In Praise of Pins

Attention to little details helps to give a quilt a more polished finish. One step often overlooked is blocking the piece after the quilting is finished, but before it is squared off and bound. My work is usually densely quilted. The more dense the quilting, the more opportunity to distort the work.

After I am done quilting, I wash my quilt in my front loader washing machine. Then I take my wet piece up to my studio and pin it to my design wall. My design walls are made of a dense material used in apartment buildings to deaden sound. The boards can easily handle the tension I put on the pins as I block the quilt. Pinning my larger works can take over an hour. I start out pinning every two inches and pull and stretch as I go. I continually make adjustments and keep adding pins until the work is pinned almost every eighth of an inch. When I am happy that the piece is laying flat I let it dry for days, or sometimes weeks if I get busy with other things.

When the work is completely dry then I take it down, square it up and bind the work. Doing this decreases wavy edges and gives your work a professional looking finish.

Blocking my latest finished piece.

Blocking my latest finished piece.