My September Stitch Along W4

Posted by Ruth on 28 September 2014 | 0 Comments


This week I needed to add two different forms of quilting and finish my Stitch Along challenge piece by binding it in some fashion. Check back to the rules for week 4 if you need to for full details.

Originally I had had other ideas for quilting, however the space between the strips was just a little small so for my first quilting I decided I would do contour quilting which is stitching about 1/8" - 1/4" away from the seam-line or applique shape. Kind of like echo quilting without the echo :) Since I'm working with straight seams I recommend using a walking foot or straight stitch quilting, however, because this is a challenge and challenges create opportunities to experiment, I decided to stitch my contour quilting with free-motion instead. Well I have to say, I proved myself again, all straight quilting should be done with a straight stitch, not a free-motion stitch. No matter how hard you try, it is never as straight... and looking at my stitching, it does appear straight for the most part, but it's just not perfect. So, to sum up, I can safely say, there is straight and then there is straight! You can see the difference when I compare both at the end of this post.

stitch along - contour quilting

So that was my first quilting. I contour quilted around all the colored strips and along the upright seam where they attach to my multicolored fabric. I used the bright pink shade of thread to match the bright pink plain fabric.

Next I decided I should make a quilted dragonfly on the multicolored fabric end. I did this by first drawing my design onto freezer paper, this time connecting the sections rather than separating them like I did for the applique. stitch along - design on freezer paper

I cut it out and pressed it into position, on the bottom end in the opposite corner to the applique dragonfly.

stitch along - freezer paper design pressed on project

....And I used the same green thread I used for the applique adding a 'flying' line along the strip to finish off. For this, I increased the size of the stitch length by slowing down the machine a little. stitch along - free-motion quilting

I did likewise for the applique dragonfly, stitching in a 'flying' line.stitch along - free-motion flying line from applique dragonfly

So that is it for the quilting and now time to bind my creation. I decided this multicolored fabric would look really good, for two reasons.

  • it was the same color as the multicolored fabric I already had
  • I liked the effect of the tiny stripes going outward (perpendicular to the edge) This would make great bias binding!

stitch along - binding fabric

There are many different methods of binding. The binding by all machine I showed you last month is just one. This week I will use a variation of that.

I used the folded mitered corner binding finish, but only single thickness and I had to join the binding in a couple of places because I only had a fat quarter. I always join my binding strips using a bias seam and I press the seams open. This is one of the few places I press seams open, but it makes for a much flatter binding in my opinion.

In this variation, I stitch the binding to the back of the quilt and turn it to the front. I fold under the raw edge (or if you want, you could leave it raw) and machine stitch it down. To finished off, I did contour quilting all the way around the binding to match the other contour quilting and to take the emphasis off the top stitching on the binding. This time I used the walking foot instead of free-motion.stitch along - binding attached with top-stitching

So now you can compare, here are the two different straight line quilting examples. One using free-motion, the other with a walking foot.

stitch along - comparing stitching

You can see my finished challenge piece in the gallery.

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