email Youtube

Workshops & Calendar

International Quilt Festival #4: Fine Finishes (to be retitled to Bindings and Piping and Facings, Oh My!)

Bindings and Pipings and Facings, Oh My! class in Houston 2018:  Truth in teaching: this is usually what my teacher’s table looks like: a hot mess!

I LOVE teaching this class!  I LOVE that EVERYONE gets how to achieve a perfect mitered corner no matter what width your binding!  I LOVE showing students how to use Susan K. Cleveland’s Piping Hot Binding tool–students come into class thinking “I’ll try it but don’t think I’ll ever use it” and leave with the tool in hand planning how they CAN use it because it rocks!   Then I teach my perfect facings for art quilts which by the way is also how you can do perfect prairie point “bindings” etc.   I LOVE that this class has something for everyone:  traditional, modern, art, contemporary, whatever you do, it works.   I also LOVED that this class more than any I have ever taught immediately embraced the idea of taking notes ON their class samples:  that way the notes don’t get lost, what you need to remember about how YOU sew and what to do to improve is right there on the sample.

YES! They got it! Put the notes ON the sample to remember how to get is JUST right!

One older quilter in the class was BEAMING when she left–she was so delighted as she had never done a corner, let alone a piped corner, this good. I think I will remember her smile forever–THIS is why I teach this class!

Doesn’t the pink bandana fabric look great as piping?

More notes, during the “perfect corners” part of the class in the morning

Midday/right after lunch we get to the piping (do the precise and time-consuming stuff first). LOVE Susan K. Cleveland’s Piping Hot Bindings tool. Available here.  It may be available at larger online sites, but I like buying things direct from the creator–Susan’s website is Pieces be With You (in the link).  I wrote my own instructions for the class handouts (without looking at Susan’s), but her more in depth instructions are worth every penny!   

The best part of Festival is FRIENDS–Linda Cooper

The absolute BEST PART of International Quilt Festival is FRIENDS!   Over the summer I learned that Linda, a BFF from my life on San Juan Island, would have a quilt in a special exhibit and was coming to Festival.  On Tuesday she showed up at my classroom door at lunch break with her friend from SJI.   They decided on the spot to take my Bindings class on Friday, their last full day at Festival (pitter patter, tear in my eye)!   It was like the intervening 14 years since I left the island evaporated.

She and Barbara managed to get the stuff to make the quilt sandwiches (class prep) and amongst the three of us came up with the requisite thread, scissors, rotary cutters, etc. to use.

Class….the lunchtime lull.  Thank you Kathy Spier for being my “Teacher’s Pet”—so much fun, met Suzy Webster when she took one of my classes a couple years ago.  This year her mom took Bindings, and we all had lunch together!   Like I said, the BEST PART of Festival is friends, old ones and making new ones!

Time permitting, we even get into some fun alternative edge treatments…couched yarn is perfect for postcards and small works

And miraculously, I remembered Linda and I needed to get a photo before she packed up for the day!

Old friends reunited!



3 Responses to “International Quilt Festival #4: Fine Finishes (to be retitled to Bindings and Piping and Facings, Oh My!)”

  1. Brenda Cupryna Says:

    Hi Sarah, I saw your name on the Quilt show comments. We both used to be active on the Janome 6500 yahoo group. I still use Janome but an 8200 now. I have Susan’s prairie point tool and used it on some table runners. They were a hit and members of my quilt group have asked me to demo the piped binding at out January meeting. I don’t have the binding tool as yet but will be getting it soon. Lovely to read through your blog. best wishes Brendaintheboro

  2. Sarah Ann Smith Says:

    Brenda I’m DELIGHTED to hear from you! Are you still cycling? I totally remember you…I’m sewing on a 9400…aren’t the Janomes the best? If you have any question about the piping tool ask away, but Susan’s instructions are so good you likely won’t need more help than that! Eli and I visited England four years ago but only got as far north as York. Some day I hope to do a Lakes District, The Dales, York and points North trip! And gosh…4000 miles…is that all in 2018? I need to get off my duff and try riding again–I used to commute by bicycle to work in DC area, but I’ve become afraid of traffic…and the wicked hills where I live now!

  3. Brenda Cupryna Says:

    Sarah , if you do get to the UK I live about 50 miles north of York. We do cycle there a few times in a year. This year we cycled in Holland and Germany , over 1000 miles – and we have now invested in e-bikes as I was finding I couldn’t keep up with Jozef. You still have to peddle all the time but the motor assist up the hills. Yorkshire has plenty of them. The best decision we have made . lovely to get your reply.