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A Quilter’s Necklace

by Dawn

In the quilt pictured, there’s a long story there… I have been sewing for about 40 years now. My lovely grandmother taught me on her old treadle machine when I was little. I made doll clothes and little blankies or my stuffed animals when I was about 5. I never let her church clothing scraps go to waste!! I did not try quilting until later in life, I was afraid. Why? I’m a perfectionist. I was afraid I’d never ever finish a quilt, because I’d be too fussy with it, always “fixing” something.

So one day on a personal challenge, I dared myself to prove I could do it, knowing nothing. Its just math, right? So I used my math knowledge and started to make a quilt. I knew nothing about 1/4 inch seams. I knew nothing about the 7/8ths rule for HSTs (half square triangles). I knew nothing at all about quilting, yet I designed that first nightmare on point ~ WHAT was I thinking?!?

Needless to say, while it did not turn out too bad, it is totally yuk compared to what I create now. So that original “top” sat on my shelf, staring back at me, saying “ha ha” for years.
My husband caught me trying to throw it away one day. “Oh, NO you don’t!” he said. If I didn’t want it, HE did. So again it sat. Then I saw it last week, and as a personal joke, I finished it (LOL “I’ll make him eat those words!” I thought).

Needless to say, that horrid math-lets-make-a-quilt-oh-my-this-is-terribly-bad quilt is now on his recliner, and he and my kids love it to death. Ewwww.

Items needed:
Small link chain, or 18-20 inch necklace or length of yarn
4-inch section of tubing* (or a toilet paper tube works in a pinch!)
Scotch tape
length of binding for your quilt
(ha ha ~ don’t forget the sewing machine and thread and and and LOL)

* I save the remaining core of larger spools of threads, the ones that don’t have a lip on them, and the cardboard core of tulle spools work great too!

1. Make your quilt top as usual, sandwich, and quilt your pretties…

2. Measure your binding as you normally would, and create your length. Iron all 45-degree seams nice and neatly. (I always fold in half and check against my quilt before rolling to save frustration later of having to add one more strip).

3. Roll your binding neatly and uniformly, RSO (right-side facing out) on your tube. You can just put a small piece of Scotch tape on the end to secure it to your tube)

4. Thread your chain / yarn thru the hole of the tube to make a “necklace”.

5. Put your necklace on with the flap rolling out the UNDERSIDE. This will feed your binding onto your quilt edge RSD (right side down). Start sewing 9-12 inches from the edge, so you can miter that last edge once you’re sewn all the way around your quilt. The binding will AUTO FEED as you need it!

6.  Smile because you didn’t have a pile of strips at your feet that could get caught under your chair wheels, or stepped on while sewing!

7.  Fold over binding and hand-stitch to backside, and voila, you’re done!


FYI: for a “fatter” binding (I like a meaty wider binding than normal), I use this little trick:
1. figure out how fat to make front edge of binding
2. apply scotch tape “flap” onto right edge of foot for a visual marker

3. don’t forget to measure that width, then multiple x4 and add 1/8 inch ~ to make your bulky binding the right size!

Here’s what the foot looks like:

****  Check out the “prize” my daughter won at the quilting retreat we attended in September – A BINDING BUDDY!  Just add “string”!!!  (she read the article and said, “You know, Mom, I won one of those at the Retreat!”

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13 Responses to A Quilter’s Necklace

  1. Darlene Doctor says:

    I have been sewing for many many years, and you today, I have learned a new trick…thanks!

  2. Heidi says:

    great job, I will be using this Thank you

  3. Marlene says:

    What a great idea. I’ gonna try it.

  4. rango says:

    so happy you put this article together for a featherhead like me – I am a self taught sewer and have been making quilts (not quilted – haven’t learned that technique yet lol so use the reverse technique to make a quilt from centre out) and it has been years also so Now I have printed your instructions and will keep it with me so I can read it everytime I want to do a quilt – thanks so much – glad you have photos as well – now I can see what foot to look for in my stash thanks again

  5. Elizabeth Barnett says:

    I am so stealing that toilet-paper-tube idea!!! that is marvelous!!

  6. shirleysonshine says:

    Why can’t you just double the normal width you would cut for the average border plus 1/8?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love the binding idea! My sister does more of this than I do. She will love it too. thanks a bunch!

  8. Cherrylmaree says:

    It is great to open these articles and learn new tricks…I’ve been sewing for about 55 years and, thanks to clever people like yourself, there is always something to learn.

  9. Jean Tanner says:

    I will have to get busy making one. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Dawn says:

    shirleysonshine: You can make your binding however you are used to (I teach with kids, so I add extra for the “oops factor” when their seams are not perfectly measured.

    rango: go for it, and make that quilt!

    rob (or whomever won the tool): cool tool, I haven’t seen those here in the US yet, but it could just be that my local stores do not carry it. Same principal, but I like my recycle-reuse idea, my kids are very into recycling 🙂 My son loves to help me engineer my quick little inventions and he is only 12

    [editor’s note: Dawn – I agree with the recycling!! I was just amazed to find it in my daughter’s goody bag from the Retreat!

  11. kittyjo says:

    A Wonderful idea that I WILL use. Thank you.

  12. Wendy says:

    What a simple yet brilliant idea. I have been sewing for over twenty years and can’t believe I didn’t think of it. Sometimes we are so engrossed or in a rush to get it done we put up with strips getting rapped around the wheels of our swivel chair etc. Thank you!

  13. deana says:

    really love your idea. I will have to definatly use this idea. I am a self taught quilter of about 15 years now I think. Have loss count. Binding is not my favorite thing to do but I think now it will be. I think I might pass this tip along to some of my other quilt groups I belong to online. With your info attached to it so you get credit of course.
    Make a great christmas stocking stuffer for some quilty friends and family. Off to make some, for me and my mom’s quilt group.
    deana in Texas

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