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Thread: Machine Sewing Binding to Front of Quilt--HELP!

  1. #1
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    Machine Sewing Binding to Front of Quilt--HELP!

    I do not enjoy hand sewing. So, when it comes to sewing the binding from the back to the front of the quilt, I would rather use the sewing machine--and that's my problem. I have tried clips, gluing prior to sewing, but I just can't get the line straight on the front. Any Help? Any Tips? What am I doing wrong?

  2. #2
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    I'm no help. I even bought a fancy foot with a metal guide. I finish them by hand if I want to be happy with the result. Ironing the binding over the edge first seemed to help a little.
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  3. #3
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    No help here sorry! I hand so also.

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    Senior Member Earleen's Avatar
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    Use decorative stitch

    I have used a decorative stitch one that goes on the binding and the quilt. It catches both pieces and ads decoration to the quilt.
    Earleen The best helping hand is at the end of your arm.

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    I like to use Charisma's method of Quick machine binding with flange. She did a tutorial for QB and you sew 2 binding strips together, fold in half and sew It o the back. When you bring the binding over to the front to machine sew it, you have the flange as a guide. If you match your thread to the flange colour it turns out really nice.

  6. #6
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Are you stitching the binding to the front or the back first? If you stitch it to the back, then bring it around to the front you will have better results because you can see where you are going. I try to have a little more fabric come around to the front, then when I stitch, it's pretty close to the binding in the back. I match the bobbin thread to the back of the quilt. Most people will be looking more closely to the front than the back. Decorative stitching can help if you feel more confident. I recommend practicing with scraps to gain confidence in it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    Are you stitching the binding to the front or the back first? If you stitch it to the back, then bring it around to the front you will have better results because you can see where you are going. I try to have a little more fabric come around to the front, then when I stitch, it's pretty close to the binding in the back. I match the bobbin thread to the back of the quilt. Most people will be looking more closely to the front than the back. Decorative stitching can help if you feel more confident. I recommend practicing with scraps to gain confidence in it!
    That's what I was thinking. If you are machine sewing it you have to do it the opposite way and then top stitch the binding in place on the front rather than slip stitch it on the back. If it isn't completely straight on the back no one cares or notices. This is how I do it and I think it would be impossible any other way. Valerie is this the problem?

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    Valerie Ann: Have you tried sewing it slowly? I mean really slow. A slower speed will enable you to "steer your quilt better to keep the stitching where it needs to be. Also, try to stop obsessing about a straight line. Most people don't deliberately look for crooked stitching. Even if you know where there is a mistake, don't point it out to people. According to a local quilting instructor I do lots of things incorrectly on my quilts, but my friends don't know that. They only see the finished quilt they get and think it's beautiful.

  9. #9
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    I stitch the back first and then bring it to the front. I so appreciate the advice you are all giving.

  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    One trick I use wether I bring the binding to the front or the back to machine stitch is I use fusible web to iron it into place. I bring the binding just a few threads past the stitching line and stitch. You can buy fusible web cut into 1/4 inch on a roll at Jo'anns. Its faster and neater than glue.
    Also consider buying an edge stitching foot for you machine , one that has a opening for the needle that you can adjust. Place the guide on the foot at the edge of the binding you just fused or glued, move the needle to where you want to stitching line to fall. Buying an edge sttiching foot was one of the best purchases I made ... I use it for all kinds of stuff where I want a perfect straight stitch to fall on the edge of the fabric.

  11. #11
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    If its not straight, why don't you try a decorative stitch, someone posted on here recently with one done that way and it looked really nice, I was thinking of trying it on a quilt
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If I am understanding correctly, you are sewing to the back first. Your problem is getting a good line on the front?

    One thing I do is not cut the quilt first. Instead of cutting, I *mark* the cutting line on the quilt with a Sharpie permanent marker. If my marking is on the top, I then machine stitch using the longest stitch on the cutting line, using a contrasting thread in the bobbin so I can see this mark on the back of the quilt sandwich.

    I do not iron the binding in half. It actually rolls better for the last step if I don't iron it in half. How wide do you cut your binding strips? I think it is easier to get narrower binding even. If using Warm and Natural, I cut strips 2.25" wide and use a 3/8" seam allowance. (Next one I try is going to be strips 2" wide and a 1/4" seam allowance.) With wide binding, the eye is going to notice variations more easily, I think.

    I sew the binding to the back as usual, matching the cut edges of the binding to the marking. This way I don't have to worry about edges turning under on me or stretching out of shape as I sew. I sew with the binding on top and pull it nice and taut as I sew it to the quilt. With this method, I also do not have to use a walking foot (at least on my machine). Only after sewing do I cut the quilt sandwich right on the marked line.

    Next step is to go to the ironing board, place the quilt backing on top, and *carefully* iron the binding away from the quilt body. I do not iron it so much that the binding fold gets ironed. This helps keep the binding even and makes it easier to turn. (Edit: I do think this is a very important step for me. Once I added this, my bindings started looking a lot better. Plus they were easier to fold over.)

    I pretty much glue baste only the mitered corners, although occasionally I will glue baste all of the binding. I fold the binding over until the fold just barely covers the seam line and iron in place. (If something doesn't look right, I will lift the binding up and re-do it. If it doesn't come apart easily, a little water will soften the glue.)

    Finally, the piece de resistance for hiding any little inconsistencies. I use a decorative stitch on the right side. One of the easiest to use is a serpentine stitch (on most machines, and looks like a large S). The serpentine goes both on and off the binding. A simple zigzag can look really nice too. The most difficult for getting binding to look nice, in my opinion, is a straight stitch.

    One thing I am wondering is if your quilt edges are straight when you sew on the binding. I use a large metal T-square when marking to make sure that my corners are square and the quilt edge markings are straight. If you are cutting the edge first, then sewing on binding with a 1/4" seam (and especially if you are doing it without using a walking foot), there is a lot more opportunity to sew in distortions that will affect how the binding lays on the front.
    Last edited by Prism99; 01-23-2013 at 09:06 PM.

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    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Pretty much like Prism wrote. I iron the binding once it is sewn on the back of the quilt so it lays out flat away from the quilt. Then I turn the quilt over and iron the binding toward the front. With the ironing I can see that I do go over the sewing line from where I sewed the binding to the back.

    I have used school glue to then keep the binding in place while I use a fancy stitch - usually what I call chicken feet - to sew the binding down on the front of the quilt.
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    Senior Member zzmom's Avatar
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    A friend of mine taught me to use a wave looking stitch which can usually be achieved by stretching out your zigzag stitch if you don't have a decorative wave stitch on your machine. To stretch out the zigzag stitch try lengthing the stitch width and length dials. Practice on a piece of test fabric first to make sure it looks right. I use this type of stitch on the majority of my quilt bindings. Its fast and very forgiving. No worries about sewing in a straight line for the most part!
    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
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    how would I find that Tut what is it under. Thanks for your help

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    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I use the red clips and my fingernail to quide my sewing on top of the stitch line. Can only do an inch at a time but refuse to hand sew.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Donnamarie's Avatar
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    I always put my binding on by machine and it looks great. If possible, I try to use the same fabric for the back and binding so you don't see the sewing line on the back if its not lined up perfectly. First square up your quilt. Then iron a 2 1/2" strip in half, right sides out. Sew the binding on the back, your sewing line should be 1/3 of the binding away from the edge. I always check my corners before I continue to sew on the front. Iron the binding out, fold over and sew on the front. It works perfectly and saves on the hands. Very easy and fast.

  18. #18
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    I have never understood how you could sew to the back of the sandwiched quilt without trimming first, because how can you tell where the edge of the top is? But if you trim, and things shift, you could have a mess on your hands.

    I recently saw a blog where a woman stitched all the way around the edges of her sandwiched quilt, less that a quarter inch. Then she trimmed, then sewed to the back, then pulled around to the front and stitched.

    I have to say, it looked like it worked, made the edges flat and straight. But man -- sewing three times around the whole quilt? It's still worky, in my book!
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  19. #19
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    Super Member cjr's Avatar
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    I do all of mine from back to front on my DSM. I have gotten very good at it. I have found that using the tip of the seam ripper to press down all the layers as I sew gives it a nicer look. 99% of my corners come out perfectly mitered. I only use 2 straight pins when I'm starting. No clamps , glue or prebasting. I have come to like binding.
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  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willferg View Post
    I have never understood how you could sew to the back of the sandwiched quilt without trimming first, because how can you tell where the edge of the top is?
    I use a permanent Sharpie to mark the cutting line all around the quilt. This becomes a "virtual" cutting line in that I act as if the quilt were already cut along that line. If I need to mark on the front of the quilt instead of the back, I machine baste on that marked line so that I have a "virtual" cut line on the back too. The machine basting stitch goes really fast because I just feed the marked line into the presser foot.

  21. #21
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I machine sew the binding and never use any clips or glue. Just cut your quilt sandwiches' edges nice and straight when squaring up, and then lay the binding in line with the edge. Keep a little bit of tension on it when sewing it and follow some stitch guide: the edge of the machine foot, usually. It can't be anything but straight if you do that.

    One little cheater trick: You can correct some imperfections with your iron. When you take the binding around to the back, no harm done if you straighten up any curves by pressing the binding forward a tad, over them. This is only for shortages in the seam allowances, not places where you took too much seam. Those will have to be picked out and re-sewn. If you follow your seam guide (foot) you will have very little of this, ever.
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    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    I sew from the front, flip binding over and stitch in the ditch.

  23. #23
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Here's the link to Charisma's tutorial---http://www.quiltingboard.com/tutoria...ge-t77821.html. It really looks terrific!
    Sue

  24. #24
    Senior Member hevemi's Avatar
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    I press my binding as in bias tape but I don't cut bias but straight strips for square items, the pressing lines work as stitching guides. I stitch to back first, turn the binding to front to cover the stitching line and stitch down using the walking foot. Sometimes, especially in small projects I might use the zipper foot but I prefer the walking foot, it keeps the lines neat in front and using the backing color bobbin thread takes care of the back side.

  25. #25
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    If you cut the wadding and front to size of finished quilt and cut the back 1 inch larger fold the back over to the front and fold in to make a binding . Now you can sew or decorative stitch on the front . My dislike of making some of the methods mentioned is I dislike2 stitch lines on the back or not on the correct place. .
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