Yardstick Quilt, Literally

As I am finishing the Texas sewing room I am beginning to think about the “décor”. I prefer plain and simple, letting the clutter and color be the fabric and projects in progress. Yesterday, as the temperature dropped and the winds blew in colder air, I worked on my first “art” piece for the walls. Five yardsticks, cut into pre-determined lengths and then assembled into an 18” square. Now to find the perfect framing—searching the thrift stores and consignment shops or just using leftover boards from the walls and ceiling—who knows what will be the finishing touch.

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Texas Quilt Museum

I was so fortunate to be going through La Grange Texas on a Thursday when the Texas Quilt Museum is open. I couldn’t have asked for a better choice of displays to be available! Oh, and there was a quilt shop right next to it that I could have spent hours in, The Quilted Skein. Yes, they had yarns to die for (many were hand dyed) and a plethora of Kaffe Fasset from floral to stripes to shot cottons. I only bought 2 yards!!!!!!

Cynthia Collier, League City, TX was the traditional quilt display through December 2015. Her applique quilts are exquisite and you could see her applique abilities improve with each quilt she has made. Most were from Baltimore Album type of quilt books My favorite because of the border treatment is pictured below. I shall look on her website to find out which book(s) it is from but the border treatment is what I want to repeat. More photos from her quilt display later.

Also on display, no photos allowed, were some of my favorite art quilts but it was so wonderful to see them up close and personal for techniques used that don’t show up in photos in books. Of course, I picked up a couple –or more—ideas for some things I have in the WIP art quilt pile.

Through December they also have the Magna Carta quilt display which I did not have knowledge of and did not spend as much time investigating.


Cynthia Collier applique quilt
Cynthia Collier applique quilt
Cynthia Collier applique closeup
Cynthia Collier applique closeup

How wide is your binding?

As I am finishing the November wall hanging, Turkey Tracks, for my mother’s room at the care center I am thinking about the width of binding that I use compared to many instructions that I see for commercial patterns. Many patterns direct quilters to cut binding strips 2 ½” wide, folding in half and then stitching to the quilt.   Seldom if ever have I seen what seam allowance is being used to accommodate that width of binding or what thickness of batting is being used that may cause more or less bulk. I cut my binding 1 7/8” wide, fold it in half and then attach with a ¼” seam allowance. For me that yields a 3/8 inch finish width. After the machine stitching is done by applying the binding strip to the front side of the quilt I fold it over and stitch by hand for the final step. The binding just covers the machine stitching and “fills” the binding for a nicely finished edge that I understand is desirable for contest/show quilts. Photos below show the stitching line using a quarter inch presser foot and then the corners mitered to match the mitered border.  I make sure the binding follows the same straight line as the quilt edge as it extends beyond the finished edge, in the second photo. I also diagonally trim the corners of the sandwich, not the binding, so there is less bulk in the corner as I miter. I don’t know who made the “rule” for the width of binding strips but I liken it to the “ham in the pan” story. Moral of the story: cut binding strips to the width needed for the seam allowance you create and the type of batting that you use, whatever that may be.

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