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Thread: Should I press my binding?

  1. #1
    diogirl's Avatar
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    I'm going to do bindind where I sew edges on theback of the quilt and then fold over to the front and stitch the fold edge down. Not sure what that method is called...Do I need to press that binding first giving it a sharp edge or leave the edge a little full or puffy looking? Thanks
    :)

  2. #2
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    I might be wrong here because I am still a newbie but I always press the binding with lots of starch. Then I sew the raw edge to the front side of the quilt and then fold over to the back and sew.

    I am sure you and I both will get some great tips on this thread so I glad you asked it!!


    Billy

  3. #3
    Senior Member patty48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    I might be wrong here because I am still a newbie but I always press the binding with lots of starch. Then I sew the raw edge to the front side of the quilt and then fold over to the back and sew.

    I am sure you and I both will get some great tips on this thread so I glad you asked it!!


    Billy
    This is the way I do it also. In fact I'm binding a tube table runner right now.


  4. #4
    diogirl's Avatar
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    hmmm I didn't think about sewing the raw edges to the front and folding over to the back... does that make it look better in the front? thanks.

  5. #5
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    I bound 2 quilts yesterday and will have 2 more (a king and queen size) in the next week after quilting them.

    So lets just say I am going to be getting a little practice to say the least!!!!

    Billy

  6. #6
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    I most definitely press my binding! I generally stitch it to the back and bring it to the front. I guess because that is the way someone at my LQS store taught me to do it when I first started quilting. I don't think it makes much difference one way, or the other. It is your quilt, after all. If I doing a wall-hanging, or something smaller, I will often times use one of my machines decorative stitches. When I am doing a large quilt, I like to machine stitch to the back and hand stitch when I bring it to the front. A very good excuse to watch DVDs while I am doing it. And, actually, that is what I should be doing right now instead of playing on the computer. I have a Xmas quilt to bind that I want to use on our bed this season.

  7. #7
    Senior Member patty48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diogirl
    hmmm I didn't think about sewing the raw edges to the front and folding over to the back... does that make it look better in the front? thanks.
    Absolutely...nice crisp edge on the front. Sometimes the binding can be a bit wonky because of the batting not being even. I'd rather have a wonky back than a wonky front.

  8. #8
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patty48
    Quote Originally Posted by diogirl
    hmmm I didn't think about sewing the raw edges to the front and folding over to the back... does that make it look better in the front? thanks.
    Absolutely...nice crisp edge on the front. Sometimes the binding can be a bit wonky because of the batting not being even. I'd rather have a wonky back than a wonky front.
    Agreed. I always sew the binding raw edge to the front and then wrap it the back. I then stitch-in-th-ditch on the front along the edge of the binding so that it just catches the creased edge of the binding on the back and secures it. I like to do a 3/8" wide binding, so that means I cut the binding strips 2 7/8" wide.

  9. #9
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Ditto to that last posting. I usually cut my binding at least 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches then fold in half and press before sewing it to the front and handfinishing the back. I also don't pin it I just roll it as I go. I believe this is called the French method. I usualy use the straight of grain unless I will be doing rounded edges etc. It saves a lot of peiceing.

  10. #10
    Esqmommy's Avatar
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    I starch the living heck out of mine. It can practically stand up all by itself!

  11. #11
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    I always stitch to the front and hand sew to the backing. Makes a neater looking front. I pre-press too.
    I also stitch to the front and hand sew to the back. Here is a nice you Tube tutorial on how to do the double fold binding:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buCKs-Fgvb4

  12. #12
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I press my binding and usually sew to the front and hand stitch on the back. Pressing seems to make it easier to sew that back.

  13. #13
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I also sew to the front, hand stitch to the back. I press the binding strip down the center before I start.

    One thing that no one told me when I first started was that your binding should be absolutely full of batting. You might do a little sample piece to be sure that your binding will be full. It makes a huge difference in how good the quilt looks and how well it wears at the edges.

  14. #14
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    I was told to NOT press the binding. The reason being, when you press, you're dividing the binding evenly in half. But, when you attach the binding, and pull it to the back to stitch it down, there's a little more than half of the material on the piece you see, and less than half on the piece you don't see, since the visible piece has to cover more distance.

  15. #15
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    I was told to NOT press the binding. The reason being, when you press, you're dividing the binding evenly in half. But, when you attach the binding, and pull it to the back to stitch it down, there's a little more than half of the material on the piece you see, and less than half on the piece you don't see, since the visible piece has to cover more distance.
    I was told by a man that designed a "stitch in the ditch foot" that when you prepress the binding it is about 1/32 off. Now, not being a perfectionist I press my binding. I saw in a quilting magazine yesterday, (sorry can't remember the mag and it wasn't mine) that if you ziz zag with fusible thread on the back of seam, then press the the binding it helps hold the front while stitching it down. Haven't tried this yet, has anyone done that.
    I stitch my binding on the front if I'm hand sewing, on the back and wrap to the front if I'm machine sewing. I'd rather the front look the best.

  16. #16
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    Good point. I always presed mine, but will try no pressing on the next one to see if it makes much difference to me.

  17. #17
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    I was told to NOT press the binding. The reason being, when you press, you're dividing the binding evenly in half. But, when you attach the binding, and pull it to the back to stitch it down, there's a little more than half of the material on the piece you see, and less than half on the piece you don't see, since the visible piece has to cover more distance.
    That is a good point. I press it in half to make the double binding but I don't press it half to divide the front from the back.

    And as dunster said, I also like to have my binding full of batting so when I trim the batting I don't trim it even with the quilt top, instead I leave approx 1/4" of batting beyond the edge of the quilt.

  18. #18
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    I was told to NOT press the binding. The reason being, when you press, you're dividing the binding evenly in half. But, when you attach the binding, and pull it to the back to stitch it down, there's a little more than half of the material on the piece you see, and less than half on the piece you don't see, since the visible piece has to cover more distance.
    that's what i was also taught. the top layer takes more fabric (it's called the rollover) than the under layer. if you press first the press line is wonky.

    if you want to sew your binding by machine, stitch the binding on the back, raw edges together. now, PRESS ONLY AT THE PLACE WHERE THE LINE OF STITCHING MEETS THE QUILT. PRESS THE BINDING AWAY FROM THE BODY OF THE QUILT. DO NOT PRESS THE BINDING. VERY IMPORTANT. roll the binding over, unpressed, to the front just letting the stitch line show, so the binding is now just back toward the raw edge of the quilt. . using the blindstitch or hemstitch feature on your machine, follow that line of stitching so that only the stitch that jumps over catches the very edge of the binding that was folded over to the front. the reason you pressed the back away was to expose the stitching line so that when you stitched from the front, you didn't stitch unevenly over the binding. everything stays goodlooking front and back with no stitching showing. with your fingers, roll the back binding back over where you pressed it away. it should look really good. i've only done this with doubled binding,
    not double fold.

  19. #19
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I press the binding in half and sew it on the front by machine. Then I hand-stitch it to the back. It keeps the front seam really crisp and clean (in case my hand work isn't consistent).

    The only time I sew the binding on the back is when I machine stitch it from the front using a decorative stitch. That method is really fast and great for scrap/utility quilts. The decorative stitches hide where the seam lines between back and front don't match.

  20. #20
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostn51
    I might be wrong here because I am still a newbie but I always press the binding with lots of starch. Then I sew the raw edge to the front side of the quilt and then fold over to the back and sew.

    I am sure you and I both will get some great tips on this thread so I glad you asked it!!


    Billy
    That is how I do it too..but I do not use starch.

  21. #21
    diogirl's Avatar
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    ok I just pressed my binding in half..... did I just screw up? I haven't added to the quilt yet.. I'm just confused...

  22. #22
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diogirl
    ok I just pressed my binding in half..... did I just screw up? I haven't added to the quilt yet.. I'm just confused...
    I think people are misunderstanding when to press and when not to press.

    To start at the beginning, you cut a strip of fabric for the binding and press that strip in half, right fabric sides showing, so that the raw edges are together. That is where people press and starch their binding.

    You sew this strip to your quilt, matching raw edges with raw edges. (Whether you sew to the front first or to the back first is a matter of personal preference and also depends somewhat on how you plan to finish the binding. Traditionally, if you are planning to hand sew the binding in place, you machine sew to the front and hand sew to the back. If you plan to machine finish the binding, it is often done the other way.)

    You do *not* press the strip before folding it to the other side. You want to leave the binding edge full and puffy, not flat with a knife edge. Also, quilt judges look for the binding to be nicely filled with batting and not just flat.

    HTH!

  23. #23
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diogirl
    ok I just pressed my binding in half..... did I just screw up? I haven't added to the quilt yet.. I'm just confused...
    That is how I do it, and mine always turns out just fine :)

  24. #24
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99

    I think people are misunderstanding when to press and when not to press.

    To start at the beginning, you cut a strip of fabric for the binding and press that strip in half, right fabric sides showing, so that the raw edges are together. That is where people press and starch their binding.

    You sew this strip to your quilt, matching raw edges with raw edges. (Whether you sew to the front first or to the back first is a matter of personal preference and also depends somewhat on how you plan to finish the binding. Traditionally, if you are planning to hand sew the binding in place, you machine sew to the front and hand sew to the back. If you plan to machine finish the binding, it is often done the other way.)

    You do *not* press the strip before folding it to the other side. You want to leave the binding edge full and puffy, not flat with a knife edge. Also, quilt judges look for the binding to be nicely filled with batting and not just flat.

    HTH!
    thank you for explaining it better and simpler that i did. with a lot less words. :mrgreen:

  25. #25
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucyInTheSky
    I was told to NOT press the binding. The reason being, when you press, you're dividing the binding evenly in half. But, when you attach the binding, and pull it to the back to stitch it down, there's a little more than half of the material on the piece you see, and less than half on the piece you don't see, since the visible piece has to cover more distance.
    Hmmm -- have never heard this before, but it surely makes sense!!

    What I usually do is:

    If I sew to the front and fold over to the back, I hand-stitch it to finish.
    If I sew it to the back and fold over to the front, I top-stitch by machine.

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