McCall's Quilting - March/April 2018 - 92
Trace the quilting motif on tracing paper. Place tracing paper
under the quilt top with a light source behind. Lightly mark the
design on the quilt top with a hard lead pencil or a marker of
your choice. Test any marking product for removability before
using it on your quilt.
To end a line of quilting, make a small knot in the thread close to
the quilt top, push the needle through the top and batting only
and bring it to the surface about 1˝ away; tug the thread until the
knot pulls through the quilt top, burying the knot in the batting.
Clip the thread close to the surface of the quilt.
Straight lines may be ˝marked˝ as you quilt by using masking
tape that is pulled away after quilting along its edge.
Baste around the quilt E˝ from the edges. Trim the batting and
backing ¼˝ beyond the edge of the quilt top.
Backing and Basting
To prepare the binding strips, place the ends of 2
binding strips perpendicular to each other, right sides
together. Stitch diagonally and trim to ¼˝. In this way,
join all the strips and press the seam allowances
Make the quilt backing 4˝-8˝ larger than the quilt top. Remove
the selvages to avoid puckers. Usually 2 or 3 lengths must be
sewn together; press the seam allowances open. Place the backing wrong side up on a ﬂat surface, stretch slightly and tape or pin
in place. Smooth the batting over the backing. Center the quilt
top right side up on top of the batting. Pin the layers as necessary
to secure them while basting.
Basting for Machine Quilting
Tops to be machine quilted may be basted with
rustproof safety pins. Begin at the center and place
pins 3˝ to 4˝ apart, avoiding lines to be quilted.
Basting for Hand Quilting
Beginning in the center of the quilt, baste horizontal and vertical lines 4˝ to 6˝ apart.
Quilt in the ditch refers to quilting right
next to the seam line on the side without
seam allowances. Outline quilting refers
to quilting ¼˝ from the seam line. Echo
quilting refers to quilting one or more
lines of stitching in uniform distances away
from a patch.
Before machine quilting, bring bobbin thread to the top of the
quilt so it doesn't get caught as you quilt: lower presser foot,
hold the top thread and take one stitch down and up, lift the
presser foot to release the thread tension and tug on the top
thread to draw a loop of the bobbin thread to the top of the
quilt. Pull the bobbin thread to the top. Lower needle into the
same hole created by the initial stitch, lower the presser foot,
and start quilting. A walking foot is used for straight-line or ditch
quilting. To free-motion quilt, drop (or cover) the feed dogs and
use a darning foot. Start and end quilting lines with ¼˝ of very
short stitches to secure.
Hand quilting is done in a short running stitch
with a single strand of thread that goes through
all three layers.
Use a short needle (8 or 9 between) with about
18˝ of thread. Make a small knot in the thread, and take a long
ﬁrst stitch (about 1˝) through the top and batting only, coming
up where the quilting will begin. Tug on the thread to pull the
knotted end between the layers. Take short, even stitches that
are the same size on the top and back of the quilt. Push the
needle with a thimble on your middle ﬁnger; guide the fabric in
front of the needle with the thumb of one hand above the quilt
and with the middle ﬁnger of your other hand under the quilt.
Cut the beginning of the binding strip at a 45˚ angle. Fold the
binding strip in half along the length, wrong sides together, and
press. Starting in the middle of a side and leaving a 6˝ tail of binding loose, align the raw edges of the binding with
the edge of the quilt top. Begin sewing the binding to the quilt using a
¼˝ seam allowance. Stop ¼˝ from
the ﬁrst corner; backstitch. Remove
the needle from the quilt and cut
Fold the binding up, then back down
even with edge of the quilt. Begin stitching ¼˝ from the binding fold, backstitch
to secure and continue sewing. Repeat
at all corners. When nearing
the starting point, leave at least
12˝ of the quilt edge unbound
and a 10˝ to 12˝ binding
tail. Smooth the beginning
tail over the ending tail. Following the cut edge of the
beginning tail, draw a line
on the ending tail at a 45º angle. To add a seam allowance, draw
a cutting line ½˝ out from the ﬁrst line; make sure it guides you
to cut the binding tail ½˝ longer than the ﬁrst line.
Cut on this second line.
To join the ends, place them
right sides together. Offset the
points so the strips match ¼˝ in
from the edge and sew. Press
the seam allowances open. Press the section of binding in half
and then ﬁnish sewing it to the quilt. Trim away excess backing
and batting in the corners only to eliminate bulk.
Fold the binding to the back of the quilt, enclosing the
extra batting and backing. Blind stitch the binding fold to
the backing, just covering the previous line of stitching.
Bias binding strips are cut at a 45° angle to the grain of the fabric.
They are stretchy and therefore ideal for binding curved edges.
Make your ﬁrst cut by aligning
a 45° guideline on your acrylic
ruler with the cut edge or selvage
of your fabric. Use this new bias
edge to cut 2¼" strips for binding.
Refer to "Binding" to ﬁnish the binding.