Monday, February 2, 2009

A Quilting Confession: Bindings

May I share a confession with you?

The only part of quilting I do not like is the binding. There you have it! It's true. Many of my quilting friends love the binding. Not me.
Occasionally a customer will ask me to do the binding for them. I usually say no and refer them to other quilters who are willing to do bindings. (I've paid them to do bindings on my own quilts.) But when I took in this Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, I found myself saying yes. Have you ever done that? Found your mouth saying yes, when your mind is saying no! And this one even had 2 of 4 sides curved! Yikes!
Making the binding wasn't so bad. I even made a biased binding. Attaching the binding wasn't so bad either...even along the curves! The next two parts I do not like: Attaching the beginning and the end of the binding together AND sitting and hand-stiching it to the back.
A quilting friend of mine has the right attitude. She says the binding is a way for her to say goodbye to the quilt...that's when it's completely finished. I'm sorry, I have not ever felt that way.
As you can see, I did get it finished--grinding my teeth the entire time! And it came out lovely. But I did not enjoy it one bit. Of course the Purse Dog loved me sitting with her as I did the hand-stitching. We watched a couple of good movies together.
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Do you know of a link you can share with me that gives good, clear instructions on putting the beginning and ending of a binding together? Or perhaps you would like to email me some good tips. Email: quiltswithlove@sbcglobal.net Or perhaps you can just pat me on the shoulder and say, "There, there Vivian, next time say NO!"
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Now get back to work, Vivian!
Get back to machine quilting...that's the part of quilting you love!

15 comments:

~Michelle~ said...

I, too, despise binding. But continuous seam binding is the way to go. Basically, when I do it, I have to remember that to get the end piece all sewed together nicely, it's just like making the binding to begin with. Start the binding with a 6-8" tail, and end about 12" from your start. In that dead space, put your tails down, so they overlap. The overlap needs to be cut down so that only the width of your binding strip overlaps with the 2 pieces. So if you started with a 2.5" binding strip, the 2 tails will overlap exactly 2.5". With the 2 tails, you want to do the same thing when you make the binding - lay one strip with right sides up, then put the end of the other strip right side down and with a 90-degree angle to the bottom strip (I always keep a couple of extra pieces of binding handy, so I can remind myself visually how to do this). This is why you need so much space between the start & end of your binding, so you can fold up the quilt, and actually sew the diagonal on your tails. This is a pretty good tutorial: http://loftcreations.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-to-attach-binding-tutorial.html

The light will click on, I promise...you're a much smarter quilter than I will ever be, so this will be a snap once you do it once.

Quilt Hollow said...

I noticed that Michelle (prev post) uses 2.5" wide binding. I find that 2.25 works much better for 1/4" seam (the binding is filled nicer). I've make continuous seam binding only and love making bias binding for larger quilts and especially with plaids or striped fabrics. Binding to me is the most relaxing part once stitched on by machine I love to just sit back and enjoy the finale of hand stitching the back.

Melinda said...

I found a video on youtube that does the binding join like I do. Hope this helps you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot7Trk6J2Vw

Beth said...

I did a short tutorial on my blog...and there are pictures!http://bzyqltr.blogspot.com/2008/04/binding-my-way.html

Debra said...

Sharon Schamber has a video on youtube that shows the way I do binding and it's very easy. If you google it, you should find it.

Trisha said...

What a beautiful quilt! I feel that way about binding too sometimes. By the time the quilt is ready for binding, I am ready for the quilt to be done. And hand sewing a binding takes hours and hours. When it comes to hand work, I would rather be knitting.

Suzanne said...

Can you do a post of all the websites folks send you..I hate binding too, and need to learn a better to finish off my quilts

Sherri said...

Stephanie over at www.loftcreations.blogspot dot com has a great tutorial on how to attach binding...it's the method I use. (Although I don't really like to do it either)!

Suze said...

Vivian - This is a good tutorial as well on finishing those ends:
http://pir8.freeservers.com/quilting/ending-double-fold-binding/index.htm

gramakas said...

It looks like you got a lot of great links to some helpful tutorials. I actually love the binding part of the project. I also love ironing and cleaning the bathroom too so I think I'm just not normal!

Bonnie said...

I took a class from Cody Mazuran last year. She is the author of "A Fine Finish-New Bindings for Award-Winning Quilts". What an amazing woman. I love her method of cutting the bias binding and sewing it to the quilt edge. I now use the things I learned in her class exclusively. Her book has excellent tutorials. I would recommend it to all. (www.buttercupquilts.com)

Material Mary said...

Vivian, I just love to do the binding, because it forces me to sit still and have quiet time stitching and watching a show or movie. I worked for about a year to perfect my binding. I made up my own technique that works great for me. If after going through all these tutorials and you tube suggestions you don't find what you are looking for, I would be happy to put together a tutorial. Just let me know.
Mary

Vicki Genz said...

I'm with you on the tacking down part. I buy my friend Karen lunch and she does it for me! I love the Fons and Porter binding sqaure ruler thingy. It makes the 45 degree line drawing more understandable and easier. I know you can do the same thing w/a larger ruler, but the square one allows me to get it right w/o fussing.

Jeanne said...

I do my binding the way Michelle does and it made all the difference in the world to me when I perfected it. I think I originally got it from "Simply Quilts", there may be a tutorial on the HGTV website somewhere. Michelle's description was very good. After the two ends are sewn together, it lays down perfectly! And no "tucking" ends! Love it! Just make sure to leave a good amount "unsewn" until you attach the two ends.. makes it easier to wrestle through the machine.

Dorothy said...

Hi Vivian,
I've just discovered your blog, and like you, the binding is my least favorite part of quiltmaking.
Stephanie at http://loftcreations.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-to-attach-binding-tutorial.html
shared a binding demo with us, which is very good, it certainly helped me.