Thursday, November 21, 2013

On Quilt Binding : :

Wavy quilting for movement

There are so many ways to bind a quilt, SO many! For me, my go-to method for binding my quilts is all by machine. It's so similar to Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew's steps for machine binding, that I always refer folks who ask about my method or for instructions to her wonderful tutorial. It's fast, I trust that it's secure and, perhaps most importantly, it's neat when viewed both from the front and the back! I've finished all of the quilts I've made this past year this way and I can see myself improving with each finished quilt!

An Autumn Herringbone Quilt // Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Shelburne Falls Quilt backed in flannel

Applique Art Quilt -- Binding Details

This sewing machine foot or extension table trick makes keeping the binding all rolled up and out of the way easy. I use it each time I bind!

Ant Farm Quilt -- binding

Shelburne Falls Quilt Binding

Add your binding

I'm also a huge fan of using print fabric for my binding! Sometimes choosing a pretty solid to frame the quilt works best, but I usually gravitate to a more bold and creative choice!  How about you?

Tsuru - Of a Feather

A Tsuru Modern Sampler Quilt

Ant Farm Quilt Binding -- Lizzy House Stripe

Ant Farm Quilt -- binding

Bound in Aqua Pezzy Print

Shelburne Falls Quilt binding and stitching

Applique Art Quilt -- Details. White Border stitched with Variegated Aqua Aurifil
Choosing an Aurifil Thread to match perfectly is always a bit of fun for me, too!

Tula Pink Varigated Aurifil & AGF Squared Elements in Fuchsia & Watermelon
Squared Elements Binding in Fuchsia & Watermelon
Now let's talk quilt binding!! Do you prefer to attach your quilt binding by hand or by machine?? I'd love for you to share your go-to method and any tricks & tips of your own!    Maureen 

69 comments:

  1. I can never get those corner nice and neat :'(

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    1. Sometimes I have to work at mine a little, and at first I did struggled with that. After I attach the binding all the way around with that first stitch, rather than just folding it over to pin down, I press it over with a hot iron with lots of stream. I think pressing the binding over and down onto the other side makes a huge difference in a nice, neat, crisp finish!

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    2. Pressing it! I press everything else why have I never thought to press the binding!??!!??! It seems so obvious now.

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    3. yep.... pressing the binding, made ALL the difference!!!
      xo
      love your blog Maureen

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  2. So many quilters, so many techniques. I always do baby or kids quilts by machine, larger quilts or wallhangings, etc. by hand because I love the soothing stitching. I saw a corner technique by Patrick Lose about sewing out from the 1/4 to the actual corner and now never have problems with them. The binding tool by Fons and Porter is used to measure the last join. AND I always use a pattern, usually a stripe or variation for my binding, love the surprise and whimsy.

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  3. I almost always attach a separate binding by machine, turn to the back and stitch by hand. I love the look and the pleasure of the hand stitching involved with this method. I don't have the time or the room to hand quilt an entire quilt. I think this is my way of paying homage to the ways of the past.

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    1. Colette, thanks for sharing! That is exactly why I would like to improve my hand stitching skills. Maybe after the holidays when things (hopefully) slow down, I will treat myself to a hand sewn binding finish in front of the fire!

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    2. I agree with Colette. That hand stitched binding soothes my soul. I can sit and watch a movie or enjoy classical music in my sitting room while I stitch away. I'm still honing my technique and won't be happy until I can do a whole quilt without one stitch showing.

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  4. I use the same method as Red Pepper Quilts for the front. I use a ladder stitch to stitch the binding to the back, usually while binge watching a TV series on Netflix! Hand-stitching is my favorite part, because I get to be lazy and productive at the same time! I didn't get perfect corners until the last few quilts. Fifty percent of my corners used to look TERRIBLE until I read a magazine tutorial that said if the miter folds to the right on the front, it needs to fold to the left on the back. It seems so obvious now, but it just never clicked to me! My results also got a lot better when I started using my walking foot instead of my 1/4" foot.

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  5. I usually do the same as Colette, machine the first pass, then hand sew the second pass. It's one of my favorite parts, especially in winter because you get to cuddle under the quilt as you make it.

    I do want to get better at your technique. I find myself in a bit of a deadline crunch sometimes and just wish I could zip them out by machine, but I've not practiced enough to make them look as nice as yours. I suppose I'll have to make some potholders or wall hangings to get the practice in for when I really need to do it.

    (And genius using the leg of your table to keep the roll of binding neat. I usually start out with it in my lap, but by the end it's fallen on the floor and the cats are eyeing it.)

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    1. I think what you're doing now is the most popular way to do it, but like you said -- when you're in a hurry... Which I usually am! :)

      As for practicing, did you see my recent quilted pillows? I added binding to a few of them and that was such great practice and makes for a great pillow finishing detail!

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  6. I do a bit of both. I do like to add that handmade touch of sewing it down by hand, but sometimes speed is of he essence and I do it by machine ;)

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  7. I machine stitch the binding to the front, then hand stitch to the back. Hand stitching the binding to the back is my very favorite part of quilt making. I'm a fan of scrappy binding. If I have long strips left over from the quilt top, I almost always use them for a scrappy binding.

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  8. I machine stitch the front and hand stitch the back with a ladder stitch. It is my favorite part of the whole process, but I'm a hand stitch fan... LOVE IT!

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  9. I do the front by machine and hand stitch the back-especially if I can watch a movie while I am doing that!

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  10. I always machine stitch the binding to the front then flip it over to hand stitch the back. I love doing it this way.

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  11. I am still fairly new to quilting, but I always machine on the front then hand stitch on to the back with ladder stitch. I prefer a print for binding and often make it scrappy too as I love the look.

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  12. I am still playing with methods, I have to find one that is easy on my hands, but I do love the feel of handstitching

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  13. I sew the binding on by machine - I prefer a 2-1/4" strip and use my walking foot and ~3/8" seam allowance. I leave about 5 inches at the start but have a pin marking the width of the fabric strip - this helps me miter the connection at the end... If my seam is 3/8" - I mark the corner with a pin at 3/8" then turn to sew off the corner at a 45 degree angle. (I sew onto starter/ender for other projects to reduce thread waste...) I flip the binding up, then fold down to match the edge (creates the miter corner...) and continue to sew my 3/8" seam until the next corner... When I get close to the end I leave about 5 inches so I can line up my edge and trim the excess binding strip - I tend to trim a thread or two short of the width of the strip to help ease in the last bit of binding without any tucks or puckers. I sew the strips together like an upside down "L" on the diagonal, trim the excess, finger press the seam open, then finish attaching the binding. I sometimes press the binding away from the front, but usually I just use binding clips and handstitch the binding on. You finagle the miter corners as you go...

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  14. I totally love the look and feel of a hand-sewn binding! I think I've only machine bound a handful of quilts in the last few years (they were for other people who didn't know or care what they wanted). I just machine sew it to the front and then hand sew it to the back. I think machine sewn bindings feel a little stiff (to me) so I much prefer hand sewn! I guess I'm a purist... :)

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  15. Hi Maureen, I love to hand sew the binding, I've never sewed one down by machine...even all the charity quilts I do...I know I'm crazy, but they are all stitched down by hand. Maybe it is because the binding process is my favorite part of making a quilt. I have 2 binding tutorials on my blog...you can find them in the 'Tutorial" tab. Have a wonderful day, happy stitching! Pauline

    http://quiltnqueen.blogspot.com/p/turorials.html

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  16. I used to sew the binding by hand, but not anymore! I find it to be sturdier machine-sewn,and much quicker, of course. Too many quilts to make in too little time! (I enjoyed your pics immensely :-)

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  17. I took a whole day class on binding at the Vermont Quilt Festival. When I signed up I thought, 'shouldn't this be a 1/2 day class?' but I learned soooo much. Including the trick above about mitering in different directions front and back. But also how to do have the ends match up perfectly when stitching down the binding, different colors front and back and doing a border and binding together. I recently added piping that is between the border and binding that you sew on in one piece. Well worth the whole day!

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    1. Wow, I have never heard of adding piping between the border and the binding. I bet that looks nice

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  18. I usually hand bind. I think I just need to practice the machine binding. But the one time I tried, it looked awful!

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  19. I have been sewing the front and hand stitching the back. Corners are still a challenge, but I'm working on them. What width of material do you use to make your binding? I have been using 2 and 1/2 inches.

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  20. I am a hand-binding quilter. I just prefer the look. I also enjoy having a bit of hand work to do while watching tv so it works well for me. However, if I am sewing with batiks sometimes that hand-binding is frustrating so I use Red Pepper Quilts' method and sew from the top of the quilt. I completely hide my hand-stitches so I think they are as secure as machine stitches that are out in the open to tear or rip.

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  21. My new favorite way is "binding with a flange" - gives a great pop and is all done by machine! Great tutorial below:
    http://www.52quilts.com/2012/05/tuesday-tutorial-susies-magic-binding.html

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  22. I did have done three quilts with machine binding and I just finished three quilts with hand binding. I had some difficulties with the machine bindings, mostly when I would stitch in the ditch I wasn't able to catch the other side of the strip. So some spots look pretty awful! The hand bound ones turned out much better, and I think sitting down with my quilt and hand sewing is just wonderful.

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  23. Machine-both sides- always. I do it exactly as per the tutorial you posted from Cluck Cluck Sew. And I do not stress over little imperfections.

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  24. Your bindings are beautiful. I confess mine are inconsistent when I try to do it all by machine.

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  25. Gosh, I love seeing all those quilts, Maureen! Beautiful!! I used to finish all my bindings by hand, but I honestly just don't have the time for that anymore. It took me a while, but I finally figured out how to do it pretty consistently by machine, though at the moment I can't remember whose tutorial I settled on for direction. It's probably a mix of a lot of different ones!

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  26. I always machine stitch both sides, I have from day one. I have it figured out pretty good now! My corners are even good~most of the time anyway! So happy to see your ant farm again, love it!!

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  27. I've made one quilt so far and I machine stitched the binding to the front, flipped it over the edge and hand stitched it to the back. As with what others said, I enjoyed sitting and doing the hand stitching It's like a nice relaxing wind down from all of the machine sewing up until that point. I like not seeing any visible stitches, also.

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  28. Wow, this is obviously quite a topic for we quilters! I was initially taught how to hand bind, and didn't even realize complete machine binding was an option until a couple of years ago. Just one of the many reasons I love all you quilt bloggers! I have tried Cluck Cluck Sew's method, and I need more practice. It doesn't turn out nearly as lovely as yours! However, I also recently found a method using two different binding colors, and creating a little trim on the front binding. You sew the binding on the back first, then stitch-in-the-ditch the front on (the ditch is between the accent binding and the main binding. I love this method, as I didn't like seeing the binding stitches on the front of my quilt. The tutorial is on the 52 Quilts blog. : )

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  29. I've tried both, but I need more practice with the machine. I also prefer to join my binding ends with a mitered seam rather than a straight seam - it eliminates the bump a straight seam makes.

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  30. I haven't made a quilt, so no position on binding. However, it's encouraging to read someone who makes such beautiful work seeing improvement in their skills. I suppose it's comforting that I'm not the only one who has a lot to learn. And a confession: when I saw the binding wrapped around the legI wondered how you did that. Then imagined me spending 20 minutes winding binding carefully around a foot only to have someone (probably a child) come by, pull said leg off and teach me a lesson in problem solving.

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  31. Wow,such a great show.Those quilts are fabulous!
    I have to try this method.I machine the front and hand.sewing the back.

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  32. Wow--I posted on this very subject today since I am working on a binding myself (http://redflannelpantry.com/2013/11/21/diagonal-seam-binding-closure/). In my post, I have some links to my favorite technique for attaching the binding ends (shared by Alex Anderson on her Simply Quilts show). Like many others, I machine sew then hand sew. I haven't tried all-machine-sewn binding--that's another technique for me to learn someday!

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  34. I sew one side down by machine, and then hand stitch the other side, but I would LOVE to be able to sew both sides down by machine without using the zigzag stitch. :)

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  35. I really hate hand work so unless a quilt is a show quilt, I machine the binding to the back of the quilt, pull to the front and use a decorative stitch to sew the binding down. I always use my walking foot for this as it makes the quilt go through my machine more easily. I have really grown to love the faux piping binding that allows me to sew the binding on with a straight stitch on both sides.

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  37. I use both - one to anchor first side and second I hand stitch. I don't like to machine stitch both.

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  38. I use both, sewing it down on one side and hand stitching the other. Lots of QOV get all machine stitching as our need is big right now.

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  39. I love doing mine by hand. It's relaxing, meditative, and satisfying to finish a quilt by hand. I don't know if I'll ever do machine binding unless I have to finish a quilt quickly--which is why I still like to ready about all the different methods. Thank you for all th pictures!

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  40. I found the tutorial on Red Pepper quilts very helpful. She has instructions on how to join the ends of your machine binding with a bias seam. I've done it twice now and it works perfectly. I do have a problem with how my corners look....

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  41. I usually machine stitch the first side and hand stitch the backing, that way no stitches are visible. I know I could get faster and eventually good results machine binding with practice, I just never want to "practice" on any of my quilts by the time I've spent so much time creating them. I have tried it on smaller objects like placemats and what not, but it's going to take a loooootttt more for me to get comfortable with that technique. I use http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgX_gGJYEac < this tutorial from Connecting Threads on how to make it a bumpless binding though.

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  42. I usually machine stitch the first side and hand stitch the backing, that way no stitches are visible. I know I could get faster and eventually good results machine binding with practice, I just never want to "practice" on any of my quilts by the time I've spent so much time creating them. I have tried it on smaller objects like placemats and what not, but it's going to take a loooootttt more for me to get comfortable with that technique. I use http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgX_gGJYEac < this tutorial from Connecting Threads on how to make it a bumpless binding though.

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  43. Machine all the way baby! A friend recently recommended pressing the binding over after sewing to the front, and between that and the hairgrip/binding clips I use I'm very happy with my bindings :o)

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  44. There is nothing as soothing, relaxing and rewarding than hand stitching the binding to the back of a quilt! I machine stitch to the front. Its the final step, the last piece of the puzzle! I honestly go crazy if I don't have any thing to hand stitch!
    I have never machine stitched a binding before. I know many do. I just don't believe I could make it perfect enough!

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  45. I wanted to add--Lori at sewfrench recently posted about her hand-sewn binding technique: she makes a knot every so often, which I think sounds like a good insurance policy!
    http://sewfrench.com/2013/11/13/hand-stitching/

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  46. I'm a machine binder all the way and tend to use scrappy bindings more often than not :)

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  47. I like to do machine binding, but ever now and then I will hand bind.

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  48. I machine stitch it to the front and then hand stitch in down on the back side. I would like to try a machine technique, but I think I'd have to do it on a few quilts that aren't too time consuming. I would hate to make it look bad and then not like that quilt!

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