Perhaps you recall the post “My tribe lifts up my daughter through quilting.” I can’t read that post without tearing up…and I wrote it. How sad is that…?  On second thought, don’t answer that!

Well, the grandson arrived and the quilt sat unfinished on the Handi Quilter for several months.  Thanksgiving was fast approaching and Grandma, who generously donated her dining room for the project months before, was getting antsy to get her dining room back.  So I asked my Daughter if I could finish the quilt for her.  She was sleep deprived and agreed! Yay!

I finished up the quilting (took about 30 minutes since we were so close to being done).  Then I brought the quilt back to my house (disassembled the handi quilter so mom could host Thanksgiving!), and got to work on finishing the quilt.

The first thing you do is square off the corners and trim the edges.  I did this with my rotary cutter and a square ruler.

The second thing you do is measure the perimeter to know how much binding you need.  Then you create the binding.  Usually bias tape is used.  Bias tape is simply strips of fabric that are cut diagonal (45 degrees) to the grain of the fabric.  I didn’t take a picture of making the strips, but the fourth step is to sew the strips into one big long  strip like so:

Notice how the strips are perpendicular. This is for pattern continuity.


The next step is to iron all of the long strip into what’s called TRI-FOLD bias tape. First fold the strip in half lengthwise, then iron this crease.  Then open up the strip, and fold in each side until the sides touch the long crease. Like so:


A trick is to use a pin on the iron board to make a little bar the strip has to go under, then put the iron just over this. Pull the tape out the end slowly.


Notice my adorable little iron. I can’t remember where I got it, but this thing is invaluable.  When I sew, I iron everything. In fact, I would go so far as to say that IRONING is the key to good sewing. (It’s the only time I use an iron, to be fair…)  When you follow pattern directions, they will say “Press the seams” in one direction or the other.  Do not skip this step.  In quilting…the key to perfect pinwheels…Ironing!  Really perfect sewing requires ironing. Period.  This little iron means I don’t have to heat up a big iron for small seams. I don’t risk burning myself trying to navigate 1/4″ seams either.  Pick one up if you can. It cost all of like $10 if memory serves. Definitely worth the investment!


So where was I…ok, yes…the next step once you have your Tri-Fold Bias tape is to pin the binding to the quilt.  There’s some choice here.  I start on the front.  Here’s why.  The side you start on will have the cleaner look.  That’s just my opinion.  Also, I hand sew the second side. Some people machine sew the second side, which then shows up on the first side.  If you are going to machine sew, then make the back your first side. You don’t want the thread showing up on your front.

Just my $0.02.

I think hand sewing the back is the proper way to do it, even if it takes a bit longer.

The right sides together, pin the binding around the quilt.

Looks like a really ugly tie from the 70’s does it?


Now. I’ve debated whether or not to have the discussion about “perfectly mitered corners or not.  I don’t think I will. Instead, here are some links that are helpful:


This post is awesome.  Has great pictures, etc.  I didn’t take the dozens of pictures necessary to really convey the process, and since someone already has…voila.  Go read that then come back here :D.

The next step is to sew the binding on, following the crease made by the first fold going right to left.

You will see this clearly when you place your quilt and binding on the sewing machine and are ready to start sewing

Follow the crease.


See how obvious the crease is?  I would say, don’t sew directly on the crease, but one or two threads INSIDE the crease.  That way, when you fold it over, your threads are kind of hidden.


Ok, so we are cooking with gas now!  Follow the tutorial above when you get to the corners, but sew all the way around the quilt.  Then take out all your pins (unless you did when you were sewing, I’m not a fan of sewing over pins – have broken too many needles that way), flip the binding over and IRON your binding down.

You’ll then bend the binding over to the other side and pin all the way around the quilt.





Here’s the back binding being hand sewn. Notice how the thread disappears? This is called a whip stitch.  I just got lucky and my thread matches.  You could do a blind stitch here if you didn’t have thread that matched as well.


And finally, here are the awesome corners:

Pretty good corners if I do say so myself!



This is the binding fabric that came in the kit. I’m not sure I would have picked it myself.  It was hard to keep the pattern going in the same direction. I miss-sewed a couple of times and had to pick out the stitches. But in the end it came out pretty good.  Here’s the finished thing.  And the backing we just happened to get lucky and found matching caterpillar fabric at a totally different store:


So that’s that.  I bought this kit when my son was like 2.  Now it was made for my GRANDSON.  We started making it when my daughter was about 6 months pregnant, and finished when the baby was about 4 months old.  So, to be honest, one of the fastest quilts I’ve made.  The quilting has words hidden like “Teddy,” “Mommy loves you” and numbers.  My daughter was so proud at how good it came out. And I’m proud of her first quilt!  I’m thrilled with all my wonderful friends and family that helped in making this quilt as well.  Feels like an old fashioned quilting-bee kind of quilt.

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My daughter is going to use cloth diapers for her son when he comes in just a few short weeks.  When she was a baby I used cloth diapers as well.  Particularly useful were these “all in one” diapers.  The diaper, the plastic liner, and a cover were all sewn together, and little velcro tabs replaced the dreadful pins.  You rinsed out the “solids” into the toilet, soaked the entire thing, then threw it in the wash like a regular diaper.  It was the convenience of disposable, the eco-friendliness of cloth.  When she told me she wanted to use cloth diapers, it dawned on me that I could not only probably makes some pretty easy, but I could also do it cheaply using only stuff I already had on hand!

I love giving myself challenges!

So here’s a quick tutorial on how I made All in one diapers.


First, make a pattern. I copied a newborn sized diaper.








So above is the diaper, to the right is the pattern it made. NOTICE the perfect drawing…NOT.


Then, using a waterproof mattress pad from when my 10 year old was a baby, I cut out the patter and marked where elastic would need to go.

I did the same with an old flannel baby blanket, an old cloth diaper (also from when the 10yo was a baby), and some white flannel I had laying around.

The elastic was added (in hindsight I wouldn’t add this to the waterproof pad…it just put holes in the waterproof part).

I serged around the edge, leaving an opening to turn inside out.

I then sewed Velcro onto the tabs and across the front.  It came out so cute I decided to make more. This one was in denim.

And here are the finished diapers.  I hope to come back and add pix of the baby wearing them when he joins us.

Other Craft Projects:

Here are some gifts I made my daughter for the baby shower. Let’s just say I’m excited to meet the little guy!

Other Craft Projects:


I had rather emotional experience recently; I thought I’d share.

I gave my daughter a quilt kit which I had kicking around for years un-started.  It’s an Eric Carle “Very Hungry Caterpillar” quilt kit, purchased at QBee Quilts in Charlotte, N.C.  .  The kit was a printed center with borders, and small four-patches in the corners.


She held onto it for a couple of months with no real idea where to start.  Then one day my mom, my sister-in-law, and I were sitting around discussing the fact that we didn’t throw my daughter a baby shower (long story – she did get a shower, just not from me), and we still wanted to throw her a party.  So we came up with the idea of a “Pregnancy Pamper Party,” with just the girls and with a focus on MOM, not BABY.  Not that we aren’t super excited to meet the baby, but we just wanted to pamper mom! That’s all there is to it!




My Tribe!

With the idea in place we set about trying to figure out what to DO at this party.  My great friend Sheri suggested crafts, rather than games, which was an idea we all loved!  Emmie, my daughter, had vetoed games at the previous shower, so I wasn’t even going to try!  Suddenly it dawned on me that the craft we should do was the quilt kit.  None of my friends or family are quilters, so this would be a great time to share my hobby with not only my daughter, but also my friends and family. I was extremely excited.

We got together a couple of weeks ago and all took turns sewing the strips on the quilt, and after just a short couple of hours, my tribe of friends and family had created with Emmie the quilt top for her son.

The next weekend we headed over to Mary Jo’s in Gastonia and got MATCHING fabric for the background. Talk about luck! We then headed over to my mom’s house and took over her dining room.  We set up my Handi Quilter and Pfaff Grand Quilter, and proceeded to load the quilt onto the poles.  Unfortunately, I got things mixed up, but it’s still working, so don’t look too closely at the pictures.  Have I mentioned recently how the whole point of this blog is that you can make wonderful, nearly perfect things without having to beat yourself to death with perfectionism? Well, yeah, so there’s that. Don’t.


My Daughter and My Mom Piecing the First Border

Tina and Mom piecing


Finished Quilt Top

Where was I? Oh yes. So Here’s the quilt ready to be quilted on the Handi Quilter.

LOVE the handi quilter

And here’s a close up (sorry about the blurriness, the machine was going), of the stipple quilting she is doing on the white part.

We are about 60% done, yet I’m blogging this because I’ve been slack and haven’t blogged anything in a log time. And I’m so proud of my daughter who has done 99% of the quilting herself.  She’s really gained a lot of confidence since her first tentative stitches to now, where she just flies along, painting with thread.  It’s a beautiful thing to see.

In fact, after one session I just broke down crying on my drive home.  Had to pull over to regroup.  It just hit me that we are all moving up a generation and I’ll be the grandmother that quilts.  I’ve always been the Youngster who quilts (started at 15 years old), and now I was teaching my daughter, who was working on a quilt for her son.  It was all very circle of life.  And I feel like this quilting is bringing me closer to her. Something we are working on together which gives us time together, we talk and laugh, and she’s becoming confident in her talent.  It’s just a really beautiful thing to watch and be a part of.  Sniff!

Ok, so I’ll post pictures (when we are done) of the finished quilt.


Other Craft Projects: