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Thread: "birthing" a quilt - what to do about the edges

  1. #1
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    "birthing" a quilt - what to do about the edges

    i understand how a quilt is "birthed", but what i don't understand is how to make the edges flat.

    first ... do you pin it? do you press it? do you stick your hand all the way in there to smooth the seam allowances while pressing? (this sounds dangerous!) i can imagine my hand cramping if i had to roll the seam from the outside!

    second ... does the batting help the quilt sandwich keep its shape? is the batting on top or the bottom when sewing? what is the seam allowance? how much should i leave for the opening?

    gee whiz...anything information would be so helpful.

    thank you.
    Last edited by rush88888; 01-23-2013 at 04:38 AM.
    "perfection is the enemy of done."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    I think we need more information to help you. Can you post a pic of what you've done so far? Have you already pinned the sandwich?
    All seam allowances in quilting are 1/4", even for borders and binding unless you like a wider binding.
    Ironing seams must be done for the top and the bottom before they are sandwiched. Many people do not like the tediousness of this step, but it's huge to me to get the seams going in the right direction when they are inside the sandwich.
    Not sure if that answers your question.
    Fay

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  3. #3
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    i haven't done a thing yet. what i have is a top (which is pressed), a backing and a batt (which i need to know the size to cut, relative to the size of the quilt top and bottom).
    "perfection is the enemy of done."
    "the secret to having it all is knowing you already do."

  4. #4
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    We birth most of our quilts for our children's project at guild, and in the past I have used that technique for Lutheran World Relief quilts. The first step for us after the sewing is to trim the batting at the seam allowance (which is at least 1/2"). Also the corners are trimmed. The quilt is turned, and we use a tool, such as a large crochet hook from the inside to get those corners turned neatly. The quilt edges are then pressed before topstitching all around. To reduce time standing at the ironing board, I have pinned all the way around every 6" or so while sitting at watching TV. I have never inserted my hand into the sandwich while pressing.

  5. #5
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    You also asked about batting size. We work from a large roll of batting and sandwich several quilts at a time, trimming the batting at least an inch larger than the quilt top and bottom. The sandwich is pinned at the seam all the way around before sewing. We definitely find that using a walking foot for sewing will help keep the top layer from migrating.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    i haven't done a thing yet. what i have is a top (which is pressed), a backing and a batt (which i need to know the size to cut, relative to the size of the quilt top and bottom). i didn't think there was binding when birthing a quilt. and, i will not be adding any borders.
    "perfection is the enemy of done."
    "the secret to having it all is knowing you already do."

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    There are numerous videos and tutorials available on the web...search for pillowcase method of quilt finishing. Here's a good one to give you an idea.
    http://www.all-about-quilts.com/pillowcase-binding.html
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  8. #8
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    Birthing is not my favourite method for doing a quilt. I was never satisfied with how the edges and quilting turned out but I can tell you how I did mine. I placed the backing on top of the batt, right side up. I placed the top on the backing, right side down. I stitched around the edge leaving about a 10 inch open for turning on a baby size quilt. I have never done anything bigger than a baby quilt with this method.

    Now comes the fun part, turn the quilt right side out through the opening and try to get it all smooth and the edge even. I pinned all around the edge after making sure the seam was right at the edge. I smoothed the center and pinned well. I stitched about 1/2 inch all around the edge to secure it (opening hand sewn shut first). I machine quilted the center with some scattered motifs to hide the fact that I couldn't get the sandwich perfectly matched.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylesewblessed View Post
    You also asked about batting size. We work from a large roll of batting and sandwich several quilts at a time, trimming the batting at least an inch larger than the quilt top and bottom. The sandwich is pinned at the seam all the way around before sewing. We definitely find that using a walking foot for sewing will help keep the top layer from migrating.
    what is on top...the back of the quilt top or the batting?
    "perfection is the enemy of done."
    "the secret to having it all is knowing you already do."

  10. #10
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    When I've used this method, I used a pair of embroidery scissors and very carefully cut the batting out from between the top and backing before turning it. At the corners, I cut the fabrics diagonally the way you would in garment sewing before turning a collar. Turn the quilt inside out and then flatten the edges before pressing.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

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