on to the binding!
Deadlines can be stressful, but they're also great motivators. I had to seriously dig in and get on with my quilt in order to finish the machine sewing portion before I had to pack up my sewing machine. But I've done it. This morning, I finished attaching my binding and did the scary fitting part (joining the ends of the binding and then sewing the last bit up, hoping it fits just right).
This quilt binding tutorial by Heather Bailey was really helpful. My Mom sent it to me in one of her many, patient emails answering all my questions about how to square up the quilt and do the binding. Since I'm a visual learner, the excellent diagrams accompanying the descriptions made it all clear for me. On my Mom's advice, I did 3/8" seams (rather than 1/4" ones) and so I cut out 3" wide strips for binding.
Now I've just got to hand-stitch the binding to the quilt back and my very first quilt will be done! I can't wait to use it ... on my bed. I have been admitting lately that it may not be used for picnics after all, despite that being the inspiration. I'm not sure I can bear to get it all dirty. Maybe my next quilt will be for picnicking...