I stumbled upon this binding shortcut after a class with Weeks Ringle, of Chicago. She gave us some binding tips. When I came home, I was binding 6 placemats and came up with this idea on my own. It was one of those, "Duh, why didn't I do this before?!"
Thought I would share.
When you put on binding to a sewn item, I have seen it pooled in sewer's laps and I have seen women wearing toilet paper roll necklaces with it. I took a large, empty Rx bottle. I taped down the first binding edge with easily removable painter's tape, I then wound the binding so that it would pull off clockwise (providing tension), and so that the center fold was facing me as I sit at the machine (see the photos). As you sew, the binding comes off as the item you are sewing moves and pulls it. This leaves both hands free to "insert" your item into the binding. Hope I didn't make it sound too confusing. Enjoy!