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Old 07-17-2013, 12:40 PM
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I could not find a category for sewing not necessarily for quilting but here goes. I have a terrible time with binding especially on potholders. Yes they are quilted so guess this qualifies here. I can sew the one side on perfectly but always miss a section on the back side so even on quilts I just bring the backing forward and miter the corners instead of a binding. I have watched videos that look so easy and come out so neat and then mine are awful. The potholders are beautiful til I bind them.

Thanks for any help.
Evelyn in Sequim
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:46 PM
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You could always sew the binding to the front and then turn to the back hand stitch with a blind stitch. You'll have a nice looking binding on quilts or pot holders.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:46 PM
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I know what you mean, I sew binding to back, or front, then fold over and hand stich it down. No stich lines show on my bindings.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:58 PM
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There are several things I do to help my machine bindings come out better.

(1) After sewing the binding on, I iron the binding away from the sandwich body. This makes a cleaner turn-of-the-cloth.

(2) I use Elmer's washable glue and turn the binding (and secure it) at the ironing board. The real trick is to accurately glue the binding edge to the sewn line.

(3) Only then do I take the quilt to the machine to sew the binding on.

The most forgiving stitch is the serpentine stitch (looks like a large S repeated over and over). It can be used with the left side of the S just meeting the edge of the binding, or I have also used it with the S centered over the binding edge with the stitching falling both on and off the binding. Both look good, but experiment with a sample to see which you might prefer.

Any stitch that has a straight line in it is more difficult because you need to keep that stitch perfectly lined up with the already-sewn line. If you have ironed and glued well, and if you go slowly, it can be done. I have never had it perfect -- there are always some areas that are better and worse -- but for utility use no one else notices the imperfections. Usually I use a hem stitch for this.

If you have a newer machine, you may have decorative stitch options other than the Serpentine that do not incorporate a straight line. These would be good to try out on samples. My machine is older and does not have a wide selection of decorative stitches, so I don't have any options like that.

Edit: I do think oval or circular potholders must be very difficult. Square or rectangular pot holders would be more like quilts.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:50 PM
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I'd make the binding a bit wider as you are probably using more than one layer
of batting, right? It also helps to sew the edges before applying the binding.
Keeps everything flat.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:29 PM
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I used to have difficulty with bindings until I took a class at the LQS that taught us to use a tool put out by Missouri Quilt Co. We were told that there is a smaller tool to use like on potholders. I do find that I like to use a 2 1/2" strip folded in half. I stitch to the front and use a 3/8" seam allowance then fold to the back and hand stitch. One could machine stitch, as well, using a decorative stitch. The tool helps to eliminate the bulk when finishing. Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
There are several things I do to help my machine bindings come out better.

(1) After sewing the binding on, I iron the binding away from the sandwich body. This makes a cleaner turn-of-the-cloth.

(2) I use Elmer's washable glue and turn the binding (and secure it) at the ironing board. The real trick is to accurately glue the binding edge to the sewn line.

(3) Only then do I take the quilt to the machine to sew the binding on.
I do the same thing except I do not use elmers glue. I use my edge joining foot, place the edge of the binding on the right hand side of the blade, then move my needle over to the spot I want to do the stitching. For my machine the center is 3.5, I put it at about 5.0 or 5.5 when doing binding. Go slow, lengthen the stitch as well (default on my machine is 2.5, I set it for binding either 3.5 or 4.0)

this helps me keep the binding straight (on the blade/guide) and stitch in the same spot along the binding. I dont worry too much what the back looks like, for me it doesnt have to be exactly in the ditch on the back, just close to it. I use a matching thread in bobbin to the backing so that stitch isnt noticed.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:53 PM
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I stitch my binding on the front then, like Prism99, press the binding away from the body. I then turn the binding to the back and pin...FROM THE FRONT...when I pin - I pin insert the tip of the pin straight down into the quilt and as close to the folded edge of the binding as I can then bring the tip back up to the top/front of the quilt with the head of the pin extending to the right and outside the quilt edge. This does to things - it shows me where the back edge is (at the insertion point of the pin) and it gives me a clear "path" in which to stitch - as long as my stitching is between the insertion point of the pin and the seam where the binding was stitched to the quilt, I know that I'll catch the back edge of the binding. When I first started doing this- I had to look at the back to make sure I was close to the folded edge, but now i can do it by feel.

The other thing I do is to cut a slightly wider binding as EazyPeezy does - the rule I learned in an early class for cutting binding for hand finishing was to take your seam allowance (or finished bound edge size) times 7 to determine how wide to cut your binding strip for a folded binding. Since I want it slightly wider for machine finishing, I add one quarter inch to that number. In other words - I like to use a 3/8 seam for most bindings - 3/8 times 7 equals 21/8 or 2 5/8 inches to cut for hand stitching - add 1/4 inch for machine finishing means I cut the strip at 2 7/8 inches. If I want my binding to finish at 1/4 inch, it would be 1/4 times 7 = 7/4 = 1 3/4 inches + 1/4 = cutting width of 2 inches.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie68 View Post
You could always sew the binding to the front and then turn to the back hand stitch with a blind stitch. You'll have a nice looking binding on quilts or pot holders.

Have always done my binding by hand stitching it to the back. I had many quilts in competition and that is the professional way to finish the binding. Try it. Before becoming disable, I use to be able to hand stitch 5 feet of binding in an hour. Great time to do it is while watching TV in the evening.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie68 View Post
You could always sew the binding to the front and then turn to the back hand stitch with a blind stitch. You'll have a nice looking binding on quilts or pot holders.
This is what I do also, works like a charm!
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