After coloring and putting the animal tracks on the borders, I went ahead and quilted them first before attaching them to the quilt. I used Hobbs fusible batting to cover the entire thing, even though I had already had batting on each individual piece. This batting serves, what I hope is 2 purposes: First, I hope it evens things out a little and makes it all nice and smooth and secondly, I'm hoping that since its fusible on both sides I can simply iron the top, bat and backing together.
I used Hobbs Heirloom Fusible Queen sized batting that I ordered from Amazon. The description indicates it is double-sided and will gently fuse your quilt together so you don't need any pin or baste anything together. Its also re-positionable. So if you get a wrinkle in your backing just, peel, smooth and fuse again. And for $28 I'm hoping it really will be that easy.
I placed my backing, batting and quilt top on my dinning room table and did my best to smooth at any wrinkles in the backing and ironed it together starting from the center working out. And I'm happy to say the batting worked like a charm. I used my walking foot to stitch in the ditch around the sashing to hold everything in place.
The binding was cut and dyed in various shades of blue a while ago so that was ready to go on when I got the borders done. I was really tired of getting those inks out and putting them away so I did the binding when I colored the borders.
The binding always seems like it should be easy but for some reason it just isn't. In theory, I know exactly how to do it but I always have too much fabric in the corners or a bulge or it doesn't lay right, whatever you name it. No matter how careful I am or how much I measure something is always "off" and I can't or don't know how to fix it.
This time my binding worked out mostly well. I say mostly, because I even though I used the walking foot my sewing line got wonky in several places that I had to pick out and redo. I ironed the binding and turned it to the back. I did use fusible tape to help keep the binding in place on the back so again no pins or clips. It took a while to get the tape in the right place, iron it down and repeat that around the entire quilt but the binding held in place the entire time I hand stitched it down.
I admit it. I like to hand stitch the binding down. Not sure why really. I do think it looks nice though.
I laid the quilt out on my floor and took the picture from my loft to get a photo without looking up at the quilt or from a weird angle. There's plenty of sewing problems in the quilt but this turned out really well considering my skill level. I can paint but sewing is a challenge.
Now that the quilt is done, it needs a label. I went ahead and bought some white fabric to run through my printer just to make it easier on myself. They are really pricey though. Four thin white cotton fabric sheets that are 8.5x11 will cost about $7, which is pretty crazy considering I can get a yard of white fabric for $8 or $9. Don't know if I'll buy them again.
You can put anything you want on your quilt label but they usually include quilt title, your name, date of completion, address and email information. They can be simple or elaborate, tell a story about the quilt, why you did it or have an inspirational photo. I went with the basics and then went on to give some statistics about the Black Rhino, which is my center animal, which I took from the World Wildlife Fund. I added a quote from Sir David Attenborough about conservation, which seemed appropriate, a list of the animals featured, a dog paw print and I signed it. It's official, my quilt is done and labeled.
Oddly, enough this quilt was much easier than the Secretariat quilt I made in 2014 and I had a great time painting all the animals. It was a lot of work hand painting all the fabric used in this quilt but I think it turned out really well and I think that hard work shows. I'm really pleased with how this quilt turned out and who knows, maybe I'll take the plunge and enter this one at the Ohio State Fair in 2016.