Inchie Addictions Take Shape

Whenever I’ve shown Inchies or talked about them to quilter friends, almost the first question out of everyone’s mouth is “What do you do with them?” I mean, really, where’s everybody’s imagination? 😉 I’ve had a plan all along:

Inchie Quilt

Sure, you can make them, trade them with other quilters if you’re so inclined, keep them stashed away in a box, or make jewelry out of them, but why not create larger quilt art pieces with them? These were the first Inchies I made, and they’re all from the same chunk of fabric. You can see closeups of the Inchies here.

The Inchies are made from two layers of fabric fused to either side of Timtex, and attached to this simple background quilt with Velcro Fabric Fusions. I wouldn’t use Timtex again, because while I like the stiffness and ease of construction use, it’s just too hard to hand sew beads and embellishments to the Inchies through the Timtex. I’ve discovered a better combination to use as a base from now on (more on that later).

The iron-on Velcro isn’t very user friendly either (or maybe I’m just challenged by fusible things). I’ve had a terrible time getting it to stick permanently like it’s supposed to; it seems to be stuck just fine until about an hour later when it’s completely cool, and then all the glue becomes goopy again and the pieces peel right off the fabric. Part of the problem is undoubtedly that I’m fusing it to two layers of fabric and batting or Timtex, but it’s completely strange that it seems stuck right after fusing, and then unsticks when it cools. I’ve started fusing it twice to see if that will help.

I wasn’t even sure I’d like the Velcro treatment since it might make the Inchies stick out too far from the quilt surface, but now that it’s done, I really love it! It gives the Inchies a “mounted” look and adds some dimensional interest. I was planning to tack the Inchies to the quilt with thread, but I did a couple that way and didn’t like doing it or the way it looked, so I switched to the Velcro. The Velcro has other advantages as well, since I can rearrange the Inchies on the quilt, or switch them out to display a different set.

When the quilt was ready for binding, I wasn’t too keen on adding anything visible around the edge. I remembered keeping an article about facing quilts during the great magazine purge, so I went digging. Thanks to a most excellent article by Katleen Loomis in American Quilter Ultimate Projects 2007 Magazine, I learned a new technique and the back of the quilt looks like this:

Facing on Inchie Quilt

Her technique uses a one-piece curved corner facing and some dressmaking techniques to keep the facing from rolling to the front of the quilt. Where the corner and side facings meet a little pocket is formed, and if you don’t sew it closed, it makes the perfect place to put a piece of dowel rod for hanging a small quilt like this.

Dowel rod for hanging

I think I was a little too vigorous when I pushed out the corners after turning the facing, so the corners of the quilt look a tiny bit dog-eared, but it isn’t as bad in person as it looks in the photos. That’s just something to remember for next time I use a facing to finish a quilt.

If I had the whole quilt to do again, I’d either leave more space around the outside of the Inchies, or shrink the space between the sets a bit. I had a moment when I wasn’t thinking ahead about binding and finishing at all, and forgot to leave a seam allowance for that when I trimmed the edges, so there’s a bit less space around the outside than I originally intended. There’s always next time. All in all though, I’m quite happy with the finished product!