Week 6 Berry Cross Quilt Along: Quilting, Binding, and Final Thoughts

Congrats fellow quilt alongers! We don’t have a linky this week. Instead we have some final instructions. We’ll meet back here in January with our finished quilts for one last linky and a final giveaway.

One thing I decided after looking at the tops that have been completed—this quilt could use some borders! So I’ve added two borders to the pattern: an inner 1/2” finished border and an outer 3” finished border. If you decide to add these borders, here’s the yardage you’ll need:

  • Border 1: 1/4 yard
  • Border 2: 3/4 yard

If you add these borders, the quilt top will finish at 55” x 67”. If you decide to go borderless, the quilt top finishes at 48” x 60”.

Colorway 1

Colorway 2

Colorway 2

Colorway 3

Colorway 3

After you get your quilt top sewn together, it’s time to prepare the quilt back. When I figure the yardage for my quilt backs, I allow for a 4” overage on all sides. If you don’t add borders, you’ll need 3 1/8 yards for your backing. If you add borders, purchase 3 1/2 yards instead. Cut the backing yardage in half lengthwise to create two pieces and sew them together using a 1/2” seam, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam. Press the seam open or to the side—whichever you prefer. Press the rest of the backing nice and flat, press your quilt top clipping any long or loose threads, then layer and baste your quilt to prep it for quilting at home or hang your quilt top and back on hangers to keep it from getting wrinkled until you can get it to your favorite longarmer.

The next step of course is to quilt your quilt. Even if you take your quilt to a longarmer to have it professionally quilted, you’ll need to have some idea as to what type of quilting you want.

Ugh. Quilt as desired. Pretty intimidating, because what that phrase means is you’re the one in charge. The Big Decider. The Person With All the Answers.

Here’s my approach to the quilting dilemma.

  • You might start with how the quilt will be used. Berry Cross is lap size, so it might see a lot of use and therefore a lot of washing. In order to extend the life of my quilts, I don’t wash them until absolutely necessary. But others have a different view. Anyway, if the quilt is going to see daily use, you want to go with some kind of allover pattern that will take less time (or cost less, if you’re having the quilt professionally finished). Since Berry Cross has a lot of pointy shapes, I recommend a curvy allover pattern to soften and compliment it. Here are two of my quilts that use an allover curvy pattern.
  • For a special quilt, you might want to choose custom quilting. To emphasize the central motif, you might want to use something like this...

or maybe this...

Test out your quilting patterns like I do: just draw them using an erasable marker onto a piece of upholstery vinyl.

After quilting your quilt, you’ll need to trim and square it up, then bind it. If you did not add borders, you’ll need 1/2 yard for binding; for a quilt with borders, you’ll need 5/8 yard instead. Cut your binding strips 2-1/4 to 2-1/2” wide as you prefer. Use a diagonal seam to join the strips, then press the binding in half. Attach the binding to the quilt and don’t forget to add a label!

Thank you everyone for participating in the quilt along. I wish you and yours a happy holiday! Please finish your quilt tops and get them quilted. We’ll meet back here on January 27th for a linky party to showcase our finished quilts. And of course, there’ll be a giveaway!

In the meantime, please share photos of your progress in our special Facebook and Flickr groups, or on Instagram with the tags #BerryCrossQAL and @inquiringquilter. Let’s encourage each other to get these quilts finished!

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Tell me...how do you think you might quilt your Berry Cross quilt?

 I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

 I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!