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Thread: The bane of quilting-binding

  1. #1
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    The bane of quilting-binding

    I really don't do a good job with my binding. The mitered corners and joining at the end are my problems. The straightways are fine.

    I was wondering if actually cutting bias binding might be worth the extra step. I always just cut strips from WOF or use leftover jelly roll strips.

    In 2019, I'm going to focus on making sewbaby blankie buddies to work on my quilting and binding. I made a few a couple years ago when our group was practicing quilting and binding. I make stuffed animals so I got the quilted squares from everyone and made the animal heads.

    When did square binding go out of style? It was how my grandmother always finished her quilts. Of course she died in the 80's at 94 yrs old

  2. #2
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    I really don't think bias binding would help with the mitered corners or joining the ends at all. It would be very helpful on curves, but otherwise, straight binding is fine and less stretchy. There are so many binding tutorials out there, and tools to help. Not sure what your exact problem is with it. I'm not sure, either, what the square binding is that your grandmother did to finish her quilts. I think it would be just fine for you to do yours that way if it's easier for you. Just call it your family tradition. LOL

    The sewbaby blankie buddies sound like a fun project, and a good way to practice binding. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I only cut binding on the bias if I have curved edges (like rounded corners, a round quilt or scallops) or if it is a show quilt. In my experience, the challenges you face (when mitering corners and joining the edges) won't be any different if you use binding cut WOF (width of fabric, aka Straight of grain binding) or on the bias.

    Bias binding allows you to sew curves and the tight ins and outs of scallop. It also provides better wear because the edge of the quilt is dealing with a criss cross of the warp and weft threads of woven fabric and WOF binding the wear is only on a few threads.

    If by square binding you mean binding cut WOF, what makes you think it went out of style? By far many more quilters bind with WOF strips because it uses less fabric and is much quicker and easier to make than bias binding. I like working with bias binding but I don't always want to take the time to make it and I don't always have the extra fabric to make it. It does seem to "hug" the quilt better as I flip it to the back to hand stitch it but that little nicety is not enough for me to do bias exclusively and I think most quilters feel that way and will only use bias binding when dealing with curved edges.

  4. #4
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    One thing I find helps with the corners is to fold the second side opposite from the first. It took me a while to get good at doing it with the fold the other direction, but now it's easy.

    A few years ago I was making 6" potholder type blocks for a project at work, needed about 20 a month for a year. I did bias binding on them and sewed them in a circle before attaching. Having 4 corners in 24" of binding really gave me a lot of practice doing them.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  5. #5
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    square binding-where you don't miter the corners. You sew off the edge, then keep adding to each side. Grandma died before I got interested in quilting so never asked her about it.

  6. #6
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    It is your quilt. Unless you are entering into a judged show, you can use whatever you want.

    This is a tute on binding the way you describe your Grandma doing it.

    https://youtu.be/pndIO3qM2GQ
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it difficult to plan the day.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisb View Post
    It is your quilt. Unless you are entering into a judged show, you can use whatever you want.

    This is a tute on binding the way you describe your Grandma doing it.

    https://youtu.be/pndIO3qM2GQ
    Hey, that's exactly the way she did it. I always wondered about the raw edges. Thanks for posting that link.

  8. #8
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    ​You can do rounded corners on your quilts but you do need bias binding for those. You can also just to the join where you put one end into the other ends of the binding. Find a method that works for you.

  9. #9
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    I don't know why I can't get line breaks on this computer. Looks like my settings are the same on both I use, but this one doesn't break... I would agree with the statement that unless you want to enter a quilt in a show, you can do whatever you want. Even then, it's your quilt do it your way and if you get a point or two taken off for a square edge, so be it. I flaunt the quilt police all the time by pressing my seams open and have for decades, but about 10 years ago or so I started always using bias binding and always mitering my bindings. Nothing wrong (nor points taken off) for straight grain binding. I really like working with stripes and often choose striped fabric for binding because I simply like the way it looks as it marches around the quilt. I also typically use wider bindings than most folk, usually .5", sometimes larger than that. For me binding is part of the quilt it is a chance for another fabric/statement. Many quilters who have troubles with those miters are not stopping the .25" away from the edge. I know at least one of my friends tries to pin the entire edge to the quilt first and then wonders why it doesn't work... you really have to get that seam allowance in. As is getting the right angles for both the miters and for making your bias tube. If you are making bias binding and you are having problems with your seams meeting correctly, double check that you drew your lines right and then chances are your angle is off. The trick I learned to finish the ends easily and quickly every time is this. For one, I seem to need a lot more working room than other people. I leave 8-10 inches unsewn from the seam point at both ends. Before I start putting on the binding I make sure that the edge is correctly cut on the 45 degree angle. Then, as I approach the seam point I open up both ends of the fabric. I overlap the starting edge over the ending edge, and I draw the line with a pencil. Then I lift up the starting edge and draw another line half an inch towards the direction I want to cut off. This is important! If you cut it the wrong way, you can simply sew on another piece and try again. The half inch gives you your two quarter inch seams. Here's one of my quilts with a striped fabric binding even though I didn't use that fabric in the quilt.
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    Last edited by Iceblossom; 11-29-2018 at 12:11 PM.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I use to round my binding corners. I would pull the binding when sewing it on. Would fit like a glove when I hand stitched to the back. Now I only sew both sides by machine. I have not tried the rounded corners..
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  11. #11
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    Iceblossom I almost always use striped bias binding too. My favorite part of quilting is finding the perfect striped fabric to use for each quilt. For this quilt the stripe wasn't quite perfect but it was as close as I could get. I used the binding fabric to add the baby's name to the front of the quilt and it tied in the stripe very well.
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    Cari

  12. #12
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    Here is the method I use for binding. There are a few details that help with the corners. Pay attention to the corner folds. You want them at a 45 degree. Work the binding until the corner is good. Fold one side up and one side down to prevent bulk in the corners.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQgjp4Upt8w

    You also want to start with square corners on the quilt.

    Another helpful one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjShcNgYk0E

    I have even used a small ruler and marked the stitching line right on the binding to help with the corners. Stop stitching 1/4 inch before the corner.

    Good Luck!

  13. #13
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    This is the easiest way to join ends I've ever found. I refer to it every time I finish a quilt because I can never remember how to do it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BT1pl_IolE&t=332s

    Watson

  14. #14
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    I like the tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. I always join my binding ends with the tutorial on pause so I can look at the pictures to compare to my quilt. The binding always sits perfectly flat.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vCWpxBRs20&t=807s
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  15. #15
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    while my mitered corners are not perfect, I have learned a couple of tips I pass along to my beginner classes. One is to make sure you fold up at a 45 degree angle and then when folding the strip back down, check that the left hand edge is lined up perfected--if it's cattywompus it won't fold over into a good miter. also, when you are backstitching at that fold, stop about one stitch before the top edge and make sure not to backstitch up into the seam allowance, it tugs when you are folding over for the miter. I use the F. & P. method for joining the ends--just pick up any F. & P. magazine and they will show in the back technique section (was just in latest Quilty issue). Good luck!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingshorttimer View Post
    while my mitered corners are not perfect, I have learned a couple of tips I pass along to my beginner classes. One is to make sure you fold up at a 45 degree angle and then when folding the strip back down, check that the left hand edge is lined up perfected--if it's cattywompus it won't fold over into a good miter. also, when you are backstitching at that fold, stop about one stitch before the top edge and make sure not to backstitch up into the seam allowance, it tugs when you are folding over for the miter. I use the F. & P. method for joining the ends--just pick up any F. & P. magazine and they will show in the back technique section (was just in latest Quilty issue). Good luck!
    This is what I try to do, too. I also sometimes shave off little pieces of the corners to make sure I get a nice miter. Lately, I've been pretty good at this as a result. I never use bias because I have trouble cutting it evenly. But I do sometimes use WOF or LOF for rounded corners. I lay a salad plate down on the corner and cut around it so that the resulting curve isn't too sharp. Looks pretty!

  17. #17
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    I almost always use bias binding because that is what I first learned to use. It will not solve you problems. Time, experience and using the guidance of a trusted quilting buddy or some of the YouTube tutorials will help much more. I like the bias because it has just a little give and I was told that it "wears" better. Give yourself some grace and time to become comfortable with joining the binding ends. It take courage to snip those ends, but it also seems like magic to find that they will match perfectly and smoothly finish your quilt.

    Hint: When joining the two ends, be liberal with the amount of space between the start/stop places where you sew the binding to the body of your quilt. Trying to join those ends with only 10 inches of "wiggle room" is frustrating. I find it easier to have 19 - 20 inches of space between the sewing start/stops. It made a difference for me when I was learning to make a good finish.
    Last edited by WMUTeach; 11-30-2018 at 03:36 AM.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=Watson;8168734]This is the easiest way to join ends I've ever found. I refer to it every time I finish a quilt because I can never remember how to do it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BT1pl_IolE&t=332s


    Watson, this is a great tute. Thanks for sharing. Hopefully I'll remember this when I'm next doing binding. The join is always the most confusing/difficult for me.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cari-in-Oly View Post
    Iceblossom I almost always use striped bias binding too. My favorite part of quilting is finding the perfect striped fabric to use for each quilt. For this quilt the stripe wasn't quite perfect but it was as close as I could get. I used the binding fabric to add the baby's name to the front of the quilt and it tied in the stripe very well.
    Name:  S5030012.JPG
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    Cari
    Love this! Where did you find sock monkey fleece?
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  20. #20
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    Sharon Schamber for mitering corners. Julie Cefalu for connecting the binding at the ends. Both are on YouTube. I tried all the methods of joining the bindings and Julie's system works. Every time.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  21. #21
    Senior Member flikkem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charity-crafter View Post
    I really don't do a good job with my binding. The mitered corners and joining at the end are my problems. The straightways are fine.

    I was wondering if actually cutting bias binding might be worth the extra step. I always just cut strips from WOF or use leftover jelly roll strips.

    In 2019, I'm going to focus on making sewbaby blankie buddies to work on my quilting and binding. I made a few a couple years ago when our group was practicing quilting and binding. I make stuffed animals so I got the quilted squares from everyone and made the animal heads.

    When did square binding go out of style? It was how my grandmother always finished her quilts. Of course she died in the 80's at 94 yrs old
    . Two things that improved my binding was watching tutorials and buying a binding tool. I used to dread this process but now find great satisfaction in being capable of doing a good job at it.
    Mary Jane Flikke

  22. #22
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    The only way to master miter binding is to do it until you get the Oh I get it moment. Make a lot of potholders or placemats. That's what I did. I took a weekend and made dozens of potholder with miter binding. I can do miter in my sleep. LOL
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  23. #23
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    They're your quilts, so bind them however you want!
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

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