The Final Chapter of the Memory Quilt

When I last blogged I was at the sorting stage. I threw caution to the wind and put all the rectangles up on the design wall and moved them around until I thought they looked good together. A quick black and white photo, and a consult with a friend, told me I had too many reds in one area. More shuffling.

Once the rectangles were all sewn together, it was time to square the quilt up. It’s best to do that before the borders go on or your quilt will just keep getting wonkier and wonkier.

To prepare the borders, you fold the quilt in half each way and lay the borders on top of the fold.

Then you cut them the same width as the quilt. This way you can ease the quilt while you’re sewing the borders and keep it square.

Now you make your sandwich of quilt top, batting (I use Hobbs 80/20), and quilt back. I usually piece my back with leftovers from the front of the quilt but the client wanted one color. Kona 108” quilting cotton came in handy for that. No seams!

Ready to quilt!

I did a simple straight-line on each side of the rectangle’s seams. This was the best way since there were so many different thicknesses and fabrics. Plus, my sewing machine doesn’t like to sew over the vinyl of some of those athletic jerseys.

I’m getting close to finishing. I made my own continuous bias for the binding. This quilt will most likely get a lot of use and double bias binding creates a sturdier edge because it puts the fold on the cross-section of the woven threads instead of lining up the fold with the grain of the fabric.

I sew the binding onto the front of the quilt.

Then, I hand sew the binding to the back.

The final step is pressing the binding with a steam iron. This will set the stitches and give the quilt a polished look.

Voila! The quilt is done. I hope I’ve inspired you to collect your shirts or gently used clothing to make your own memory quilt.