Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Finishes - My Final Word on Bindings (as of today). . .

Over the course of the last few months I have discussed many aspects in considering what type of binding to use to complete your quilt.  My final discussion on this subject (at least for right now) is for machine sewing binding to the front and back.

The two types I will discuss are the one used here of sewing the binding to the back and wrapping it and sewing it to the front, and
the one shown here of sewing the binding to the quilt front, wrapping it to the back, and sewing in the ditch from the front.  Machine sewing bindings on is fast.   It can also add another design element to the finished quilt as evidenced in the quilt below.
This binding style was done with 2 1/2" strips that were joined together and sewn to the quilt right sides together with a 1/4" sew allowance to the back edge of the quilt.  I then pressed the binding forward.  Pressing is done for two reasons:  1) it helps the fabric create a memory to make it easier to be pulled to the front; and, 2) takes up the slack lost in the seam fold.  Once the binding is pulled to the front, I select a decorative stitch that compliments the quilt front and sew it down.  In the quilt above, I selected the same stitch and thread I used to quilt with.
This is the binding stitching from the backside.
The stitch used for this binding is a modified stitch of the quilting stitch with a variegated thread, not the thread used for the quilting.
Stitching the binding to the front in the ditch as shown here allows a quick binding finish without adding to the quilt's design.  The technique for this binding is to sew the 2 1/2" binding strips right sides together to the quilt front, press the binding seam, and pull the binding to the backside.  From the front, begin sewing the binding in the ditch, continually pulling the binding to the backside.  Make sure the backside binding goes beyond the 1/4" seam line as stitching.  This ensures that the ditch stitching is catching the backside binding fabric.  You can also elect to secure the binding before sewing by gluing the back binding or pinning it from the front.
This is what it looks like from the backside once sewn.  Tagging the corners with the stitching is the most difficult part of this style.  If I miss the corner (which happens sometimes) I will go back and put a hand stitch in.

While these styles are part of my binding repertoire, it is not the binding of choice if a quilt's border has any wave to it.  A wavy border needs a binding style to help relax the wave.  A hand sewn biased binding is recommended because machine sewn binding does not have any give to it.  Just something to keep in mind.

Happy Friday,

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