Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild and lets get the Modern Quilt Relish Trunk Show on the Road

Marny here...Just a heads up that the Des Moines Area Modern Quilt Guild has a meeting the 21st.  Everyone with an interest in the Modern Quilt Guild movement is welcome.

We are getting all our samples bound and are just about ready to start official Trunk Shows.  I have a small sample to finish binding today.  It is a really cute baby/wall version of Nibbles.  We have already posted our binding tutorial.  You can click on it in the right sidebar.  Today I want to show you how I trim my quilts before putting the binding on.  Everyone has their own method, but here is mine.

I like square corners.  Many of the quilts I have made in the past as store samples have ended up on the walls of the Quilting Connection in downtown Ames.  (Lots of our current quilts and patterns and kits are there now of course.)  When you work in a store all day and view your own quilts up for all to see it is discouraging when the binding detracts from the quilt.  Square corners are so much nicer than warped, curved or otherwise oddly shaped ones.  A square corner starts with the trimming of the quilt.  I do not grade my batting/backing as I trim.  Others have success with that system, but here is what I do.

I am lucky in many ways.  First, these quilts have been quilted by a long arm quilter. April does a wonderful job and the quilts are evenly quilted and lie very flat when we get them back.  She has advised us to stitch the quilt tops 1/8" or so from the edge all the way around before she quilts them.  This does help stabilize the top a bit during the quilting process.  

Second, I have a large cutting table.  I prefer cutting on my green mat, it seems kinder to my blades, even though the entire surface is covered with a cutting mat.  (We get quirky the longer we quilt.) 

Third, my rulers are awesome.  There are long ones and large square ones that make this job so easy.
You will see MasterPiece and two Creative Grid rulers here.
I also have a large Olfa cutting blade that is great for cutting through the quilt with its additional batting.

So here we go...

1. Smooth out your quilt on whatever surface you are using.  A large table is good so that the quilt stays flat and not in some rumpled state as you trim.  You can scoot a smaller mat around as you need it to cut on.  Just be careful not to nick a surface other than your mat.

2.  Start along an edge with a corner included in the first cut.  

3.  Be sure to line up the corner both horizontally and vertically under your ruler.  Keep it as "square" as you can.  You might need to cut a bit away from the edge of the quilt to do so.  Just make sure this "fudge factor" is less than the seam allowance you use to apply the binding.
Here the ruler is being "squared" on the corner.  The trimming will
be on the right length of the ruler.

The quilt is trimmed along one side.

4.  Turn the quilt, smooth it out and start working up the other side.  Sometimes a good sized square is handy on larger quilts, but on these smaller ones my wide, long rulers should do the trick.

5.  Again line up corner number two both horizontally and vertically under the ruler.

6.  Here is one corner completed.

7.  Repeat all the way around the perimeter of your quilt.

8.  Now it is time to bind with a scrappy binding of the fabrics used in the quilt.  A completed quilt is just around the corner!  (and it will be a square corner)

Till Tuesday...


  1. That is such a pretty quilt. Thanks for all the pictures.

  2. You inspired me to get some binding done last night - I got three quilts finished and the labels put on 2 more - thanks for the easy method of getting a quilt ready for binding.


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