I am so, so happy with my finished stair skirt! In my excitement to complete it last week, I took exactly zero progress photos. Oops!
I really wanted to bind the stair skirt with bias binding, and even with bias binding, the inner small circle was a bit of a challenge to sew by machine to the front of the quilt. Given that I have pretty much used up all of my red prints now, I used a Michael Miller Cotton Couture solid in a lovely bright red for the binding.
Honestly, it could very well be used with the backing right side up. The scrappy low volume prints I used for the backing do all lean a bit green and cream, and that bright red binding really makes me happy! Because I color matched my quilting thread to the different sections of the quilt top and used matching thread in my bobbin, the quilting also shows up the best on the quilt backing.
I started the quilting by using 50wt Aurifil 2311 (muslin) with my walking foot to stitch in the ditch between the green and cream and cream and red piecing of the quilt top. Then I switched over to my free motion quilting foot and quilted a meander. Next, I switched to 50wt Aurifil 2460 (dark carmine red) and quilted large pebbles. Finally, I switched to 50wt Aurifil 2870 (green) and quilted a meandering loop, which I thought was a fitting combination of the pebbles and meander. Because the binding was a brighter red than the prints in the quilt top, I used 50wt Aurifil 2250 (red) to stitch the binding.
As I mentioned earlier, I cut the binding strips on the bias to create a double fold bias binding. I took it verrrrrrry slow as I worked to stitch the binding to the quilt top around the inner circle; one or two stitches at a time. The extra stretch and give that a bias binding allows made folding the binding over to the back for hand sewing easy.
My apologies for not taking better photos to show the process of how I trimmed and fit checked the stair skirt prior to adding the binding. When I basted the quilt top, I added a piece of scrap muslin in the center and marked the center point. After quilting, I used my OLFA CMP-3 Rotary Circle Cutter to cut a 4½” diameter (2¼” radius) circle out of the center, using that marked center point as the reference for the rotary circle cutter. After cutting the center out, I test fit the stair skirt to make sure that was a generous enough size to fit around the center column of my spiral staircase. Once confirmed, I went back to my cutting mat, and with the trimmed center circle put back in place, I measured the outer trim line. I knew that I wanted the outer trim line to be 21″ away from the inner circle, so I tied a piece of thread to a thin line sharpie, measured out the distance from the center, and by pinning the thread in the center, I effectively made my own large compass to mark the outer trim line. Every so often I would pause, and remeasure from the center to make sure I hadn’t wandered off course. Then, I simply used my large fabric scissors to cut on the marked line.
I love how the stair skirt adds a festive flair to our apartment, and I look forward to enjoying it in the years to come!