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Thread: Binding Woes

  1. #1
    Junior Member yweinst's Avatar
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    Binding Woes

    So I have been sewing now since August and during that time I have made 5 quilts. Each one I feel that I am getting better and better but I am finding binding really difficult. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

    I have watched the Sharon Schamber method of using glue this time and it seems to have helped but I'm still having issues.

    I found making my strips 2 and 1/4 inch doing a single fold and than using a 3/8 seam allowance is making the turning under of the binding very difficult. It seems it takes everything I have to turn it under and than the whole thing didn't seem the same width around the entire border.


    On top of all of that I have found that the stitch in the ditch technique (yes I know by hand would be better but I have a bad wrist so it isn't an option) is not coming out even all around.

    I'm sure this is one of those practice makes perfect situations but is there anything I can do to help my binding along.

    I just feel I might be missing something.

    Thanks,
    Yael

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    If you cut your strip at 2 1/4 ", fold and place it even with the edge of the fabric, and sew a 3/8" seam allowance, the fold will just meet the seam after you fold it over the edge of the quilt sandwich. You aren't allowing anything for the thickness of the quilt (batting and two layers of fabric) or for the fold to cover the seam. You could make the seam allowance a little smaller, or cut the strip a little wider, and it will be easier to turn.

  3. #3
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    Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with the binding. I use a 2 and 1/2 inch piece when I am binding. It gives a little more fabric to work with and that helps me out especially if the quilt/batting is thick. Also, when doing the binding by machine, I use a zig zag stitch to finish. It hides a lot of mistakes and if it is a little uneven it does not show as much. Don't agonize over it too much. My philosophy is: If a man on a galloping horse can't see it, it is good enough. Enjoy what you are doing. Have fun. It does not have to be perfect. But, definitely try a wider strip for the binding. Good luck.

  4. #4
    MTS
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    First thoughts - is your quilted top trimmed straight, and are the corners trimmed to perfect 90 angles?
    Not being the quilt police, but it's hard to get nice straight bindings if this isn't the case.

    Try cutting your binding strips 2.5" - if you need an extra little amount of fabric, then give it to yourself.
    Or 2-3/8".

    Practice on a small quilt sandwich so you can find the correct combination of strip width and seam allowance that works for YOU, and will allow you to comfortably machine sew down the second side as well.

    I cut 2" and sew with a 1/4" seam, and that works for me.
    My QBFF cuts 2-1/4 because she's happier with the way that looks.
    Some people adore Sharon's method and get great results (I'm one of them), and others have found better results with NOT pressing the binding strips in half before sewing to the sandwich.

    To each his/her own. ;-)
    Last edited by MTS; 02-04-2013 at 02:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    Great advice from the others...I especially love dcamarote and her "man on a galloping horse" analogy.....Though I must be honest and say I have been known to take things out that no one would consider re-doing..my dh has joked with me that he thinks I like taking things out more than making them!
    I always cut my binding strip a tad larger, I can always cut more off, can't add it back. I also leave my backing fabric a little larger when I use it as the binding...
    Kif
    In the garden of life everyone has a row to hoe, some people just have more weeds...

    Always do right, it will gratify some and astonish the rest...Mark Twain

  6. #6
    Super Member CarolinePaj's Avatar
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    Go to Sharon Schambers site and view her video binding the angel.... she is an amazing teacher.

    Hugs

    Caroline
    Caroline

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Sometimes, I press the edge of the quilt sandwich just before I sew the binding on. Also, if I'm having a problem I zigzag the very outside edge before attaching the binding. I don't have any luck turning and then machine stitching. I don't really mind the hand stitching. Just don't like to sew the binding onto the sandwuch. It sure would be faster to machine stittch it. Hope your hand gets better.

  8. #8
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    Don't feel bad - I have made tons of quilts and finally on the last one I did I feel happy with my binding (I do hand sew to the back - just wait for days my hands will cooperate!). I followed Sharon's method religiously and it worked!

    I echo everyone else - give yourself more fabric - either sew a 1/4" seam or cut bindings wider. I still have a project that I cannot turn the bindings on - one day will take it out and do it right.

  9. #9
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
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    Are you bringing the binding over to the front or back? The quilt shop here sews theirs on the back and brings it to the front to sew on. Comes out perfect every time. Mine doesn't yet, but I'm improving. I can't imagine sewing the traditional method where the binding goes to the back (unless hand sewing). I think my stitches would be all over the place. I truly hate binding, and when possible, just make the back larger and fold it to the front. But understand that isn't considered acceptable by the quilting police.

  10. #10
    Junior Member yweinst's Avatar
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    So I watched the Susan Schamber's method three times before binding this one which is why I used the 2 1/4" strip. I square the quilt and it looked great and then came the binding debacle.

    I'm going to used more fabric and practice on a small quilt sandwich to perfect the binding.

    Thank you for all the fantastic advice!!!

    Yael

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