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Thread: Sewing binding on by machine ??s

  1. #1
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Sewing binding on by machine ??s

    I have sewn my binding to the back of my quilt and need to sew it down to the front now. When I did this before with a straight stitch it looked great from the front, but there was a distinct line on the back. Those who do this often, do you recommend a decorative stitch? I thought of a serpentine but was unsure about having part of the serpentine off the binding if you know what I mean. I'm frustrated because our computer just died and I'm using my cell phone. Otherwise I could search and look at pictures. Thanks for any suggestions!

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    When I'm being careful, I machine sew to the back and then I glue-baste to the front, making sure that the edge of the binding lines up on the front and back. (I poke a needle through from the back every now and then, right below the binding, to help me make sure I'm exactly lined up.) That way when I machine sew the front, the back seam ends up in the right spot on the back binding too. Usually I just straight stitch but sometimes I use the blanket stitch. Or I zigzag if it's a dog blanket.

    More often, though, I just go for it and let there be a line on the back and don't worry about it. MOST of my quilts are for gifts to non-quilters and I've never had anybody notice the line on the back, much less comment on it. I don't mind it on quilts I make for myself either. But if you're making something for a show or if you're just less of a slob than I am (lol), try the glue. (Elmer's WASHABLE white school glue is what I use.)

  3. #3
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    I like to hand stitch mine - it gives me one last chance to look at the quilt and think about who is getting it.

  4. #4
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Most people who sew the binding to the back turn it and use a decorative stitch
    on the front. Personally, I prefer to stitch to the front, turn, glue, press then SID
    on the front while catching the binding at the back. Takes some practice but
    I think I'm getting pretty good at it now.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I prefer a serpentine as it is much more forgiving than straight stitching. I have done it with the serpentine half on/half off the binding and also with the serpentine completely on the binding. I think I prefer the latter. The left side of the serpentine gets close enough to the edge that there is no risk of the binding edge turning up.

    Best thing to do is experiment with the serpentine settings until you get a look that you like, then prepare a sample quilt edge and try out different placements on the sample. This will tell you pretty quickly what you like best.

    Edit: I have tried decorative stitches other than the serpentine, but the only ones that are equally forgiving are those that do not have a center line. My feather stitch, for example, has a center line in addition to left and right stitches. This makes it as difficult to do as straight line stitching. If you have a machine that does non-centered decorative stitches you might want to try a few out. The other thing I found with decorative stitches (other than the serpentine) is that they can take a lot more thread and a lot more time to sew.
    Last edited by Prism99; 05-27-2013 at 01:44 PM.

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    I like to use Charisma's QB tutorial of Quick machine binding with flange. I match the flange colour to the back fabric colour. When I stitch along the flange in the front, the thread does show on the back but with the matching thread, it isn't noticeable.

  7. #7
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    I've pinned the binding tightly around the front and used a decorative stitch (waves, serpentines, arcs) to sew the binding down. That way it is not noticed as much when it is off - I call it a design "feature."

    If you use thread to match the top and the bottom fabric, you can get away with using the straight stitch. Blending thread won't be as noticeable.

  8. #8
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I use straight stitch... I always sew the binding to the FRONT of the quilt, and then turn it to the back and pin pin pin... I go around the edge, pinning right at the ditch on the front where the stitching will be. Then I peek around back and see where that pin landed on the back of the binding. If it's too deep or two shallow, I adjust so that stitch in the ditch will hit perfectly on the edge of the back binding. Lots and lots of pins. My fingers 'know' by now how much to turn and pin, and I don't make too many adjustments.

    I never use glue on a quilt-- UGH.

    When I sew, I sew slowly and pull the front binding away so that I can snug my sts up into the ditch. Then when the binding relaxes it covers it and is invisible from the front. My aim is to catch just the edge on the back, and not too much. If I have missed any spots I go back and re-do those areas. I usually have a couple...
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  9. #9
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I iron my binding when I have sewn it to the back and then when I fold it over to the front. Then I choose a stitch I like to do the sewing from the front. I have used school glue but don't anymore. The ironing seems to be enough.

    I do have arthritis in my hands is this is the easiest way for me to do it.
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  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I used a decorative stitch on this table runner. Did it on a large quilt too but can't find a photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  11. #11
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    I also 'just go for it' when machine sewing a binding on a quilt. However, I do try to make sure the bobbin and the top thread are 'matched up' to the back (bobbin) and top so that the line isn't too noticeable.

  12. #12
    Super Member kim_s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
    When I'm being careful, I machine sew to the back and then I glue-baste to the front, making sure that the edge of the binding lines up on the front and back. (I poke a needle through from the back every now and then, right below the binding, to help me make sure I'm exactly lined up.) That way when I machine sew the front, the back seam ends up in the right spot on the back binding too. Usually I just straight stitch but sometimes I use the blanket stitch. Or I zigzag if it's a dog blanket.

    More often, though, I just go for it and let there be a line on the back and don't worry about it. MOST of my quilts are for gifts to non-quilters and I've never had anybody notice the line on the back, much less comment on it. I don't mind it on quilts I make for myself either. But if you're making something for a show or if you're just less of a slob than I am (lol), try the glue. (Elmer's WASHABLE white school glue is what I use.)
    Thank you for this info. I just machine bound a binding on today - from back and then to the front - with a blanket stitch. But it was far from perfect on the back. I will use the glue in the future!! Thank you!!

  13. #13
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I always hand sew my binding to the back. I like the looks and sit and plan my next quilt. I have sewn enough that I am fairly fast at it.
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  14. #14
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Those little red clips are great for binding. I sew to the back then turn the binding and clip. This way I can see my sewing line to follow when I machine sew it to the front. It is like sewing in the ditch.

  15. #15
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. I decided to just go with it and ended with a straight stitch on the front. This one turned out fairly well without too much fussing-- I LOVE using glue to hold the binding in place. This is a kid's quilt that is pretty heavy wth fleece on the back plus a batting and it was so much easier to machine stitch it down.
    This board is so helpful and encouraging!! THANKS!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    I prefer a serpentine as it is much more forgiving than straight stitching. I have done it with the serpentine half on/half off the binding and also with the serpentine completely on the binding. I think I prefer the latter. The left side of the serpentine gets close enough to the edge that there is no risk of the binding edge turning up.

    Best thing to do is experiment with the serpentine settings until you get a look that you like, then prepare a sample quilt edge and try out different placements on the sample. This will tell you pretty quickly what you like best.

    Edit: I have tried decorative stitches other than the serpentine, but the only ones that are equally forgiving are those that do not have a center line. My feather stitch, for example, has a center line in addition to left and right stitches. This makes it as difficult to do as straight line stitching. If you have a machine that does non-centered decorative stitches you might want to try a few out. The other thing I found with decorative stitches (other than the serpentine) is that they can take a lot more thread and a lot more time to sew.
    I agree! I always finish the binding on the sewing machine. And I used a forigiving stitch. Good input! :-)

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    I use Monopoly thread and a blind hem stitch or sometimes matching thread and a decortive stitch.

  18. #18
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    I do just that and I dont worry about that line of stitching on the back showing. I do match that color to the backing to make it less noticable.

    If it is a nice bed quilt for adults, I do the traditional way and hand sew. But most of my quilts are charity for children or military and I do by machine. For the children, you need to machine sew the binding because it will be washed often and dragged around.
    Jean in MI

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kim_s View Post
    Thank you for this info. I just machine bound a binding on today - from back and then to the front - with a blanket stitch. But it was far from perfect on the back. I will use the glue in the future!! Thank you!!
    You are VERY welcome...glue basting is something I learned from this board and I think it's the best thing ever, so I'm thrilled to pass the tip along!

  20. #20
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    I admire all of you that hand sew your binding...I love the look of hand sewn binding but I just don't have the patience for it. Or the time, either...I work full time and then some and I would NEVER finish a quilt if I hand sewed the binding!

    Maybe when I retire I'll take up the hand-sewing...if my hands last that long! There's a lot of arthritis in my family...I might have robot hands by then, who knows? (Would it still be hand-stitching if I had robot hands? Or would that count as machine stitching? LOL)

  21. #21
    Senior Member Kwiltr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy View Post
    Most people who sew the binding to the back turn it and use a decorative stitch
    on the front. Personally, I prefer to stitch to the front, turn, glue, press then SID
    on the front while catching the binding at the back. Takes some practice but
    I think I'm getting pretty good at it now.
    Yup, did this for the first time myself...used a SID walking foot (newly acquired for this purpose) and chose a decorative stitch that the stitch pattern goes both left and right of the center needle position and voila, stitched that binding down beautifully. I will never hand sew another binding! I've never glued anything yet...didn't know I could...but used my little Clover wonder clips which also are very nice to use vs. pins. :-)

  22. #22
    Senior Member TeresaS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativetexan View Post
    I used a decorative stitch on this table runner. Did it on a large quilt too but can't find a photo.
    Love it..very nice

  23. #23
    Junior Member DixieLee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I like to use Charisma's QB tutorial of Quick machine binding with flange. I match the flange colour to the back fabric colour. When I stitch along the flange in the front, the thread does show on the back but with the matching thread, it isn't noticeable.
    I machine bind all the time and this is the way I do it. I know some people do not like the idea of machine quilting but my hands do not handle that much hand sewing well anymore.

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