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Thread: Store bought binding...good or bad?

  1. #1
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I'm making a denim/blue jeans quilt for a friend of mine who's 21st birthday is coming up. I'm almost half-way done with the quilt top (looking great so far! Yay!). I'm not having any real problems with the quilt...yet.

    Right now I have everything for the quilt (I seem to get everything for the quilt top and then gradually buy the things for the rest of the quilt). Except something to bind the quilt. My dilemma is: I have no clue how to "correctly" make binding from fabric and denim costs 5 dollars a yard. Expensive fabric and lack of skill don't go well together. Plus, my friend's birthday is on the 25th so I don't have a lot of time to get this quilt done.

    I was thinking about using store bought quilt binding, but I'm not quite sure if I should. On one hand, it'll make things easier and I can get the quilt done in time, wheras if I make my own binding it adds more time and I sort of lack the quilt binding making skills. On the other hand, I don't know how well this store bought binding holds up to the typical wear and tear. Please enlighten me.

  2. #2
    Leslee's Avatar
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    I haven't had any problems with the store-bought bindings. The double-fold wears well. The colors and patterns to choose from are limited, so there are times when making your own binding is the only way to go to get just the look you're after. It might be kinda hard to bind a quilt with denim anyway, so if the packaged binding matches, go for it! I'm sure your friend will love the quilt--Post a picture for us!

  3. #3
    SandraJennings's Avatar
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    I agree with Leslee. The binding you find pre-packaged is fine. Nowadays you have some more interesting possibilities as quilting has made fabric options expand greatly. You can co-ordinate it with your decorative stitching colors or even join complimentary colors to create a colorful edging on the quilt. Please let us see when done. Hey BTW....how is your map quilt coming along?

  4. #4
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    here's a couple of ways to make a binding that don't require bias, will work great with any fabric you have already on hand, and don't require a Master's Degree. (Unless your're going around curves, in which case bias is the best.)

    URL: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_quilting_tips/article/0,1789,HGTV_3307_4173454,00.html

    here's another one. sometimes i find it easy to do this way. sometimes i turn the air blue in the process.

    URL: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/shows_qlt/article/0,1805,HGTV_3876_3178320,00.html

  5. #5
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    So if I buy some pre-packaged binding at Wal-Mart (I think the brand they carry is Wrights) I shouldn't have to worry about it wearing and tearing?

    I got the top half-way finished (I've been trying to get at least two rows done a night). Here's what it looks like.


    Sandra: Haven't worked on the map quilt yet. The planning kind of wore my brain out...trying to figure out what would be a good size for each block without getting it too big, playing the game to get the map pieces so I could start making applique patterns...I kind of got sick of it. But I'll eventually get back around to it and make a wonderful quilt.

    Speaking of wonderful quilts, the first quilt I made (the black, white, and red baby quilt) should be put into use very soon. My very pregnat friend is almost a week past her due date so if she doesn't have her son by this week (which is sounds like she's getting there since they said she was a cm dialated when she went to the hospital after going to see Spiderman 3) they're going to induce her. I can't wait! :D

  6. #6
    Suz
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    I wouldn't use the store binding because I don't think it is wide enough to cover denim, batting and the backing. Additionally, I think it is too thin and won't wear well.

    If you want to match the blue color, choose a denim chambray of a similar color. I would cut it on the straight grain and make it double. Obviously, this will be a working quilt and will get a lot of wear.

    Another choice would be to make a scrappy binding, using several colors and prints that you may have on hand. A blue or red check would make an interesting binding.

    Suzanne

  7. #7
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    What exactly is denim chambray?

  8. #8
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    I have done it both wyas. store bought and home made. It depends on time, resources, and colors available. Go with the prepackaged. If it doesn't last, get her to bring it back in a few years and replace the binding. There is a fairly wide binding that Wal Mart carries or use to carry--wider than bias tape and maybe you can find it. I don't use bias as a rule, usually tear strips of fabric--to get it on the straight of grain--use 2 inch strips doubled with wrong sides together. I do piece my strips on the bias since the seam is less noticable that way.Sew the binding to the back side of the quilt and that way when you flip it over to the right side you will have a nice folded edge and you can hand stitch it to the front. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Suz
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    Denim Chambray: a heavier cotton in a denim color. The denim shirts are made from denim chambray. Hope this is helpful. Suzanne

  10. #10
    rvquilter's Avatar
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    I do my own binding but that is a choice. I find the store bought way too expensive. I love the quilt. You are doing a wonderful job.

  11. #11
    SandraJennings's Avatar
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    I think it looks great! you have certainly been given many options, so go with which is comfortable for you. Hope your friend and crew to be are doing well. No pressure on the other quilt, these things work themselves out when they are ready. Nice of fabric to be so kind and wait for us to catch up! LOL! Either way you decide to go we would still love to see the finished product. BTW, love the little toe peek!

  12. #12

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    love this quilt ,beibg denim it'll keep your friend very warm . tia sarah

  13. #13
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I think he'll like it, too! :) Don't think he'll be using it this summer though (not sure exactly how heavy its gonna be after its done, batting and all). But I'm sure he'll put it through good use during those nasty Minnesota winters!

    If I have the time and money I'll go for the handmade binding. If not, go for the alternatives.

    Guess my very pregnat friend gonna be using that baby quilt sooner than I thought. She had her baby almost three hours ago! Strange thing was...I had a dream she had given birth to her son and then five seconds after I woke up Mom said that she had gotten a call saying that she was going into labour (for REAL this time! LoL) That was an exciting 10 hours, but that's another story. ;)

  14. #14
    SandraJennings's Avatar
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    OOOh! Give her congrats and wishes for me...newbies are so precious. Now you get to be friend and family "aunt". They can be the best kind.

  15. #15
    Catherine's Avatar
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    Denim always reminds me of tuffness.....Stitch around the edges 1/2 to one inch and let the ends, fray..kinda goes with the theme on denim! and wow how fast is that!!! cut the batting close to the stitching before fraying.
    Of course that would give it a more casual look....just an idea.

  16. #16
    SandraJennings's Avatar
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    Hey there ! check out this site for binding help.....sharonschamber.com...look in the freebies section and you can download an instructional on it...good info whatever you choose.

  17. #17
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandraJennings
    OOOh! Give her congrats and wishes for me...newbies are so precious. Now you get to be friend and family "aunt". They can be the best kind.
    Offically, I'm the child's godmother, but I could of swore my friend (the father) called me "Auntie Sam" when they brought the baby back from the operating room. LoL.

  18. #18

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    catherine, i cant pic that .do you have any pic. of blue jean quilts like that. would love to see if you do. tia sarah

  19. #19
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine
    Denim always reminds me of tuffness.....Stitch around the edges 1/2 to one inch and let the ends, fray..kinda goes with the theme on denim! and wow how fast is that!!! cut the batting close to the stitching before fraying.
    Of course that would give it a more casual look....just an idea.
    I thought about doing the frayed edges but I ended up not wanting to go for that look and decided just to make a standard patchwork quilt. :) Which reminds me I have to work a little extra tonight since I didn't get to work on the quilt yesterday since I was at the hospital all day and I was too mentally exuasted anyways to work on it.

    By the way, how should finish the quilt (not the binding part, but when you sandwich the quilt together...can't think of what that particular step is called). I've only made one complete quilt and that one was tied and I don't think tieing it would be the best way for a denim quilt...plus, that'd be a lot of ties for a 60x80 quilt...

  20. #20
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Are you talking about quilting it? If you ar in a hurry, you could quilt around the squares, or quit through the middle of each on a diagonal which woud make an "x" in each block. Or if you are machine quilting, just an overall swirly stitch would look nice. Basically, its whatever floats your boat. I love the colors--anything blue, thats me!

  21. #21
    Carla P's Avatar
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    Vicki is on to something... You could quilt each square on your machine using denim thread and with all of the different colors available (denim thread colors) you could choose to quilt each block with a different color. That might get a little pricey, so you could always use a high contrast color like red or denim gold to really bring it all together. Like Vicki suggested, you could do the crosshatch through the center of each block (X), which would be a pretty quick and simple method, or you could quilt it in the ditch, or any way you choose. Just remember to baste your layers together VERY well because that heavy denim may want to shift a good bit (someone more experienced with denim can tell you better than me how it is going to act when sanwiched). I would highly recommend a walking foot if you will be using your feed dogs or a free motion/darning foot if not. And, consider the weight of the quilt as you mentioned before. You are going to have to be able to handle it throughout the entire quilting process, and the more you quilt, the heavier it is going to be. I am most definitely not trying to discourage you, only remind (or warn if you've never heard) you of the extra weight the quilting will add. I guess my point for it would be to say less (quilting) is sometimes more.

  22. #22
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Also, if possible try to position a chair or two to support the weight of the quilt as it goes out the back side of the preser foot. the weight hanging off the machine, and/or table will pull ate the quilt, and make it difficult to sew. The chairs or a table will help support the quilt. If you are unsure if you can sew a striaight line, I can't, the you could use blue painters tape or regular ole masking tape if you want to have good straight lines. Just position the tape and sew to one side of it. I have used that techinque lots and its a lot better than trying to mark a quilting line. If you have access to a sewing notions store, check out the varigated or multicolored thread. That will add some pazzaz to the look.
    Let us see how it comes out!

  23. #23

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    i've done three denim quilts,and it wasn't bad to quilt down at all.a bit heavy yes .but hey their worth it once your under it .i've used the lighter batting and we 're all ready in the 90's here.and i'am still sleeping under it tia sarah

  24. #24
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    I think all that left me with more questions than answers, which I guess isn't a bad thing since there's so many people here to provide answers to those questions.

    1. What about "stitch in the ditch"? Actually, what exactly is stiching in the ditch? Isn't that where you sew in-between where two pieces meet?

    2. What's a walking foot? Well, I know what it is, but not sure what it does. And what sort of disadvantage would I be at for not having one?

    3. There's no way in Hell I'd be able to set up a chair to deal with the weight of the quilt. My room is pretty small and the only space I was able to set up a sewing machine was in-between the mattress and the coffee table that has piles of notebooks and other paper-related products stacked on it (they have no where else to go!) The actual sewing space is probably about 36"x72". So given the amount of space I have to work with there's no way I could set up something to deal with the weight. But...with the quilt being almost 3 quarters of the way done, its starting to get pretty weighty and becoming a little bit difficult to deal with. Is there anything I can do?

    4. Need suggestions on basting. Never tackled it because I didn't know I really needed to do it and the other quilt was so small that it I really didn't have any problems with shifting anyways.

  25. #25
    Carla P's Avatar
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    Ok... Stitching in the ditch is actually going right along side of the seam where the 2 pieces are joined. I have also heard it explained as stitching right on the seam as you asked, but I have also heard this can cut the joining threads if you have your seams pressed open.

    A walking foot sort of acts like feed dogs for the top of your quilt to insure all 3 layers feed at the same speed (the backing doesn't reach the finish line before the batting and then the top).

    As far as your space issue, is there any way you could stack those books and such on the floor beside the coffee table you sew on and let your quilt rest on those ? You just don't want too much of it hanging down away form your machine. Anything would work as long as your quilt can drape onto it. You will know if you need to put something there immediately because you will feel the weight pulling at the needle area as you are trying to quilt it... you'll be wresteling with it. If you have enough table top space, you can pile the majority of the quilt's weight around your machine, it will just require adjusting the quilt more often and good basting.

    As for basting, safety pins placed every couple of inches work very well. If you do not have safety pins, grab a needle and some contrasting thread (different color than the quilting thread) and hand baste it the old fashioned way. Divide your quilt into quarters (mentally) and begin at the center sewing out to the edges first forming a cross then from the center out again, this time forming an X. After that, baste as many additional radiating lines as necessary to secure the sandwich together. I make stitches about every inch or so, but others may have better information about this basting method.

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