Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Easy Scrap Buster Christmas Quilt ~ My Favorite Binding Tools

 It just doesn't get much easier than this.  I designed this quilt to use up my scrap stash.  As you all probably already know,  I didn't use it up but I did put a good dent in it even if I can't really tell by looking at the scrap basket.

Adding the colors orange and brown required a dig through my larger fabric stash.  Both colors are not in my typical color pallet.  There were a few pieces of orange scraps but they didn't even come close to what was needed.  My thoughts on color were pretty simple...Christmas twinkle lights from my youth.  Mom loved to decorate for Christmas.  It took days for her to put up the one Christmas tree in our home.  Another three or four days to set up the nutcrackers and the Christmas village.  Then there was the outdoor décor.  Dad was in charge of those.  Of course mom supervised, making sure every bulb was perfectly placed.  What I remember the most was the twinkle of the many different colored lights.  For some reason the colors seamed richer and brighter than todays lights.  

There's a few Christmas prints in this quilt, maybe 3 or 4.   The low volume background fabrics also required a little digging in my yardage stash just so I could get a wide variety of prints.  The plan was to have no matching prints side by side.  Well it didn't work out.  There's two or three spots where it happened.  And since I can't tell you exactly how many times it happened that should tell you how much it bothered me...not much.

I love it!  It's happy, bright and simple.  Most of the fabrics are 2.5" wide.  The pinwheels are not.  They are made from 3" HST's finished in the quilt.  Then the frames on them are also 2.5" wide strips.  No seams to match up when sewing together the finished blocks into rows.  It really was a quick and easy scrap quilt.  It's taking me longer to hand sew the binding than it did to put the top together.  If you'd like to make this quilt I made a video for each block.  

Before making the quilt a few test blocks were made.  They were used to make a matching pillow.  The machine sewn green binding added a nice faux piping look.  I did a YouTube video on how I attach machine binding so the stitches land on the binding on both the front and the back of the quilt.  Watch the video by clicking here.   If nothing else you might get a few good laughs, I had some technical difficulties but the show must go on!

For the quilt I decided to hand stitch the binding to the back.  Binding is one of my favorite quilt making processes.  It means the quilt is nearly complete and I can set on  my rear for hours binge watching whatever I want.   Over the years this process has changed.  These days I need a few more tools due to the aging of my eyes and fingers.  Funny how my in mind I feel no different maybe even a little more "with it"  but my body has a different opinion.   Well all I can do is adapt to the difference of opinions.  The first greatest tool ever invented for aging quilters(like me) a good needle threader.  I love this little Prym Love Needle Threader Birdy found on Amazon.  It has saved me so much time.  Threading is nearly impossible without it.

I've tried many needle threaders over the last few years and this one is by far the best.  I sent one to best quilting buddy, Bev, and she too loved it.  By the way, she's in her 70's and her eyes are worse than mine.  Sorry Bev for telling all the things!  You know I love ya!  

It's hard to see but there's a notch at the end of the bird beak.  I can't see it, but all that matters is the thread will catch in the notch.

Then grab the needle, pull the bird.....

Works right the first time, every time!  And the best thing is it's cheap. 
Amazon non affiliated link to purchase a threader for you and your quilting friends.

Here's another must have for handwork.  Again I've owned and used two other around the neck lights and this one is AMAZING.  

Each lights brightness can be controlled separately with the buttons on side of he light.  High, medium and low.  I find the high is way to bright.

The button on the back controls the color of the lights.  White light, Soft yellowish light, and a sorta blue.  The light colors are the same as a regular light bulb.  You know we can have the old warmer yellow bulbs, daylight bulbs or that weird blue-ish one that makes everyone look dead.  Anyway I like the bright white light set on medium brightness.  And the best thing is this comes with a cord for recharging!  LOVE IT!  It's one of those things you won't use often but it's great to have when you need it.  Another great gift for yourself or friends.  Find it here.  As of today it's on sale.

A good needle also makes a world of difference.  Again, I've tried so many needles over the years and these are the best so far.  These came in a Fat Quarter Sew Sampler Box a year or two ago.  I wasn't impressed and stuck them in my notions drawer.  A few months later I finally gave them a try.  For the first time ever my needle did not have a bend in it when I finished my binding.  Amazing!  

Where have you been all my quilting life?  Worth every dime!  Find them here on the Fat Quarter Shop Website.   They also sell smaller packages of Bohin Needles, so if you prefer a specific size they might have just what you need.

The last thing on my must have for hand sewing list is a strong pair of reading glasses.  These are a few years old and have been put through the ringer.  The tape isn't pretty but I really don't mind.  I only wear them when doing handwork.  They are stronger than my everyday reading glasses.  However I still can't see well enough to thread a needle without my handy dandy little bird threader.

Until next time....

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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  1. Oh! I bought a neck light about a year ago and baby where have you been all my life! I just put the needle threader in my Amazon cart too.

    1. Yes! Best thing since the rotary cutter. You're gonna love the little birdy too, game changer!

  2. I can't believe how many fabrics I recognize from my own stash and it's always been that way with your pics. Love it!

    1. Scrap quilts are great eye candy. I too love looking at others peoples quilts and spotting fabrics I know. I wish my memory was as good in other areas of my life. Like...Where did I leave my glasses?

  3. Unlike Cheryl above, none of these fabrics are in my collections, sadly. They are just gorgeous in your quilt, and I may have to look at lights and brights in a whole new way. But I can see using my Civil War, Kansas Troubles, Reproduction lines, etc. in this kind of quilt. So, I've printed the directions! Thank you for sharing these two blocks!

    1. Oh yes this is a perfect pattern for any color pallet. Civil Reproductions were my pallet of choice about 20 years ago. I still use them from time to time. Half of our home is bright and happy colors(my half) and the other half(his half) is warm and cozy Civil War colors. I would love to see your version of this quilt!

  4. Lea Anne, your new photo is so pretty!!! Love the quilt and yes, that little birdy is a game changer. I have a few of them in different places so I'm never without one.


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