Friday, 24 May 2013

Hot and bothered

Today I'm putting the last stitches into a binding. I tried to finish it last weekend, but it was too hot. A fleece backed quilt on your lap is not chilling and stitching with damp hands no pleasure.

Usually I would fold the fleece over to the front and stitch it down as a binding, but this green (which is nothing like the picture) does not go very well with the front. I was making do, using the one I had (patting my back here), those fleece backings take up a lot of space.

The dark blue binding is from the Big Box of Binding; two pieces of dark blue that I stitched together. It was still a little short so there's a little starry night piece in a corner.

If you never have used fleece backings, I thought I could share a few things I have learned on the way:
- Use a high quality fleece, the one with the knitted base and fluff on one side that feels soft and nice. It doesn't matter whether it comes off the bolt or as a hemmed blanket. The super cheap blankets where it seems like the fibers are only pressed together may not hold up in use and washing and feel awful (although the good quality ones can be used as batting).
- The non-fluffy side goes against the back of the quilt
- Both safety pins and basting spray work well for basting. Just make sure you don't stretch the fleece.
- Always prewash the fleece, it will probably shrink. I purchased  88" red fleece for a 80" quilt and it came out almost 12" shorter so I had to add a chunk of white on the top. These things of course always happen when the stores are closed.
- If you hand stitch applique or binding to the fleece, make sure your stitches go into the knitted base and not only into the fluff.
- A walking foot makes a huge difference when quilting with fleece.
- Because of the stretchiness, free motion quilting big quilts may be a problem. I know I wouldn't do it.

That's all, folks. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Glad it's warm there, we are raining and muggy ugly which I detest. Did some collage and it will take until tomorrow to dry....ah well. Maybe a nap.. What is the fleece quilt for, a baby quilt or warm lap quilt? xox

  2. Thanks for the lessons, Nina. Saves us learning them the hard way.

  3. I haven't used fleece for a back but I have used Minkee which is fuzzy and stretchy too. What I do like about it is that it hides the binding stitches so well.