Monday, December 1, 2014


I'm making a few of these tablemats for Christmas gifts this year.  My friend, Carol is crazy about chickens and I have an embarrassing quantity of chicken fabric! 
I've been cutting and piecing them as demonstrations during my fall vending appearances using Marti Michell's templates and the chain-piecing technique for y-seam piecing in my DVD workshop, Set-In Piecing Simplified.  

I love the zig-zag edge but knew I would not enjoy working that hard to bind it!  So I started to think about using Marti's no-bind finish technique that she shares in the instructional leaflet that comes with her fusible tape products.   Nathalie Delarge (my friend in France) has a video showing how to do it and even though it's in French (and my grasp of that language is embarrassingly poor), it helped me "see" the process and enhanced Marti's instructions.
So I decided to give it a try - after all, it couldn't be any more time consuming than a binding?!
The tape can be used to "baste" batting leftovers together and that was how I started.
Here are two "leftovers" -- I overlapped the edges about 1".
Then I centered a rotary ruler on the overlap and cut across.  You can also cut it freehand with your cutter. 
This makes matching edges on the batting that can be butted together more easily. 
Remove and discard the trimmings. 
Now lay a length of the fusible tape in place and apply with an iron following the instructions that come with in the package with the tape. 
Then center the tablemat on the batting.
Trim the batting with scissors following the edges of the tablemat.
Remove the tablemat and trim the batting so it will be smaller than the pieced top. 
This was the part I didn't get quite right the first time.
I trimmed off a bit over 1/4" and I should have trimmed off between 3/8" and 1/2". 
 The pin in the photo above is my reminder of where I started. 
Here are all trimmings!  It took about 30 minutes to get the batting pieced and trimmed.
Now when I center the batting on the wrong side of the pieced top, the edges of the top are exposed. 
Marti has both 1" and 2" wide tape.  I used the 1" for this project.   I cut 2" segments of the tape.
Then I put the tape segments on each edge of the zig-zags with the edge just inside the edge of the fabric and lapping onto the batting.    Time to fuse those in place! 
Finally, I centered the pieced top with the batting right sides together on the backing (more chickens).   So the layers are -- backing right side up, then pieced top right side down, and finally the batting.
One of the advantages of this approach is that it's easy to follow the zig-zag edge of the pieced top!  I made the backing in two pieces (you can read my tutorial about doing that HERE), so I could stitch all the way around the piece with no worries about trying to finish the edges once the piece is turned right side out. 
All that remains to do is trim the extra backing away, trim the outside corners to reduce bulk and clip the backing fabric at the inside corners.   Since the batting isn't caught in this seam, the corners are easy to manage.  And the fusible tape keeps the batting from pulling away from the edges!!  Genius!!
  Here's the finished mat!!  I kept the quilting simple working with a complementary cotton thread and my walking foot.  I outlined each round by echo quilting 1/4" from seams.   TA-DA!!! Finished!
I'm so pleased with it that I've organized a cutting and layout guide for you Michell template lovers which is available in my Etsy Shop.  You can use it with any of Marti Michell's large hexagon tools (Set G, Set H, or the Multi-sized Hexagon Ruler) and my teaching guide, SET-IN PIECING SIMPLIFIED, also available on Etsy.  The larger size hexagons will give you an easy project to test out the chain piecing technique!

And of course, if you have questions, I'm just an e-mail away ( or friend me on Facebook (Mary Brower Huey) and we can use their "messaging" feature to chat!!

Linking up over at Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday because it's so much fun to see what other quilters are doing!!

Happy Piecing!!
Mary Huey


  1. Great post ! Everybody should try the non-binding technique ! :-)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting, Sharon -- give this idea a try. It makes for an easy finish for sure!!

  3. ah ha...doing it and then turning it is a very good idea.
    I cut my backing just larger than the front and then turn it under and stitch it by hand.
    I think I will give it a try this way next time. I've not put batting in my table toppers, but I'm sure turning it would work without the batting?

    1. Glad to supply you with an ah-ha moment, Marsha -- it works just fine without the batting, too!

  4. Another great tutorial! I will have to give it and your tape a try.

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