Friday, November 28, 2008

Confession Time: Binding

I don't know how to bind. Actually I don't know how to do a lot of things, and I made a decision earlier this year that I"m going to start asking questions and getting to the bottom of the missing parts of my knowledge in ALL areas of my life.

How have I been quilting all these years without learning how to bind properly? I am a self-taught quilter. The first time I made a quilt, I cut the binding on grain, folded it like commercial binding tape, with raw edges to the center of the strip, then folded it down the center and pressed. Then I fitted it over the raw edge of the quilt and machine stitched it down through the top layers of binding, quilt and lower layers, when I got back to the beginning, I lapped the end over the beginning, and tucked in the raw edge before I finished stitching it down.

Come to think of it, I might have bound my first THREE quilts that way.

Then I met someone who taught me the right way to apply the binding, cutting it, folding it and stitching it to the quilt edge before turning it over and hand stitching it onto the back of the quilt. Except, I didn't learn how to do corners. Or join the beginning with the end. So I did what some judges called "Lap Binding" or "Butt Corners" where you bind the sides separately, making neat (but not mitered) corners. This is how I've finished every quilt I've done for 10 years or more. FWIW, judges always say my bindings are good, but I KNOW they could be better.

This year I want to learn the "right way". I have several quilts which need or will need binding in the next few weeks. I am determined to use this opportunity to get it firmly ingrained in my mind so I can do better bindings. Melinda has some tricks for me, so I'm hoping to get with her after Thanksgiving and get to work on those projects that are almost complete.


Rhonda said...

I here you. I've been making quilt tops for years, years...I tell you but when it comes to binding....aarrrggggg! I just don't do a good job. But I did find a tutorial that really helped me to understand how to. If you'd like...I'll find the site and get it to you. Let me know.

Sandy said...

I have found this video most helpful in explaining on how to attach binding with mitered corners.
Also this link contains more tips and how to make continous binding
Basically start with a generous tail at the beginning unsewn. When you get to the end, overlay the beginning and ending tails. At the point where they meet, add the length of the binding width, trim at this point and connect the two ends with a diagonal seam. You now have a perfect fit and that diagonal seam will not be very noticeable.
I used to have problems with this issue, but after praticing a few times it is not a problem anymore.
Happy stitching.

Dionne said...

Yes, I've always hated doing the binding and for years just sent it away for others to do (perhaps why more doesn't get done around my house!) But I am with you! This year I promised my self I would master binding~!!

I'm sure you'll get the hang of it in no time ~ I look forward to reading your post about how beautiful your binding has turned out!

Hopefully I'll be making that post sometime in the next 12 months as well!