Saturday, 29 August 2015

Oasis Quilt Sew Along - Finishing Your Quilt

Oasis Quilt Sew Along with One Thimble

Have you been following the Oasis Quilt Sew Along being hosted by One Thimble? If not, you definitely should check out the great quilts by following the hashtag #oasisquiltsewalong on both Facebook and Instagram. There have been some fabulous fabric combinations chosen.

If this is your first quilt, you're probably now staring at your gorgeous quilt top thinking "Awesome!!!! what on Earth do I do with it?". I'm here to give you a few ideas on how to turn your beautiful quilt top into an even more beautiful quilt.
Your next step will be to create a quilt sandwich. This is when you baste your three layers together in preparation for quilting.
Basting your quilt
Basting your quilt
The three layers consist of the quilt top, the batting of your choice, and the quilt backing. There are numerous methods for basting your quilt, so here are a few for you to consider:
  • Using a basting spray to temporarily glue your layers together. My preference is the 505 Spray and Fix, but there are other brands available. 
  • Pinning your layers using curved safety pins (or any pins that suit you). You want to make sure that your pins are close together to ensure the layers don't move during quilting. They should be no more than about 4'' apart. It's not uncommon to use hundreds of pins when basting a quilt.
  • Hand stitching the layers. Stay with me...I haven't lost my marbles. In fact, I can tell you first hand that it's not as crazy as it sounds. I had no basting spray when it came time to baste my Oasis Quilt so I decided to try hand basting. I assure you it is quick, easy and effective. In fact, I'm strongly considering changing it to my preferred basting method.
  • Fusible batting. Yes, such a thing exists and it sounds totally wicked. I've heard great things about it but haven't used it myself, so I can't give a personal review. It's definitely out there to try though.
The process of actually getting the layers in place to baste them is also open to a zillion different methods, including:
  • Similar to above, but placing the layers on a table and securing them tightly to the table edges (e.g. using large bulldog clips).
  • Board basting (Sharon Schamber Board Basting Part 1 and Part 2). I had been eyeing off this method for ages but had never tried it until my Oasis Quilt. I'm so glad I did because it is truly brilliant. Even with the hand stitching it was quick to both baste and to remove while quilting. I'm definitely converted and will be using this method more often.
The most important thing to remember with basting is that layers need to be flat and tight, but not stretched. If you take the time to baste properly, then you will have a much more enjoyable quilting journey.
Time to quilt
Time to quilt
After you've basted the quilt, you need to actually quilt it. 'Quilting' is the term used for all of those fancy stitches you see that hold the layers together. You can achieve this by using your walking foot to sew straight lines, your darning/free motion quilting foot to sew fancy designs, or quilting by hand. You can also tie your quilt (you'll need to Google that one as it's not a method I've tried...yet). For a detailed quilting tutorial, read Beginner Quilt Along: Quilting, Quilting, Quilting.

For the Oasis Quilt, I chose a very simple, straight line design. I echoed the diamonds by sewing on the sashing about 1/4'' from the seam. I then continued the lines past the centre piece to create a lovely, subtle diamond pattern in the plain sections.
If you look closely you can see the quilted diamonds
If you look closely you can see the quilted diamonds
You can also send your quilt out to be professionally quilted. If you choose this method, I would recommend contacting your quilter to discuss any specific requirements (i.e. do they expect the backing piece to be a particular size? Do you leave it unbasted? Will you be supplying batting or will they?). 
Binding the quilt
Next, we bind
Finally, once you have quilted your quilt, you need to bind it. This hides the raw edges and creates a lovely frame for your quilt. As always, there are a number of ways to bind your quilt but here's the method I use: Beginner Quilt Along: Binding and Finishing the Quilt. One thing to remember is that you don't need bias binding for a quilt (unless it has curved edges). Straight cut binding works a treat.

That's probably enough information for one day hahaha.  As you can see, there's still a bit involved in finishing your quilt but trust me, if you take your time and tackle it one step at a time, it will definitely be worth it.

Don't forget to check out all of the lovely quilts by following the hashtag #oasisquiltsewalong on both Facebook and Instagram.

The Oasis Quilt Pattern is available in the One Thimble Issue 8 digital magazine or as a standalone PDF pattern.

For more beginner quilting advice, visit my Beginner Quilt Along page.

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