I really love the colours but the reality of living with a 2 year old means it spends a lot of its time here:
I considered selling the toddler to a wandering band of gypsies, but in the interests of their coffee table mats I decided to sew something with ties instead.
I used two new-to-me techniques as I made this: spray basting and binding the mat with its own backing (instead of sewing on a separate binding). I'm now going to bore you all by documenting it for my future reference, or for anyone else with a 2 yr old who likes undressing tables. (I won't be offended if you scroll away.)
A friend who moved back to Australia gave me this half-full can of spray baste, a popular brand used worldwide. I really, really (really) liked it - it's super quick and easy and didn't give my machine any problems. Drawback: it ain't cheap.
The thing to remember is to always spray it on the batting, not on the fabric.
Here I've put the batting down first, then positioned the quilt top on top. Once happy with the layout, you just peel half of the top back, spray the batting, then smooth the top back down. Lift the other half of the top and repeat.
That's right baby, I iron my seams open. Can you handle that?
I then cut my batting back and placed the two layers on the backing.
Again it's a matter of peeling the top layers back, spraying the batting and smoothing it back down again.
And here it is all basted:
If this were a bigger quilt I would have taped my backing to the floor and laid out the quilt sandwich as normal before lifting and spraying each level in turn, from back to top. As this is so small and I wanted to trim the batting to the top first, I did it the other way around.
Sore brain? Let's move on to the quilting:
Easy peasy; no safety pins to move or accidentally sew over.
After quilting I used my ruler to trim the backing to 2 inches longer than the top on all four sides. This overhang gets folded over to the front to make your binding. While I still prefer the look of a separate binding on the back, for something like a table runner where you never see the other side, this technique is handy.
To prep your corners you fold the tip of the backing to the tip of your top (try saying that three times):
Then snip on your fold line:
Fold it back up again, so the fold is on the tip of your top and press. (I have marked the underlying top's position in removable ink to show what I mean).
See how the backing is lined up with my cutting board lines - that way you can make sure you get a true 45 degree angle - this makes your edges come together nicely at the corner (a tighter mitre, one might say).
Then you iron the binding in half on itself all the way around:
And finally, fold it up again onto the quilt top, enclosing the raw edges, press and pin in place:
Add in your ties (I marked their edges in pen so I could do some extra yank-resistant backstitching there). I would also hand sew the 45 degree edges of the corners together at this stage (not shown below, premature photo, sorry):
Then machine sew the whole thing down, nice and quick:
You're done, yippee! Tie it on. Double bows if necessary. Feel smug that you still have enough wits to outsmart a 2 year old.
This is the part where I now confess that I don't like my new table topper. Well, I like it, I just don't like it there. It was made to match this one, but with the neutral couch I think the mostly neutral mat is too blah - I need more colour. So I guess I will have to make another one at some stage (hence this mini tutorial).
But that can wait because I've already moved onto this: scrap tumbler blocks from the Go! Baby.
I just need to figure out how I'm going to quilt it.