Prairie Night and Chiaroscuro Water Lily — Two Small Quilts for AAQI

I finished quilting Prairie Night and Chiaroscuro Water Lily quite a while ago, but I didn’t get around to binding them or finishing the edges in some way.  I wrote about Prairie Night here and about making Chiaroscuro Water Lily here. I’ve been working on some other small quilts for Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, so I figured I’d better get these two finished so I can ship them all off.

Obviously, since I’ve avoided it forever, putting bindings on quilts is not my favorite part of the process.  I thought I’d try a couple new options to see if one was easy and resulted in a nice finish.  Recently, I’ve added a stiff interfacing (Pellon 72) to my small art quilts to give them some stiffness which makes them hang better.  Plus, they look like they’re framed.

For Chiaroscuro Water Lily, after I trimmed the quilt to its final size, I added a piece of the interfacing to its back.  I cut the interfacing about 1/4″ smaller than the quilt on each side.  Then I put a piece of black felt on the back.  Using a satin stitch, I sewed the quilt to the felt, capturing the interfacing in between.  Then I trimmed the felt to the final size.

Here’s the result.  The finished quilt is 12 inches wide by 9 inches high.  The finished result looks good, but I’m not sure how well the felt will hold up.  Though, if it’s just hanging on a wall, it should be fine.


For Prairie Night I used the interfacing when I quilted the piece, so it didn’t need more stiffness.  I wanted to try fusing strips of fabric folded over the front and back to finish the edges.  After trimming the quilt to size, I fused strips to the two short sides (folding the strips in half to cover both front and back) and then trimmed them to length.  For the other two sides I mitered the strips at 45 degrees to give the appearance of a mitered binding.  After the strips were fused in place, I satin stitched around the inside edges to keep them in place.  I was afraid they’d come loose in the corners, so i stitched around the edges about 1/4 inch from the outside.

Here’s Prairie Night.  The finished quilt is about 11 inches wide by 8 inches high.  This method was pretty quick and results in a nice frame for the quilt.

To date, the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative has raised over $800,000 to support research and awareness of Alzheimer’s.  Please support their work.

Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.
— Georgia O’Keeffe

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.
A. A. Milne

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.
— Emily Dickinson