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Thread: How many machine bind their quilts?

  1. #26
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I used to only hand bind; now I almost always machine bind. Machine binding can look very, very good. One of the keys for me is to avoid a straight stitch. I find that a decorative stitch can look very nice, but be careful not to choose one that takes a *lot* of time to sew out. I think it is a good idea to make several binding samples with different stitch types so you can see not only what they look like, but also how long they take to stitch out and how much thread they take. So far I have done mainly a serpentine stitch on the binding (with stitch pattern centered on the binding edge), but the next one is going to be a plain zigzag.

    On my next quilt, I am going to glue-baste the mitered corners in place (and several inches before and after the corner) before maching stitching. I think this will help a *lot* to ensure that the corners come out nice. On a small quilt or an important quilt I might glue baste the entire binding, similar to what Sharon Schamber does, but on the ones I have done so far that hasn't been at all necessary.

    My biggest problem so far has been the quilt corners, and I think the glue-basting before sewing is going to take care of that minor issue.

    Edit: I just realized I do something else that seems to make binding go much easier. I don't cut the quilt edges before I machine sew the binding to the quilt sandwich for the first time. That way I don't have to worry about a distorted or stretched edge, or a flap of backing getting turned the wrong way. Instead of cutting, I use a Sharpie permanent marker to *mark* the cutting edge. (If I accidentally do this on the wrong side of the quilt, I follow this up by machine stitching along the cutting line with a contrasting thread, so I can see the cutting line on either side of the quilt.) When I sew the binding on, I match up the cut edges of the binding to the cutting line. Only after the binding is sewn on do I trim the quilt along the cutting line. Just be absolutely *sure* not to cut the binding at the corners! I often like to trim the tip of the batting off at the corner; just do *not* trim any of the binding there. You will not like the results!
    Last edited by Prism99; 10-12-2012 at 08:41 AM.

  2. #27
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    I have to switch to machine binding because of arthritis issues. My former LQS (they closed recently) owner showed me how to do it. Before doing it on a quilt, make some placemats or something and practice a little until you feel comfortable with it. People who don't quilt don't even notice that it is machine bound, so don't beat yourself up about it.

  3. #28
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    I prefer machine stitching my binding on - I think it stands up to use and washing better. I stitch my binding to the back and turn to the front. If I am going to use a straight stitch, I lengthen my stitch because it looks better that way. As one of the previous poster's said, you want to make sure that your top stitch line does not land on the binding on the back - it looks better if it is on the quilt back itself.

  4. #29
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I machine sew all my bindings. I usually use the same method as Linda described above
    with Elmer's washable school glue. I've also used the decorative stitch on a wall-hanging.
    As we say better finished than perfect. I know my quilts will never be perfect but I try
    my best to make it look nice. Make a sample like a pot-holder just to practice and check
    your seams, binding width and corners. I found I get nice corners if I just stop a short
    stitch from the miter. The Perfect Binding Miter is also my best friend for those corners.
    Costs $4 at Connecting Threads. Go for it.

  5. #30
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I machine bind all of mine, as my hands can't take it for the hand-sewn bindings. I also want it done in this lifetime!!
    I use a straight stitch or a dcorative one, but mostly straight.
    Don't feel bad for wanting to do it all by machine. Most folks don't even notice it~
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  6. #31
    Super Member busy fingers's Avatar
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    I machine all of my bindings. To me it just feels stronger and of course there is the speed of getting it finished.

  7. #32
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    I machine bind all my quilts. Sometimes it's a very narrow one, sometimes it's a wide one and sometimes I bring the backing fabric over to the front. It depends on the quilt; I let it speak to me. But I've never done a binding by hand.

    Now, having said that, I also don't make quilts for shows; I make them for family to use.

  8. #33
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I am amazed at how many of you machine stitch your binding. I am so relieved to hear this. I thought I was going to be put down for wanting to do this. Thank you all who took the time to write me and relieve me of my stress of guilt over wanting to machine bind my quilts. Now I will machine bind stress free. And thanks for all the tips. I think I can do a great job with everyone's help. I can probably knock all of the quilts out in a couple of months. I have to take breaks. Binding is not my favorite thing to do. Not yet anyway. It just might become bearable to do it by machine. Thank you all!!!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  9. #34
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    I use this method too, and I read or watched it somewhere where Sharon Schamber showed how to do it with glue. I can't remember if it was on her website or on you tube. with glue and an iron, you can get a very nice, straight, binding and stitching.
    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Linda View Post
    I machine bind my quilt's. Sew bing on the front, iron towards the edge, fold to the back and use Elmer's TEMPORARY WASH OUT school glue to attach it to back. Placing it just over the stitching line. Using my craft iron to dry it faster. Then turn it over and sew in the ditch. It makes that binding so much easier to do. YouTube has a tute on this technic.

  10. #35
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    I always machine bind and often use a decorative stitch. Can't see well enough to hand stitch.

  11. #36
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    No, it's not awful to machine bind your quilt. I think it's just a matter of taste. I've done both machine binding and hand binding. But, now, with my physical disability I won't be doing hand binding anymore. Don't sweat it! I think we at times are so hungup on making the perfect quilt, when there isn't any such thing. My Mom always said there is more than 1 way of doing things. Make you quilt your way and enjoy the process!

  12. #37
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    I still prefer to hand stitch the binding from the back, but my machine has some very nice decorative stitches. It does hearts, leaves, bells, stars and a lot of stitches without a name. If I need to machine stitch the binding I am all set, although few of the stitches qualify in the quick to stitch category.
    Sue

  13. #38
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    I figure if your whole quilt is machine stitched why not the binding? Especially for kids quilts.

  14. #39
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I put ALL bindings on by machine, sometimes with a straight stitch, sometimes using decorative stitches.......I abhor hand sewing and don't do if I can do it by machine. I have never had any complaints about a machine stitched binding either!

  15. #40
    Senior Member wanttobe's Avatar
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    Laurafet that is great how you use the vine stitch on the binding. So cute

  16. #41
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I machine bind all of my quilts. I stitch my binding to the back, flip it to the front and pick a fancy stitch. I've never yet had anyone complain that the binding was not hand stitched. My quilts get a lot of use, are washed frequently and machine binding can take the wear and tear.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  17. #42
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    We have never hand sewn anything on our quilts. Our hope is that our quilts will get a lot of use, and we think the machine sewn bindings are more durable.

    We are much better now than we were, and in general are pretty happy with how the bindings look when we're finished. There are a ton of tutorials on youtube and we have watched several of them. Some of them have more steps than others and I suppose they would be necessary if you wanted to enter a quilt in a show. You can always practice on potholders or doll quilts before you commit to a larger quilt. Try with a decorative stitch and with a straight stitch also. Let us know what you decide.

    Darren

  18. #43
    Senior Member Prettiptibbs's Avatar
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    I machine bind all the quilts I have made. I attach the folded binding to the front and stitch in the ditch. Nearly all my quilts are utility quilts, washed often and the bindings do hold up. However, if you are putting your quilt on exhibition, the quilt police require that the binding be attached by hand on the back! So it is a personal choice and if it easier for you, then go for it!!
    Prettip

  19. #44
    Jim
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    Super Member Jim's Avatar
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    I always put my bindings on by machine always have. 5 hand surgeries prevent otherwise. AND they look very nice!
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort :lol:

  20. #45
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    I machine bind mine as well, with a decorative stitch. They look nice I think.
    Amythyst

  21. #46
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I always machine bind my quilts and they look very neat.

  22. #47
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    I just spent 8 hours yesterday binding by hand two reversible bed runners. I usually don't have the time but I'm 'on vacation' spending two weeks in florida with my family, so there I was, sitting on the lanai, sipping sun tea like a grand old southern lady, stitching away. The time taken to hand bind made a world of difference in the finished product. These bed runners are a birthday gift for my mom's 87th tomorrow. Sun tea, anyone?

  23. #48
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    I do my bindings half and half. I sew it onto the backhand stitch the front. Binding is never fun, but the more I do, the more I like it and I guess I like it more because I'm getting better at it!
    Krystyna
    Feel the fear and do it anyway!

  24. #49
    Senior Member GammaLou's Avatar
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    I machine bind most of my quilts, especially if they are for a child or daily use. I don't think they look bad at all. I sew the binding on the back instead of the front and then wrap it over and stitch it down using a straight stitch. Looks great on the front and not bad on the back. It works for me!!

  25. #50
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MamaBear61 View Post
    I have done machine binding when I was on a time crunch too. Make a little practise sandwich and try a few different stitches to see what look you like. When I did mine I sewed the binding from the back first so that I was putting the decorative stitch on the top side and this let me have a little more control over the placement of the stitch (less critical on the backside). Good luck.
    I agree. This is how I do it. If you are going to put your quilt in a show, I wouldn't recommend it. Judges don't like it at all. But if they are for gifts or for your own use, go ahead and do it. My Babylock has losts of decorative stitches and I always find something I lilke that seems to go with the quilt. It's your quilt and you can do anything you want with it.

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