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Thread: I HATE binding

  1. #1
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Okay, I cut my binding strips 2 1/2", sew them all together, and sew them onto the quilt. The problem is that when I pull the binding to the back of the quilt to hand stitch it, I HAVEN'T SEWN THE BINDING STRIPS COMPLETELY TO THE QUILT!! So on the front, I can see the batting and the edge of the quilt top... lovely. And so I go back and restitch it, which results in the binding being uneven.

    I don't know how that happened, since I cut the batting/back so it was 1/4" from the quilt top. I then attached the binding at 1/2" - 3/8" (it varied :oops: ), but still, on one side I found 6 areas where I missed the quilt top.

    I've seen a lot of threads talking about how to hand stitch the back, and that's the easy part for me. What I can't figure out is what I do wrong. This happens every time I do binding, and I don't know what's going on! :cry:

    Any ideas on what the heck is going on??? I really want to keep doing the french binding method, rather than gluing it or faux binding methods.

  2. #2
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Question part 2: I took a binding class awhile ago and the teacher said to cut 1/4" from your quilt top. Then you attach the binding 1/4" onto the quilt top (or 1/2" from the edge of the quilt). When I used to cut right to the quilt top and attach at 1/4", when I turned it over, I had a ridiculous amount of excess. So the teacher said if I do it with 1/2" on the top, then I won't get that excess when I turn it to the back (which did work).

    But I'm thinking that's where my problem is showing up. Since if it's not perfectly straight, but I'm sewing on a straight line, then I'm picking up those exposed batting areas and voila, total mess. So I'm thinking that if I cut the binding strips smaller, and cut right to my quilt top, then I shouldn't run into the batting problem........

    What do you all do???????

  3. #3
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    I square up my quilt having the backing, batting and top all the same (I don't make the backing/batting larger). I lay the raw edge of the binding right up to the raw edge of the quilt and sew 1/4". When you flip to the back to sew it down it should be fine. If you find you have excess when you flip it to the back then cut your binding strips 2 1/4" instead of 2 1/2".

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    I have never heard of the way the teacher told you - seems more complicated than it needs to be. I always have squared up the quilt/batting/backing and then sewn the binding to the edge. I do pin it like crazy because I have run into the same problem you did - skipped places on the backing... so frustrating... pinning, pinning and more pinning has greatly reduced my frustration!! :) I pin about every inch or so - helps alot.

  5. #5
    ladybugquilter's Avatar
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    I make sure that my top is square before quilting. I then attach the binding, lining it up with the edge of the top and stitch 1/4 inch from that. I don't pin just stitch slowly. Once the binding is on, I trim the batting/backing using the top as I guide. This way I never have to worry about missing a layer and my top was already squared so upon trimming everything else is to. Hope this helps

  6. #6

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    I'm not sure what the teacher was trying to tell you either, but if you have made sure the quilt is square and you put your binding even with the cut edge of the quilt, pin, pin, pin, and when you sew, try using the longest stitch you have and then check it. If it looks o.k. restitch using the normal stitch length and if not, you can easily remove the areas that need adjustment and not the area that looks right. I have to do this a few times and after I got used to binding, I could just attach the binding without the "practice" run.
    Hang in there, you will get it. Pam

  7. #7
    Super Member Lockeb's Avatar
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    Laybugquilter,
    Ditto...this is the way I do it as well -I find that it works like a charm...

  8. #8
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    I hate binding too, but mostly because it just isn't fun to me! There are wonderful tutorials out there that may clear things up for you. I like this one:
    http://sometimescrafter.blogspot.com...rt-series.html

  9. #9
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    Hey - I LOVE doing bindings! send them to me!!!!

  10. #10
    Piedmont Quilter's Avatar
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    Check out this tut from Sharon Schamber - It's the ONLY way I do bindings :thumbup:

    http://sharonschambernetwork.com/fre...gel/index.html

  11. #11
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I do it exactly like your teacher says. If you're cutting 2.5 inches, it will make .5 inch wide double binding this way. You need to line the edge of the binding up with the edge of the top, not the edge of the back and batting. Then you do need to sew carefully, and straight.

  12. #12
    Esqmommy's Avatar
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    Ditto on the sharonschamber...she's amazing and I now love doing bindings!

  13. #13
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Gosh, i'm not an expert but many years ago, in home ec classes, we were taught the batting, front and back were to be the exact same. I always cut mine to match, then put my binding on. I have no trouble with how they look and it's always clean and straight.

  14. #14
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I had that same problem on one of my eariler quilts. I had not pinned the binding before sewing it to the quilt. I make sure to pin now, and do not have a problem. Hope this helps.

  15. #15
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    I have always told my students to cut and square up their batting and backing to match the same size as the quilt top. They cut their binding pieces 2 1/2" wide and make enough for the entire quilt. I usually suggest 8-9 strips 2 1/2" x 45". I show them how to attach the binding so the raw edges of the folded binding are matched with the raw edge of the quilt. Pin the entire binding in place, make their mitered corners and finish off. I have them sew their binding approximately 1/4" from the edge of the quilt (or the width of their quilting foot as it is much easier to sew the binding down with the quilting foot.

    I hope this helps. pin pin pin!!!!!!!! that's a big key!

    Cheers
    Andrea

  16. #16
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    Okay, here is my awful quilting secret. I too hate binding- but for a huge different reason- my oldest son (who is now 29) almost choked himself to death when he was 2 years old on a blanket binding. He was playing superman and dived off his bunkbed and had the blanket binding that he had pulled off a blanket around his neck. By total divine intervention, I was walking down the hall when it happened. To this day, I have not put another binding on a quilt. And the quilt police have not arrested me yet. So I say that if it's giving you fits, don't do it. Just my two cents :) :) :) :) :)

  17. #17
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    I baste (long machine stitch or long zigzag stitch) about 1/8 inch from the cut edge of the quilt to hold the three layers together before applying the binding.

    I use a wider finished binding (about 1/2 inch) because I like the look of it.
    Also, because when I have the presser foot even with the edge and the needle at the left-most position, that's what it ends up to be. I think it's a lot easier to handle than a skinny little binding.

    I also cut the binding on the bias - and I baste those edges together (I do pin them first about every six inches or so) - making sure that it's laying smoothly.

    I also do a bit of practice binding with scraps to make sure it comes out the way I want it to. My first estimate at width is six times the finished width plus 1/8 inch. I usually have to try a couple of times to get it more precise.

  18. #18
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam in WV
    I'm not sure what the teacher was trying to tell you either, but if you have made sure the quilt is square and you put your binding even with the cut edge of the quilt, pin, pin, pin, and when you sew, try using the longest stitch you have and then check it. If it looks o.k. restitch using the normal stitch length and if not, you can easily remove the areas that need adjustment and not the area that looks right. I have to do this a few times and after I got used to binding, I could just attach the binding without the "practice" run.
    Hang in there, you will get it. Pam
    Hmmmm, a little extra work but that definitely sounds like stitching once with big stitches to check will save me trouble... thanks!

  19. #19
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster
    I do it exactly like your teacher says. If you're cutting 2.5 inches, it will make .5 inch wide double binding this way. You need to line the edge of the binding up with the edge of the top, not the edge of the back and batting. Then you do need to sew carefully, and straight.
    After I finished putting on the whole binding, posting, and venting, then I remembered that I didn't do that right... :oops:

  20. #20
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your helpful thoughts and links and ideas. I'm feeling much better about the next quilt I try binding on, lol. This one, I'll just glare at it and make it work.

    I'm thinking I'm going to cut my batting/backing to the quilt top size, no excess. What size binding strips do you cut? When I did 2.5" and did this, it gave me waaaaaaaay too much on the back. I'm thinking 2" should be enough (1/4 sewed down, 1/4 showing on top, 1/4 on side 1/4 on back, x 2 strips = 2")??

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    Quote Originally Posted by dunster
    I do it exactly like your teacher says. If you're cutting 2.5 inches, it will make .5 inch wide double binding this way. You need to line the edge of the binding up with the edge of the top, not the edge of the back and batting. Then you do need to sew carefully, and straight.
    After I finished putting on the whole binding, posting, and venting, then I remembered that I didn't do that right... :oops:
    Now I See - said the blind man . . . .

  22. #22
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    What's difficult with having the extra 1/4" of non-quilt is that it's hard for me to tell if I'm sewing 1/4" onto the quilt top. That's part of why I like what y'all said about cutting things right to the quilt top since then (in theory) it should be substantially easier to get to 1/4" onto the quilt top... No reason in making binding more complicated then it needs to be :mrgreen:

  23. #23
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    Ditto. My top, batting and back are all squared the same. My binding strips are 2 1/4". I don't know who you took your class from, but I've never heard of it done that way before.
    Quote Originally Posted by raksmum
    I square up my quilt having the backing, batting and top all the same (I don't make the backing/batting larger). I lay the raw edge of the binding right up to the raw edge of the quilt and sew 1/4". When you flip to the back to sew it down it should be fine. If you find you have excess when you flip it to the back then cut your binding strips 2 1/4" instead of 2 1/2".

    Hope this helps.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    What's difficult with having the extra 1/4" of non-quilt is that it's hard for me to tell if I'm sewing 1/4" onto the quilt top. That's part of why I like what y'all said about cutting things right to the quilt top since then (in theory) it should be substantially easier to get to 1/4" onto the quilt top... No reason in making binding more complicated then it needs to be :mrgreen:
    Can you move your needle to a left-hand position? That might help a bit.

  25. #25
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray

    Can you move your needle to a left-hand position? That might help a bit.
    I try to use my Walking Foot when I put on binding. With all the layers, it helps keep everything together and happy. I definitely could try the left position with my normal foot

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