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Stars & Swirls Summer 2020 Quilt Along - #7 Binding

We've made it to the last steps of the Stars & Swirls Summer 2020 Quilt Along. Thanks for sticking with me. In this post, we'll be focusing on the finishing; the quilt label and the binding.

I'm not going to discuss the quilting, other than it needs to be done! I am a longarmer, so it was a simple thing for me to load the larger quilts and get them done easily with my Handi Quilter Pro-Stitcher Premium. I 'custom' quilted the lap size quilt. if you need some ideas or advice for quilting, don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Let's start with a look at my finished quilts.

lap size quilt designed and stitched by Allison Spence, Meadow Rose Quilting
Botany Bay Stars & Swirls

I started with the lap size quilt as my original inspiration for this pattern. I had been checking out some posts on Instagram and found this image of a beach in England. Thank you Mr. Keith Brymer Jones for the inspiration.

Botany Bay Beach, UK, Keith Brymer Jones

I wrote the pattern using my EQ8 program. I often design in grey scale and then pulled out some golds (sand) and teal/blues (ocean/sky) for my Lap size quilt. The design is not as clear as in the other 2 quilts I made, which will be a good class sample of choosing fabrics and the value or shade of them.

When I write quilt patterns, I always plan for multiple size of quilts. I like to have a lap, twin, queen and king size options for quilters. Sometimes I'll even include a smaller wallhanging or table topper quilt. I find this gives quilters the opportunity to try a new technique or pattern without a big investment in time or money. If you like the smaller quilt, you can easily make a larger one and it will go together much quicker because you know what you are doing. That's probably why I make 'scrappy' quilts as starter quilts, it's what I have in my stash and is not costing me anymore money!

Queen size quilt designed and stitched by Allison Spence, Meadow Rose Quilting
Stars & Swirls in Blue

I was working on the queen size quilt as part of my tutorials for this quilt. Just 2 colours or values (light and medium/dark) makes for a simple and dynamic quilt! I was busy working on the Swirl blocks, then realize that I had forgotten to video any of the steps. So I had to start over with the twin size quilt and film the blocks.

Twin size quilt designed and stitched by Allison Spence, Meadow Rose Quilting
Stars & Swirls Hawaii Style

I finished quilting my Queen size quilt and took a picture to show a friend. She replied immediately that I had a block rotated in the wrong position!!!! Thankfully it was on the outside edge and I was able to un-quilt that block and sat and hand sewed the block back into the correct position. It was easy to re-load the quilt on my longarm frame and re-quilt that area!

Stars & Swirls in Blue, oopsie!

I filmed the Swirl blocks while I was piecing the Twin Size quilt. I had thought of making the border wider, even discussed it, but felt that I needed to be true to the pattern. So my suggestion would be to make the border wider if you use a contrast fabric for the border.

Now, on to the quilt label and the binding.

Quilt Label

I am lazy and impatient, so I like to work the label into the quilt itself, and after hearing horror stories of quilt labels being removed, I've found this method works well. I cut a large square of my label fabric and fold and press it in half diagonally with the wrong sides facing. I write the information (especially the month and year as well as my name and location) on the label and position it on a corner of the quilt. Pin it in place and then stitch it in place when I sew the binding on. Watch the video below for the full instructions.


I sew my binding to the back side of the quilt. I am not a fan of hand sewing, so folding the binding to the front and machine stitching it in place saves a lot of time and I feel it is more secure.

Cut the binding strips 2 1/2" wide. The pattern tells you how many strips to cut. Sew them together with a diagonal seam, trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and press the seams open.

Sew the binding to the back side of the quilt. Fold the binding to the front of the quilt and stitch close to the edge of the binding. This method works well and when you use matching thread, the machine stitching is almost invisible.

There, your quilt is complete. All that's left is to show it off and admire it!

What's Next

I will be publishing this pattern in the next few months, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I'm also going to be spending the next few months working on filming some on-line/on-demand classes. I have done some Zoom classes and am willing to do those with a group, but for now, will concentrate on pre-filmed classes.

Thanks for joining me on this summer Quilt Along. I hope you enjoy your finished quilt for many years to come.

Subscribe to the blog so you get notifications when I post and I'll look forward to sharing this fun quilt with you this summer.


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