have adhesive sides so no messing around with stretching each side one at a time and stapling! I positioned them on the front just to get an idea of how it might look before going any further.auditioning stretcher bars on quilt

As soon as I positioned them however, I realized that I should have made my border fabric wider as it would not cover the sides of the frame and I knew that would just look odd. I decided another border would need to be added.

First, knowing how these sort of frames worked, I knew the thickness of the batting would cause a problem at the corners so I trimmed it back to about 1" from the border seam which I'd previous quilted in the ditch.trim back batting

Then I added a dark green border as I did not have any of the original border fabric left - a shame because I like that fabric a lot!dark green 2 inch border added

Now it was time to position the stretchers, on the back so I could wrap the fabric around them. I made sure each side was parallel to the border seam and the grooves in the bars were closest to the inside edge. You'll see why that needs to be in a moment.position stretcher bars on back with grooves closest to inside of quilt

When I knew they were aligned correctly and evenly, one at a time I peeled off the paper from the sticky edge positioning it back in place carefully.... now the sticky would adhere to the fabric so it is important to get it right.

remove paper from glued edge position carefully meeting at corner points

From there it is just a matter of tipping each edge up into position and as doing so tucking in the fabric at the corners.

first side turned up into position second side turned up with fabric tucked into miter

The hardest one is the last side as you need to juggle corners on both ends and that can get a little fiddly, but I was still able to achieve a reasonably good job on my own.all sides turned up with fabric tucked into corners

Included in the kit are corner staples and if you look back at earlier photos, you see the holes are already drilled. The fabric covers these but I managed to feel where they were easy enough. staple ready to knock into place

With some pressure, I could actually push them in with my hand, but I do have a soft mallet which is a lot easier.

staple tapped into frame all staples in frame

Once the staples are in, I can add the braces in each corner. Remember those groves? This is where the braces slot into so it is important that they are all positioned the same, closest to the fabric.stretcher brackets added to corners

Pushing these into place tightens the fabric and slightly stretches it keeping it nice and firm on the front.

I trimmed the excess fabric from inside the corners and lastly used my hot glue gun to stick down the raw edges of the border. There are other methods for finished the raw edges I'm sure but this worked and was quick. I did need to be careful not to burn my fingers!hot glue used to secure fabric edges

Now my pepper quilt is finished and hanging on the wall in my kitchen - I think it looks great!finished pepper quilt hanging on wall

What a wonderful feeling it is to get yet another piece completed!

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