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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Binding shortcut anyone?

I am sending off the batik quilt to the young girl recently diagnosed with leukemia who is undergoing treatment in Houston.  The binding hadn't been put on yet so I set to it last night.  As I've told you before, I'm a lazy quilter, always looking for a shortcut.  Adding on bindings is no exception. It's also not my favorite thing to do as I am really a piecer at heart.  My binding shortcut is to sew them down with the machine! TA DA!!

So I cut my strips at 2-1/2", sew them all together, press in half and sew onto the right side of the fabric using a 3/8" seam.  This is where my ingenuity comes into play.  I like to sew my bindings down BY MACHINE! Matching thread, of course, to the binding.  I choose a decorative stitch that's not too intricate---usually an elongated "S", or lazy "S", I guess.  I load the same thread in the top and bottom so I can sew it on from the back. That way I won't have to worry about whether I'm catching the entire binding on the back.  Here's what it looks like:



Or you can also sew it on from the front, pulling the binding around to the back:


And when it's all done and the quilt is washed, I don't think you can tell the difference.  Now I know that some people disagree and want their bindings to poof out rather than lie flat. I personally don't think anyone will care. I also like that I don't have to worry about the stitches coming out if I've sewn it down by hand.  It takes so much less time. So for me, it's how I do bindings.  What are your feelings on the subject??


Have a great Sunday. We are going to spend the day with my darling grandson (and his parents...vbg)...all my kids and my husband so there will be no sewing for me tomorrow.

23 comments:

  1. I have posted before about my struggles being binding challenged. No matter how much practice I have (I've been quilting for almost 25 years, for goodness sake) I am slower than molasses in January. So I find it frustrating that it takes about a week of my quilting time to hand bind one quilt. When I am doing a utility quilt that is going to see a lot of use and washing, I do exactly what you have done. When I am doing an "heirloom" type quilt, I hand bind. I know that a humanitarian organization for which I have tied several quilts requests that binding be done by machine--it is more durable.

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  2. HA! I jumped into your post to see what new binding shortcut I might find - I love shortcuts! The elongated "S" is how I sew my bindings on every time! I also do most of my machine quilting with that stitch in the body of the quilt. I call it "stitching in the vicinity of the ditch". Mostly I do charity quilting and that stitch is very forgiving, and very fast finish to a quilt, as well as being durable. And cute :D

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  3. I cut my binding 2 1/4 " and attach to the front by machine. I turn it to the back and hand stitch it down, regardless of what/who is getting the quilt. Every charity quilt that I make gets a hand stitched binding, it's my favorite part of the process. How kind of you to send this off, I do like your way of machine stitching the binding, it's the best I've seen, looks good and is durable.

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  4. I've machined all my bindings for a number of years, but then I have problems with my hands and can't hand stitch much. I use a plain old zig-zag and it works great, but yours looks nicer I think :)

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  5. I am one of those that loves hand work so stitching the binding down by hand is actually welcomed.

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  6. I prefer hand sewing the binding down for my quilts, but I think your method is so good . It would be good for charity quilts and the ones we all make for kids that get washed to death as well. Such a great idea, thanks I have not seen it done like that before.

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  7. I cut my binding at 2.5 inches and sew to the front of the quilt. I rather like the hand work of sewing the binding to the back.

    However for my pet quilts, I machine it front and back and will try your method. Seems shorter sewing only once.

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  8. I don't like sewing bindings either - I'm so slow at it. I think this is a great idea and am going to give it a try! I also want you to know that you are to blame (along with your friends in crime, Bonnie and Lori) for a growing stack of bow tie blocks!

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  9. As I piece my quilts by machine I see no reason to bind them any other way. I do mine differently to you but I am going to try your method it's quicker than mine.

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  10. I usually hand stitch the binding down, but I really like how yours looks. I think I will use it on charity quilts for sure and probably on baby quilts. I rather enjoy the hand stitching, so think I will continue to do it on a lot of my quilts also. Thanks for the tip.

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  11. great tip!
    thanks for sharing
    Kathie

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  12. The binding used to be my least favorite part of quilt making until I started doing it all by machine. I tried the decorative stitch once and it didn't work out so well for me. I may give it another try after seeing how nice yours looks.

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  13. I love the lazy S stitch idea! It's a lot less fussy than the straight-on-the-edge stitch I currently use when sewing bindings down by machine. Thanks - I'll give it a try.

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  14. You know I'm a hand binder. I think it is more about the relaxation with my feet up, than the need to do it by hand. It's like it gives me an excuse to slow down and snuggle under the quilt!

    I love how this quilt turned out and I know the recipient will love it!

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  15. I've done a few by machine but I really do like to hand sew the binding. Since it is the last thing that gets done it's like a finale for me.

    I've always admired your binding!

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  16. Personally, I LOVE sewing the binding down by hand. It is my last chance to touch and love on a quilt that is probably going to be given away.
    BUT, that said, when I am making a quilt that will get rough treatment I sew it down by machine. It finishes the quilt sooooo fast that way.
    XOXOXO Subee

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  17. I know of a short cut that is even faster. My BFF brings her quilts to me and says bind this for me. I need it tomorrow. HAHAHA Really it is true.
    I do like the hand sewing part, but I do lots of small quilts and taqble toppers that your method would be great on. I will try it.

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  18. Am I right in saying you're sewing both sides at once?

    I do my bindings à la Bonnie, but I machine stitch, unless I need some sewing therapy, in which case I hand sew it.

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  19. I tried machine binding a few times with so-so results. I had trouble with the mitered corners - any hints ?

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  20. Well Randy, up until I was at your place in Sun River, I had only met one other person that did bindings by machine, but she did not do any fancy stitches. Her method was so tedious, but your method is much easier. So, when I do quilts for charity or to give to a child, I do your method. As for the samples for the shop, well, I still like to do the hand method. Hugs!

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  21. That's certainly worth doing on charity quilts or quilts for kids. I can't wait to try it! :-)

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  22. I always hand stitch my binding - I like to do it in front of the tv in the evenings (can't waste valuable quilting time!) But as a Project Linus rep, I love this idea - especially since I have 8 quilts kindly long armed by a friend waiting for their binding!

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  23. I'm a new follower, new blogger and new quilter! - this binding tip is brilliant! I'm all for doing things quickly if it looks nice, and this is so fun! Wish my machine could do decorative stitches ;)
    xx

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