Monday, July 18, 2011


Infrequent posting is not a sign of inactivity- more a sign of a frenetic pace and inattention to photography. 
Last week we produced shades at the usual rate and neglected to take a single photo.
In addition we made this luscious silk coverlet.

The face is a silk damask, and it's interlined with silk batting, lined with a fine quilt-weight cotton sateen.

I was thrilled with the drape of the silk batting.  I wish the photo could capture that.

After the widths are joined and the components layered and pressed, the tacking is done.  I forgot to take a picture of the tiny X tacks.  The widely spaced tacks secured the layers with scarcely a dimple. 
Then everything is trimmed to size, shaped, and basted.  I love basting!  Yes, it could be pinned, but it's not the same.   Thread basting is so much better and doesn't take long. 

Once basted, the edges are bound with a 5/8" self bias binding.  First the strip is sewn to the perimeter right sides together.  Bias strips tend to stretch and thereby lose some width so it's important to cut them a little wider than you think you'll need.  For a 5/8" binding the strips are 3" wide.  The shrinkage can be uneven if there is a woven pattern. 

Then I like to press from the right side, pressing the main body of fabric as well as the binding outwards, then, working from the right side, fold evenly to the back, pinning as I go. 

Especially on the round corners, the bias binding folds itself over into a neat finish with very little coaxing.

Isn't that round corner lovely?  You make the curve by measuring in from the bottom and the side the amount of the drop, in this case 14", then draw the quarter-circle from that point. 

Then the fun part: stitching in the ditch.  This is done from the right side.  As you sew, you pull the face and the binding apart slightly and stitch carefully in the "ditch" and when you let go and do a final pressing, the stitches are barely visible on the front.  You can see them on the back, but that is why the back is the back.  I considered hand-sewing the binding, but as this coverlet is going to get a lot of tossing around, I wanted the security of machine stitching. 

To stitch in the ditch effectively, it's best (for me) to not think too much about what I'm doing.  If I concentrate too much on the stitching, I miss my mark.  Also don't go too fast, and try to remember to keep checking the back side, otherwise when you check your work at the end, you'll find missed spots like this!

A long time ago I learned a machine-quilting trick that I use for re-sewing a spot like this: take two stitches forward, then two back, then sew; end your sewing in the same way, two back then two forward; when finished, clip the thread on the right side right up next to the fabric, then on the wrong side pull the bobbin thread til the tiny tail of thread on the right side pops through to the back, then clip.  The stitch join should be secure and unnoticeable.


  1. Thank you for posting this. Can I ask you how far apart you stitched your X tacks? Thanks in advance.

  2. Oh wow Anonymous I don't remember! It was 4 years ago. I'm going to guess 13-14" or so? I probably centered them according to the pattern repeat.

  3. Thanks for the quick reply. I really enjoy all your pics and blogs. It's been a long time since I've done a coverlet and just trying to figure out how far apart the place those x's. Thanks! ~Linda

  4. Linda, I'm pretty sure it was about 13-14" apart. As I re-read this post, I remembered how much I enjoyed making this coverlet. The materials were so delicious to work with! I had never used silk batting before. It was dreamy!