December 1, 2015

Drunkard's Path QAL: The Binding

December . . . the final month in my Drunkard's Path QAL, and I'm thrilled to say I'm starting the month with a finish. WaHoo!!!   You can find all the previous QAL posts here.

November was the month of machine quilting and I will admit it wasn't easy. Free motion quilting is not something I particularly enjoy but the QAL provided me with the motivation needed to have a finish. That's a big one for me since I'm better known for multiple starts and fewer finishes. You can read my quilting post here where I look at possible quilting motifs to use and my process of exploring ideas. I ended up going with a poinsettia looking leaf design throughout including the borders. You can see a bit of it here. I was worried that the change in thread color would look bad on the back but it's not that noticeable when you see the back as a whole.

With the quilting complete, all that remained was the binding. I find binding a relatively easy process. Especially after struggling with the quilting. Most often I don't decide on my binding fabric until the quilt is complete and then I audition various fabrics. I especially love to use stripes for my binding and usually keep quite a few stripes on hand for that purpose.

For this quilt I pretty much assumed it would be a red binding. I pulled out both red and green stripes to try and instantly knew the green was better. Either would look wonderful but the green really allowed the red fabrics within the quilt to shine.

When I put the following image up on Instagram, Linda of @FlourishingPalms made the suggestion to use both colors in a flanged binding and recommended this great tutorial by Karen of @RedBirdQuiltCo. Social media can lead to learning so many great new things.

I loved the look of Karen's flange binding and, after reading through the directions, felt sure this would be my choice. The best of both colors. Just a hint of red. Then I pulled a red solid and tried it. It looks really nice but once again I found the red shouted it's presence. The green 'leaves' in the quilt recede behind the red 'petals' in the design and I wanted the binding to recede a little as well. The red petals need to be the focus of this quilt. I felt any red in the binding simply brought too much attention to the edge of the quilt. I really do like Karen's tutorial though and will definitely be trying it on another project sometime soon. It's a great look for the right quilt.

Drunkard's path quilt, Christmas quilt

So green it is. A lovely green on green small stripe from the Caterwauling line by RJR Fabrics. It's been in my stash for awhile, the selvage says 2011 so who knows how long I've had it. I love it when I find the perfect fabric in your stash?

Here's the finish . . .

Drunkard's path quilt, Christmas quilt

Drunkard's Path quilt, Christmas quilt

At what point in the process do you choose the binding fabric? Do you have a go-to binding choice? Solids? Stripes? Prints? If you've made a quilt during this QAL along I'd love to see it. Shoot me an email with a photo.

I hope to show more photos in a few days when I actually get the house decorated.
Right now it's time to get my Christmas decorations put up. I think I hear Christmas carols calling . . .



  1. I have that same green striped fabric in my stash. I bought a few yards years ago to save and use for bindings. Your drunkard's path quilt is very striking.

  2. Thanks for sharing not only this lovely quilt finish with us, but your process in choosing the binding. I also favor stripes ( finding the perfect one for my recent Christmas table runner was a challenge!) but don't keep a stash of them like you do! Beautiful quilt Anne!!

  3. Perfect timing on your lovely finish!!! I usually select my binding after the quilt has been quilted. There have been times though when I just KNEW what binding I wanted to use, made it up before hand and then realizing it wasn't the best choice. That's OK though...the binding is there for another project. Love your choice of the green with this quilt. Just beautiful!

  4. A beautiful quilt for the Christmas season, fabrics glorious and your quilting really fits the design. Pleased you stuck with the just the green binding, I confess I did like the touch of red but do agree that the eye strayed to that rather than the quilt body.

  5. Hi Ann!
    You quilt is wonderful!!! My 6 blocks are on my design wall and I have set myself the task to work on them this evening. I think I can still finish this project before Christmas.
    The fabrics you selected for your projects are fabulous!!! Thank you for sharing the pattern and the whole design process with us.

  6. Anne this is just lovely! I always choose my binding when the rest of the quilt is complete. Like you I often use stripes. I'm glad you just went with the green - it looks great.

  7. I like that you kept the border really simple. It adds some movement to the overall quilt and makes the flowers seem bigger. Love how you used Kaffee for a Christmasy look.


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