Wednesday, September 10, 2014

a few binding tips


I've got a few binding tips and tricks to share with you today. Nothing earth shattering, but sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference! I hope you find them helpful as well.

First off, when attaching the binding to the quilt top, I find it very helpful to wrap the binding around an empty thread spool. I saw this tip somewhere awhile back and I thought "how can that work?" but it really does! When you place the quilt in the machine, just pop the spool of binding next to your spool of thread. The binding doesn't get tangled around the bulk of your quilt, the leg of your chair or anything else when you are sewing it on to the quilt. It's especially helpful on larger quilts. (It's a good thing my spool of thread was almost empty because my spool of binding took up so much room. Hahaha!)
 
I've been machine binding (some of) my quilts for about 3 years now using the tutorial here. (I can't believe it's been that long!) Here are a few tricks that I've recently discovered that make stitching the binding down on the front *almost* perfect.
After you have attached the binding strip to the back of the quilt, press the binding out/away from the bulk of the quilt. This helps to achieve a nice crisp edge. If I press it first, I find that the fabric behaves much better when I am folding it over onto the front side. It's even hard to put into words what it does, but this little step makes a big difference! I guess you will just have to try it and see!

When you are top stitching the binding down (on the front side) and you are nearing a corner, fold the bottom piece up FIRST as shown in the photo. I like to use a little clover wonder clip to temporarily hold it in place.
THEN, fold the right side in. The mitered corner turns out SO MUCH better with this folding arrangement. (Rather than my previous method, which was folding the right side in first, then folding the bottom up.)
The stitching on the backside is nearly perfect around the corner pivot. That's so satisfying!!! Usually 3 out of 4 of my corners look this good. I'll take it!
 
And the last thing...I've updated my original binding tutorial (way back from 2008!) to include step by step photos for making a mitered seam when joining the beginning and end of the binding strips. Boy, THAT was way overdue!

44 comments:

Pamela Neal said...

Your tutorial makes a baby quilter like me feel like I can accomplish binding! Thanks so much for putting it in such easy terms! I might send you a photo of my WIP ; )

Lara B. said...

Amandajean, love your two tips about rolling the binding onto a thread spool and folding the bottom of the mitered corner up first and now want to rush along and give them a try! Thanks for this Tute!

Katie Skiff said...

Awesome ideas - I always get that mitered seam backwards at least once on the binding. Also I need to slow down and press it, like you showed here. Thanks!!

pippinsequim said...

I second the ironing thing! That makes it go so much more smoothly. I actually iron 3 times - lock the seam, press it back, and then turn the quilt over and iron it folded down. The sewing step is a breeze after that.

Lana said...

Yay! These are the things I LOVE!!!!

Jennifer said...

Yay! I love learning something new--thanks!

Random Thoughts Tracy said...

Such great tips! Thank you!

Anina said...

I just sewed the binding onto my Boo! runner and contemplated finishing it by machine but was too lazy to look up a tutorial! Filing this away for future reference.

Emmajane said...

This post comes at the just the right time for me. I tried machine binding for the first time this weekend, but it didn't look quite as good as yours! I'll be using this post to make a better job of it (especially at the corners) on my next quilt. Thank you!

Gwen said...

Thank you so much for the binding hints! I am in the midst of binding a backlog of quilts and these will certainly be helpful. I always struggle with the bias commection! Putting these to use today!

Daytona Damsel said...

Love the idea of placing the binding on a spool next to thread. I have seen people wrap it around a paper tube and hang around neck. Just the thought of that made my neck hurt. Haven't tried your mitered ends but I will as soon as I get finished with hand quilting this baby quilt. Thanks for the help.

Tavia said...

I heard a tip "no snouts" if it looks like nostrils you need to have them go in opposite direction. So I always say "no snouts" to myself! Yours look great!!

Granny Maud's Girl said...

You mean my binding does not have to wrap around the chair leg, the dog and the sewing machine pedal? Geez! I think I will try that spool trick!

wish2stitch said...

Thanks so much. I have seen and used your machine sewn binding technique and did like it. The tips about the corners sound great. It's nice to get that crips finish. Love the idea about binding on your cotton spool holder. Fantastic idea!!

Kay said...

This is really helpful. I like the idea of the binding sitting next to the thread and will try it next time. I have only machine stitched both sides of the binding once and it was such a disaster I haven't dared to try again. x

Lorna McMahon said...

Each of your additions to that original binding tutorial are important tips. Looks like you have all the binding bases covered! Perfection!

Jeneta said...

I LOVE the idea of winding the binding around an empty spool. I have had an empty spool hanging around for ages ( I have NO idea why I kept it!) - now I can use it for something!!

Ellen Thompson said...

The tip about folding the bottom up first then the side in is great!

Susanne vb said...

LOVE the spool idea (and your uber pieced binding!) ... I agree about pressing I only recently started doing that and it makes a BIG difference...def worth the trouble.

SheriB said...

Thank you for these great tips -- and the reminder that practice makes nearly perfect. 3 years, eh? Sighhhh. But I love the end result!

Lyric said...

I have yet to bind and am sew glad I stumbled upon this first. Thanks for the share. Now, the thing is to remember these tips when the time comes real soon. To that end I've pinned this article and I'll bookmark it too. No doubt I'll include a link in one of my upcoming blog posts too.

Thanks again, girl.

Cheers,

Lyric
http://www.sewlyricallyvintage.wordpress.com

Terri said...

Great tips! Binding can be a little tricky, so I appreciate you sharing what works for you. I love the spool idea. And I never thought of pressing the binding once it's attached to one side, but what a great idea ;)

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the tips for machine binding... I never thought of the pressing first or folding he bottom up then the side... I have a ton of placemats to make and will practice with those!

Bonny said...

THank you for all your hints! I am going to try the ironing my binding for sure!

Carmen Lee said...

Awesome ideas and also tips. It was quite interesting or easy after seeing your nice post. Binding was quite tricky among all process. Thanks for these helpful tips.

Swedish Scrapper said...

Fabulous tips and links to your earlier tips! I particularly like the tip about what order to fold the mitered corner in (I admit, I'll be looking it up to be sure!) I've found that a bobby pin in the corner works well, as I don't have wonder clips.

KC's Quilts said...

I just LOVE the first photo in this post - it's just beautiful! I also love the idea of winding up the binding on an empty spool. I need to get a photo of my Juki looking so awesome! =)

u keep sewing said...

Very helpful. Thanks so much for the update.
Love your works :-)

Susanhusan said...

Perfect timing! I was in the process of hand sewing a binding on and your tips helped me to do a better job. Now I just need to try machine stitching a binding on.

Live a Colorful Life said...

Good tips. As always. :)

Anne said...

Thanks for the tips. I will try this method on the baby quilt I'm working on.

SeaBreeze Quilts said...

Fabulous! Thank you! Gorgeous quilts and colours too!

margaret said...

I do struggle with the mitred corners but will try your way next time, must admit to enjoy hand stitching the binding down though. Many thanks for the info

Mama Spark said...

I like the mitered corner info! I go one step further though, I use Elmer's school glue and an iron to secure the binding to the front. This allows you to make your mitered corners and make them perfect with no slow down in your final sewing. It really doesn't take much time to do it and no pins or slow down in application!

Carolyn J. said...

Thanks for the binding tutorial. Joining binding at an angle tricks me up every time. I will give it a try again!

Jasmine said...

Thanks so much! I just tried ironing the binding before top stitching. What a difference!

Barb said...

love that first tip! I always press and it makes it soo much easier - great tips!

A Nudge said...

Thanks, Amanda Jean - that ironing tip was so helpful. All the other steps I already do.

Katie V said...

I'm always open for some new binding tips. These are great! Thanks!

house on hill road said...

i always iron my binding when i'm hand stitching it or machine stitching it! it makes all the difference!

Martha said...

Great tips. I've never tried ironing the binding. I need to give it a try.

Quilt Lady said...

I put my binding on a spool. Placed it on my juki it went fast no stopping for tangles. Thanks

Jo said...

I love the brights! Can't wait to make scrappy binding. I have before but honestly it was because I ran out of binding to finish!

jordan said...

Very colorful and a great reminder to me when I go blank and I always iron binding as with everything else.