This time last week I was having panicky feelings about finishing "Mutt & Jeff". I managed to get past the initial stitching, then the painting, then the quilting...and very nearly ruined the entire piece with the finishing. >.< I wanted to 'envelope' it -- that is, back it flush with the front -- but due to my lack of practice in the technique, I forgot one thing -- er, that is, I remembered it too late. You see, when you bind a piece, the size doesn't change -- the binding becomes part of the finished size. Thus if you want a 12" finished piece, you can trim it to size, bind it, and it'll still be 12" after the binding's applied.
when you envelope a piece, you place the envelope fabric atop the piece, right sides together, sew around the edges -- leaving an opening for turning -- then turn it -- et voila! The seam allowance turns under with the enveloping...meaning that if you used a 1/4" seam allowance, your piece will be 1/2" smaller all the way around, and meaning that a piece trimmed to 12" square would finish at 11.50" square. >.< Duh!
Ask me how I know.
Fortunately, I didn't get the piece fully enveloped before this occurred to me. So after a wee temper tantrum at myself, I backed and bound the piece in the manner to which I've become accustomed, prepared the sleeve...and here it is (photographed flat on my coffee table).
What kept me going on the piece were the encouraging words of my Gentle Readers, R and J. Thank you, ladies -- I feel better now.