Thursday, November 19, 2009

over the top


Eva asked about the technique of folding the backing over the top of the quilt and hemming it to finish a quilt. It is probably not the best way since the edges get most of the wear and tear, but it is the way I have usually done it. It's also the way my grandmother, great-aunts, and great-grandmother did it. But after she asked, I started wondering about it.

I grew up with their quilts (and am lucky enough to still have some of them) but I did not learn how to quilt from them because I had moved away from home. I learned how to quilt by studying library books and then after I had made a couple, showed them the quilts. At first I only made tops and I paid one of my great-aunts to quilt them for me. She and my grandmother shared patterns and books and they gave me advice. In the first photo, "Grandmother's Fan" was one of the first quilts I made that was quilted by my great-aunt. I'm also particularly fond of it because I worked on it during a trip through Europe (England, France and Germany).

One of the books that I did own and study was Polly Prindle's Book of American Patchwork Quilts by Alice Gammell. It was first published in 1973 and I have the 1982 copy. According to this book, the usual procedure is to attach a binding, however, it does state: "If your quilt has a sashing and a separate edging is not desired, make your quilt back larger than the quilt top. Turn this extra material over the top, fold under 1/4 inch for the hem and hemstitch into place." (page 34)

7 comments:

Mary said...

that fan quilt is beautiful.

Deborah said...

Thanks, it is rather large (queen size) and one of the few of my large quilts that I still own.

Quilt or Dye said...

I too had quilting grandmothers and great-grandmothers and have a few of their quilts to pass on in the family. But, I learned quilting from library books and experimenting. Maybe I should be spending more time with my grandchildren to pass along the art.

Eva said...

How lucky you are to have all this skill and knowledge in the background! And how lucky I am to have you sharing it with your readers.
The funny thing is: I did this "wrapped binding" as you describe it, on my "Chickenshack" quilt. As if I remembered from former lives.

Deborah said...

maybe you did

Exuberant Color said...

I used to teach that method of binding as one of the choices. I also taught turning the 2 edges in and topstitching them. I think the separate binding gives a firmer edge but the wrapped binding works OK on a bed quilt. I use it on baby quilts sometimes.

ParisMaddy said...

Love your fan quilt. I like the separate binding better. I tried the fold over method once.