|Binding In Progress on 5th Grade Raffle Quilt|
|Embroidered Quilt Label, Created in Bernina Digitizing Software|
As far as what to include on the quilt label: The students will each be signing their individual blocks with Sakura PIGMA Micron permanent extra fine point marking pens, right on the front of the quilt. So on the label I put "Created by Ms. Hinkelman's 5th Grade Students" to identify which homeroom class made the quilt, and added "Under the Direction of Ms. Suzanne Tans" because all of the student art work was created in her art class under her supervision, and the concept of bringing the students outside to collect natural objects and then use them in an abstract painting was entirely her idea. I put "Charlotte, North Carolina 2014" because the Quilt Police and Quilt Historians would definitely come after me if I left off the date or where the quilt was made, and, after hemming and hawing about whether I should put my own name on the quilt at all, I finally decided to include "Machine Quilted by" me.
Throughout this project, I've tried to keep myself out of it as much as possible so the finished quilt would be all about the students rather than all about Rebecca. That's why I didn't add any pieced blocks or borders or try to do anything fancy with the quilt construction. I tried to quilt the blocks in a way that supported and accentuated each child's artwork, but as I look at the finished quilt, my far-from-perfect free-motion quilting skills look like they could have been the work of a child as well, especially considering that most of the people viewing the quilt are not quilters and will have no idea that quilting spirals and squiggles is any more difficult than drawing those motifs with a pen and pencil. So I put the "quilted by me" disclosure primarily to ensure viewers would not be misled into thinking I taught the entire class how to stitch a quilt from start to finish in 3 weeks -- which would have been a MUCH more impressive feat than what I actually did!
I decided to incorporate a permanent quilt sleeve because, for one thing, the quilt will need to be hung for display at school on May 15th and 16th for the art auction or raffle or whatever during the Nights of the Arts performances. Whoever wins the quilt may want to display it in their home on a wall, and having a quilt sleeve pocket for a rod gives them that option without precluding more conventional use of the quilt for snuggling on the couch. But in order for the quilt sleeve to be attached to the back of the finished quilt with stitches that don't come all the way through to the front, I machine stitched the top of the sleeve to the raw edges at the top of the quilt but had to stitch the bottom edge and sides to the quilt by hand. Same thing with the quilt label, stitched by hand with an invisible applique stitch in the lower left corner of the quilt, with two edges of the label stitched into the binding.
|Attaching Binding with Walking Foot, Regular Sole|
The quilt is still under the machine at the moment with just that first side and corner of the binding stitched on. But of course, once the binding has been machine stitched to the front of the quilt, it needs to wrap around to the back side and be stitched down by hand all the way around the perimeter of the quilt. That hand sewing could take me several days, but at least it's PORTABLE -- I can carry the quilt around with me and work on it all day long if I have to.
Finally, I think I want to wash the quilt before I hand it over to the PTO. I use glycerin and/or Neutrogena hand lotion on my hands to grip the quilt throughout the quilting process rather than wearing yucky rubber gloves, and I used a lot of starch throughout the construction process to help me straighten the blocks and to get things lining up properly. I also used water soluble stabilizer when I embroidered the quilt label and wasn't able to remove every little speck of that, but it will dissolve and wash away when I launder the quilt. I'd like to get all of the dust, grime, starch, stabilizer, and lotion residue washed out of the quilt before I send it off to its permanent home. I feel like a quilt isn't really, REALLY finished until I pull it out of the clothes dryer and it's all soft, snuggly, and crinkly-textured.
Wish me luck!