Finishing a border and starting a binding!

I spent yesterday putting the finishing touches on the second border of Sue Garman’s “Friends of Baltimore”.  All of the flowers and stems and leaves were finally stitched in place.  So, it was time to add the little red berries…..


…and the embroidered stems.  I like to use 2 strands of embroidery thread for the stems.


Each of the 13 roses has a (really tiny!) yellow center, so I prepped those, also.



Once the yellow centers were stitched in place, I did some more embroidery.  Each of the roses and a few of the buds have these tiny little “hairs” stitched around them.  They are stitched with just one strand of embroidery floss.


And now for the fun part!  When I am finished stitching a block or border, I wash it to remove the glue and starch and the marks from my water-soluble marker.  It is a simple process, really!  I fill the sink with hot water and add a bit of dish soap or Soak (if I happen to have some on hand).  Next, I just toss the block in and let it soak for about half an hour.


Then, I  drain the water and rinse with tap water.


I leave it fairly wet and lay it out on a couple of thick towels to dry.  Easy peasy!



Next on my “To Do” list was “Put Binding on Circle of Tulips”.  To figure out how much binding I would need, I measured around each scallop and multiplied by the number of scallops.


According to my calculations, I need approximately 308″ of binding.   I cut the bias strips 2 1/2″ wide and joined them all together in one long strip.  Next, I  pressed the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.


And, I started stitching.  So far, so good!


Til next time…



34 thoughts on “Finishing a border and starting a binding!

  1. Beautiful job on the two quilts. Will you show us how to finish the binding next time? I always wanted to do a scallop binding, but don’t know how to do it. Thank you for all your wonderful tips.
    Martha in Tellico Plains, TN

  2. Oh my goodness, I would have never have thought to stitch the binding on BEFORE cutting the excess fabric away from the scallops! Brilliant!

  3. Are you using wool batting on your tulip quilt? It looks like you baste the top and bottom to the edge, so then you will cut it off? I can’t tell for sure. Your work is just beautiful !!

  4. Kerry, this is going to be a masterpiece when it gets done! Just beautiful!! Could you please let me know if you press the pieces after they are soaked to remove the glue? Also, (this could be a dumb question – sorry!) but if you do press the pieces after soaking, HOW do you do it to remove the wrinkles…do you use steam or something else or nothing? I sure wish I could take a class from you!!! But I do greatly appreciate your blog and posts sharing the details that you do!!!!!

  5. Kerry, also could you let me know how you learned to do this amazing appliqué? Did you take classes somewhere? Finally (last question!) are there any books on appliqué that you could recommend (there aren’t any classes in my rural area that offer classes other than basic beginning patchwork). Thank you!!!

  6. Gorgeous border but my heart skipped a beat when I saw it in the suds LOL. Do you prewash fabrics? I don’t and it’s scarey for me to wash after appliqué. Your work is awesome I only wish I could do as well.

  7. beautiful work and of course a bit of a gasp when you washed /rinsed the border
    looks amazing. I love seeing your work in progress thanks for sharing

  8. Dear Kerry, ! I just ordered the pattern ‘friends of Baltimore’ by Sue Garman. I read all your blogs back till 2013 or was it 2012? I don’t remember. It is so reassuring to read how you tackle some difficulties with this extraordinary beautiful quilt. I’ve put your name with my favorites so when I want to know something, I just have to look! Thank you so much for all this explaining you did!
    By the way, my name is Auckje van der Leij and I am from the Netherlands. I was glad to see you handquilting as most of us here do. The majority of the American ladies, do they machinequilt? I always think it is interesting why one country does it one way and another country the other way.
    I`ll keep following you on your progress but you have nearly finished! And it turns out so, so beautifully! Please leave your posts a bit longer! Kindest regards, Auckje van der Leij

    • Hi Aukje:
      Thanks for the wonderful comment! Yes, I do love to handquilt. I love the process of handquilting, although I do send some of my quilts off to be machine quilted.
      Don’t worry about me almost being finished Friends of Baltimore. There is still lots to do. In fact, you will find the next part very interesting. The borders are joined by corner blocks. A very cool way to join the borders together!

  9. I am pretty darn sure you do not sleep! your workmanship is amazing and the complicated quilts you have completed are a testament to your skill.

  10. Lovely, lovely tips and photos. I am enjoying your blog greatly! I just ordered Friends of Baltimore and have Ladies of the Sea (had it but am in the middle of so many other projects that I haven’t started it yet). I am wanting to try your starch method but don’t want to start with something quite so complicated yet. I just want to clarify, you reverse the pattern on the computer, print it onto freezer paper and iron cut pieces to the back of your fabric before starching? Do some of your pieces need to be drawn since they are cut in parts if covered by another applique piece? Just wondering. I saw that Sue has the freezer paper for Friends of Baltimore and am trying to justify the expense to save time and am curious about your method. Thanks in advance! Beautiful work and will keep visiting often. BTW, am in the middle of the Night Before Christmas (also Sue’s) and a couple of other applique patterns so, like you, I work on several at one time.

  11. Beautiful as always. I’m interested in learning why you wash each section as you go instead of waiting until the quilt is finished. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talents.

    • Thanks for the comment. I like to wash one block at a time for a few reasons. It is a lot easier to lay a block out on a towel to dry, than finding a place to put an entire wet quilt. I also think it’s easier to cope with problems (like fabrics running) and cope with them in a single block, rather than an entire quilt. Someone asked the same question. It’s a really good question!

  12. As to your question on a pattern that is not in reverse, you can give your printer an order to print in reverse and if that is not working, scan your pattern and print this reverse(ly?) on freezerpaper. That’s what I do. Love your blog and I will be so brave to wash my first vase with flowers. I am scared stiff! Kindest regards, Auckje van der Leij

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