quilts, treadle sewing machines, crochet, watercolor, dogs, & other fun stuff

FO: “Hunter String Star” Quilt

Last Tuesday, I decided it was time to apply the binding to my “Hunter’s String Star” quilt.  I’d had the binding ready since before the hurricane, but… Well, I don’t particularly enjoy applying bindings to quilts, so I put it off.  I enjoy the sense of accomplishment when the binding is finished, though, and when that’s all that’s left, it feels like it’s hanging over my head, preventing me from fully focusing on other projects.  The time had come to just do it!  

Looking through what I had in-stash that was red and of sufficient quantity, I settled on a semi-scrappy binding– two fabrics of almost identical red, but with different prints.  Two prints isn’t really a fully-fledged scrappy binding, but I think it’s fine.  It’s such a busy quilt that people probably won’t notice the binding all that much, anyway.

The binding went on smoothly; none of my seams fell at a corner– purely good luck, since I didn’t bother to eyeball it before choosing where to start.  Also, I’m happy to report that I’ve apparently improved in my ability to make the proper length of binding.  For both this quilt and the one before, I had enough, but not far too much, unlike that time that I accidentally made double what I needed!  There’s a bit more than a yard left over, but that can go into my bag of red strings for use at a later date.

I used the same candy pink thread from the quilting to attach the binding on the back.  This is only visible and therefore more “important” because I don’t hand-bind my quilts.  I don’t enjoy hand stitching that much, and to be honest, I don’t see a problem with machine-sewn bindings.  I mean… there’s visible thread all over the quilt, in the quilting.  That’s a major design element that people often put a great deal of time and trouble into creating.  How can visible thread be a positive thing in the bulk of the quilt, but a negative in the binding?  

There may well be some bigger, non-aesthetic reason for hand-binding, but at this point, it doesn’t really matter to me.  Machine-sewn bindings are a better fit for me, so that’s what I’m doing.  We should quilt to please ourselves, in my opinion.  That’s what I intend to do, at least!  

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Since the quilt has so many reds (none pre-washed), I was worried about dyes bleeding in the wash, so I used three color catchers.  They all turned out pretty bright pink, and I’m glad they were in there to protect the lighter fabrics from stains.  

There’s one fabric scattered across the quilt that started out white with a very light (nearly imperceptible) green bee print.  For some reason, that fabric absorbed some of red dye in the wash and emerged very faintly pinkened.  Not a big deal– if anything, it may make the light green bees easier to see– but it’s interesting how differently fabrics behave under the same conditions.  

I noticed one other spot of light bleeding/staining near a particularly dark red fabric, but it’s nothing to worry over.  

Those color catchers are definitely worth using!

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This is the first quilt to which I’ve remembered/bothered to add a label.  I used the method of taking a square of light-colored fabric, folding it in half, diagonally, and fixing it to a corner.  It’s held down on two sides by the binding, and the third side is hand stitched to the backing.  I wrote my name, the month and year, and the name of the quilt, all in permanent ink.  It’s not the most beautiful label, but I like that it’s hand-written.  

I plan to go back and write my name and the approximate date I finished the quilt on at least a few of my earlier finishes, too.  For the ones with light backings, I’ll just write directly on the backing– not my preference, but easier and faster than sewing on a label would be (and therefore making it more likely that I’ll actually bother with it).  There’s one more that I’ll need to attach a label to, since the backing is darker.  

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I believe I’ve already written just about everything else there is to say about this quilt in previous blog posts, but here’s a brief overview…

Pattern: “Hunter’s String Stars” by Bonnie Hunter.

Fabric: A scrappy mix of reds and neutrals, all cotton.  

Batting:  100% cotton with poly scrim.

Backing:  Cotton sheet, white with hearts in pink and purple. (I know, I know.  A sheet!  I’m such a rebel! 😛)

Thread for quilting:  100% polyester, medium/candy pink.

Quilting:  Medium-scale meander. 

Size (after washing):  91.5″ x nearly 72″

I think this may be the largest quilt I’ve made, so far.  It certainly feels heavy!

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These first photos are before washing:

These are the photos taken after washing and drying:

This quilt felt like a big project for me, and it’s taken me a while.  (I’m actually not sure exactly when I started it, as that happened during a long period of inactivity on the blog.  Sometime early in 2020…)

The string squares were a delight to make, but I got a little burned out on all the HSTs and “chevron units”.  

I’m happy with how it’s turned out and very glad to have it completely, 100% finished.  


I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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