Thursday, September 10, 2015

Quilt Binding

I enjoy sewing on quilt binding and getting to see how the quilt looks a little more finished with every stitch. However, I don't hand sew binding. I tried it once and it just takes way to long. By the time I've reached the point where the quilt just needs binding, I don't want to spend several 1 or 2 hour sessions sewing by hand. What I do love about hand binding is how clean it looks. Thus began my search for a greatest machine binding method...

The first 2 quilts I ever made I used the cheater binding method. In this method, you don't sew on your binding, you just trim your backing to measure an inch larger than your quilt on all sides and then fold it over. Press it well and you will barely need any pins!

Ugh, this was the second quilt I ever made and my binding skills were terrible back then. But, this picture shows that on the quilt top, the cheater binding method produces binding that looks just like normal machine binding.

This is the back. With this method you have no binding back you need to match your seam to. You do need to be careful with your quilting though. See that little knot of thread? I couldn't run my seam of the quilt onto the backing or else I would have my quilting seam going through my binding. The quilting never got sewn over with binding and then sewn over again when the binding was stitched down, so it is more likely to start coming out.

Next, I tried basic machine binding.

It looks just like the cheater binding from the front, but not from the back. You have two ways you can make the back look. Either try to perfectly fold and sew your binding from the top so that the stitches fall into the ditch on the back, or you can just pull your binding farther over and have your seam go past the binding on the back. I do the second method because stitch in the ditch on something you can't see is very tedious.

I also tried zigzagging the binding.

I love how this method works for baby and toddler quilts. Especially if you use a short and wide zigzag, you know your binding won't come up. What I don't like is how hard it is to get perfectly squared quilts with this method.
This next method is even more heavy-duty.

On the first picture, you can see the front and back. I used a red thread on top and a beige thread on the bottom. My thread tension was correct, but this stitch still shows both colors on the back. On top it only shows the red. I love how it turned out! The only downside to this method is the machine has to pull the quilt forwards, then back, then forwards, stitch side-to-side, forwards, back, forwards, and repeat. This scrunches your binding a lot and takes forever.

Finally, I think I found my favorite machine binding method.
 The right side is the front, while on the left is the back. You attach your binding by machine to the FRONT of the quilt, then fold to the back and sew from the FRONT in the ditch. With lots of pressing and pins, it's easy to catch the back of the binding. And from the front of quilt the binding looks as clean as hand binding!

Thanks for reading!

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