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Thread: Tried putting binding on by machine

  1. #1
    Senior Member sylviak's Avatar
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    Tried putting binding on by machine

    It was fast, but I'm not too happy with it. I really had trouble with the corners: my machine, even with a 90/14 needle and the walking foot on, didn't want to move over the hump of fabric. The other problem was that after flattening the binding with a decorative stitch, my edges are now wavy! This was a baby quilt for a friend...and she won't notice or mind, but what can I do to improve? Any suggestions? Except for the waves and the corners, it looks good....

  2. #2
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I've tried this several times and it never works for me either. I stick with the front by machine and then hand stitch to the back.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i've been quilting a long time (first quilt in 1976) and have never been happy with a machine binding---they never turn out as nice as a hand stitched binding (mine anyway) to me it seems like putting so much work into a quilt i simply ruin it if i try to *cut corners* and do a machine binding. I've watched videos and tried lots of peoples (new-improved way) but in the end i always regret having tried it again- so..all i can offer is:
    if you really want to do your bindings by machine- there are good tutorials & videos available---watch them & practice- after a while you may figure out what works for you that you are happy with- me, i will stick with the (old fashioned way)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    I have also had the same problem like to do front by machine and back by hand it looks alot better in my opinion

  5. #5
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    My favorite machine way is no binding but bring the fabric from the back to the front, tuck under and hem. Depending on the fabric I will use either a straight stitch or a decorative stitch.

    For the corners, I use my ruler and place it 1/4" from the corner (tip) and slice it off. I do that by lining up the 45 degree line with the top edge of the top (not the backing). Then I pull the backing fabric back, pretty sides together then sew from the corner to half way from where I cut it. Then finger press seam open and if necessary clip corner to decrease bulk. Pull the fabric back to the front and "pop" that corner out. It's easy then to tuck in the fabric for hemming. That's probably clear as mud. If I can figure out a way to do a video on it, I will or if someone knows of an online video showing this technique that would be great. My dear Mother-in-law showed me how to do this years ago and it's really neat since it makes a mitered corner and it's not bulky in the corner.

    Rule of thumb - If I want a 1" hem, I trim the back to 2" from edge of top all the way around then trim corner. Make sure you are 1/4" from corner because of the seam allowance.

  6. #6
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Another "I don't like the look of machine binding" person here. Maybe more practice would make it better, but mine just look a little messy compared to hand sewn binding. And I like the hand sewn process, so only use machine bindings for charity quilts, and then mutter under my breath.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

  7. #7
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    Have you tried the new way with the flange? It's really neat. Do a search for flange binding.

  8. #8
    Senior Member QuiltingHaven's Avatar
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    I agree with leatheflea. I machine sew them on the back and then hand sew them on the front. They have all looked nice and only took me maybe a week to do the hand sewing in the evening while watching TV with the DH.
    Busy in Ohio

  9. #9
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I only do machine binding. I think it gets better and better as you do the quilts, I do 99 % charity quilts and think they look good either way. My corners are flatter as I have learned to pin the corners more
    Patski
    always learning

  10. #10
    Super Member mermaid's Avatar
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    I use the machine for my charity quilts also, and I really don't think they look all that bad. I sew binding from the back, flip to front and pin-miter the corners...pinning around. Then I use the stitch that looks like a zig zag, except the zigs and zags are little machine stitches. Onto the binding with a zig and off on the quilt with a zag. Have I explained so anyone understands? I can adjust my "ZZ" to the width that looks good, and the little sewing stitches are about lgth 2 1/2 on the dial. Sometimes a 3. You just need to slow down and maneuver the corners to get them right.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Wanda_GA's Avatar
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    I signed up for one of those Craftsy tutorials and she does the same as Mermaid suggested, sew first from the back & fold over to front and she sewed a straight stitch, but I think a ZZ would look better. Haven't tried it yet, but hand sewing the binding on a big quilt or even a lap size is hard on these old hands.
    "Worry is like a rocking chair; you're moving but not going anywhere."

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    These videos by Leah Day were helpful for me:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wprg5vzkuGw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MRfA...feature=relmfu

    I found that I really like a serpentine stitch for the binding rather than the invisible stitch she demonstrates, so I use a serpentine for the last step.

    I also found that glue before that last step can help, especially with the mitered corners.

  13. #13
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    It sounds like you don't pin enough. I have never glued, I'd make too big of a mess.....sigh!!
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  14. #14
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I machine stitch mine to the back, then bring to front, use matching top thread, and matching bobbin thread to backing, and use serpentine stitch. Looks good to me.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  15. #15
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    Search you tube for Missouri Star videos -- just watched one for sewing binding on the machine -- Jenny's videos are great. Good luck!

  16. #16
    Senior Member RUSewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanda_GA View Post
    ......... hand sewing the binding on a big quilt or even a lap size is hard on these old hands.
    Same here.
    ~~ Butterflies can't see their wings.
    They can't see how truly beautiful they are,
    but everyone else can. People are kinda like that. ~~

  17. #17
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I also machine sew on the front and hand sew on the back. I get the neat look I like. Do whatever works best for you.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  18. #18
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    Glue the binding on before sewing. Press with a dry iron. Then use the clover clips or pin the binding to prevent shifting. This includes the mitered corner. If the corners are too bulky, snip a small triangle from the quilt corners. Snip a little at a time and only snip enough to make the mitered corner. There really shouldn't be any bulk at all to the corners. Try using the serpentine stitch with a shorter stitch. Also, I prefer sewing the binding onto the back first then bringing the binding to the front when I use the serpentine stitch. It allows me to control the way the front binding will look. Practice on a sample to see where the left edge of the stitch will fall with the binding. I sew the left edge directly onto the edge of the binding, then it is uniform all the way around. I use an 80/12 needle and size 40 thread. I don't use the walking foot with the serpentine stitch.
    Once the quilt is washed, you may not notice the wavy edge at all.

  19. #19
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    I decided to do my last quilt binding by machine using the school glue method on both the front and the back (no pins or clamps needed with this and no fabric shifting.) It was very fast but I did not care for the final "look" of the binding on the back. I guess I will stick to hand sewing which I find relaxing anyway. As ckcowl mentioned, I felt like I "ruined" the quilt by cutting corners.

  20. #20
    Senior Member sylviak's Avatar
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    I actually prefer the hand sewing on the back. I put the binding on as usual, used the clover clips to hold it, then sewed from the front. I think my decorative stitch was not placed right (should have been on the inside edge) and was too large, since it flattened the binding. Clipping the corner might help. The reason I did this was that I found out about to shower late and it would have taken most of the day to sew it by hand. I'll probably practice on some charity quilts to see if I can come up with a better way. I have an older Bernina that has the serpentine stitch. I might try that. It would probably go over the miters as well. Washing this one may help. I'll be doing that in the morning. Thanks for all the great suggestions!

  21. #21
    Senior Member sandrab64's Avatar
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    I have hand problems and it's difficult to hold a needle for hand sewing (the pinching action is what gets me) so machine binding has been a life saver. It's that or no quilting at all so if my binding looks a little 'off' I'm OK with it I'm going to try the serpentine method on my next quilt.
    Sandra B

  22. #22
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I machine bind all my quilts too. My quilts are made to use and I expect will be washed a lot. I know the machine binding will hold up better than my hand sewing. Not to mention, I don't like hand sewing! However, I sew to the front then flip to the back. I will agree that I like the looks of hand sewing the binding better, it looks neater to me but everyone should do what works best for them.
    Heather

  23. #23
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    While i prefer handstitched bindings, when i do machine stitch one i use the serpentine stitch on my machine also.
    I will also use it for SITD in place of a straight stitch

  24. #24
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    Of all the quilts I have made 90% of the bindings were all machine stitched.....I think accurate measuring helps a little. I sew on the front first, then fold to back, I allow enough material to go past my original stitch line, pin or glue in place very well, then sitch on the front in the ditch, I catch about 99% that way, and I am done quickly.....the last binding I hand sewed took me a week, and in the end did not feel the end result was any better and especially for a childs quilt felt the machine sewn was stronger...IMHO
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  25. #25
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    When I first started quilting about 4 years ago, I had a TERRIBLE time with my binding. But the old "practice makes perfect" is so true. I can do a beautiful machine binding now. You will prevent wavy edges if you measure through the center of the quilt or even in from the edge several inches, cut your strips that length. I don't pin my binding at all, at any point. I used to glue baste when I rolled it to the front, but have now found I don't even need to do that. The handy dandy steam iron makes a wonderful crease, I press the corners well, and use the blanket stitch nice and small. Nearly all my quilts are charity quilts so they need to be bound by machine.

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