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Thread: When you sew your binding on...

  1. #1
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    When you sew your binding on...

    do you sew with a 1/4" seam? Or a 3/8" seam? Or something different? I am going to be machine sewing the back first and then machine sewing the front with a decorative stitch but need to know what length to use. Thank you. It's a big quilt and I really don't want to mess it up. And I'm not a binder. I usually pay someone to bind my quilts. It's my least favorite part. But for now on, I am going to try to bind my own, even if it is by machine only.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  2. #2
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    I always sew the binding on the back of the quilt. Lately I have been using the edge of the walking foot as the seam quite which makes the seam allowance a little more than a 1/4 inch. Then I pull the binding to the front and this leaves a little padding in the binding. I cut my binding strips to 2 1/2 inches.

  3. #3
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Yes, I want to cut my binding 2 1/2" also. I have a dual feeding so I don't need a walking foot, but do you think you do 3/8"?
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  4. #4
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    I make a small sample quilt sandwich and 'test' my binding width on that before I cut a lot of it.

  5. #5
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    Do a sample test first. I usually use the side of my walking foot as a guide and it is larger than 1/4 inch. You will really need to make the same size sandwich square and try out your binding. Depending on the batt you used and the seam allowance, plus the width of the binding they can all play a role. Nothing I hate worse than getting a binding sewn all around a huge quilt and then not have enough to pull it over and hide the original stitching line.

  6. #6
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    I do mine the width of the presser foot, I think it is 3/8". I cut the binding 2 1/2" wide and that gives the binding just the right amount of fill.
    Lorraine

  7. #7
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    I do the same as gramarraine, using a pressure foot as a guide. Unless you're binding with points and no border, it really shouldn't matter what size seam you use. Just use a few threads less than 1/3 the width of your binding and it should be fine. I find it much easier to form neat corners, when my binding starts out as 2-1/2, rather than 2-1/4.
    Neesie


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  8. #8
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    Depending on the size of the quilt I have sewn it on the front with a 1/4" seam then pulled to back. That way if I need to do any fudging at all it is on the back. I either use glue, pins or clips to hold binding in place and then stitch on the top in the ditch.....when done go to back and do some hand work if necessary to catch anything that was not caught....... I would also strongly suggest doing a couple samples on what IS COMFORTABLE for you to handle....
    Again there are not any Quilt Police,......1/4" or 3/8" front or back....what ever works for you and this quilt...the next one could be totally different...
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  9. #9
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I also start with 2 1/2 inch strip and sew the width of my presser foot.

  10. #10
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I use 2.5" strips and sew it on with a little less than 3/8". It can depend on the thickness of your batting though, so if I'm using a different batting than usual, I will do a small test strip first.

  11. #11
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
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    I cut mine 2 1/2" wide. And sew with a "wide 1/4" seam". That means (to me) that rather than a scant seam, I go about the same distance the other way so I have slightly more than 1/4" seam in the end. probalby almost 3/8, now that I think about my trimming activity (I attach binding, then trim).

  12. #12
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I trim my sandwich after the binding has been attached to the sides. Usually, I leave a bit of extra batting past the quilt top so my binding is nice and full. The seam allowance is more than 1/4 - whatever the distance to my walking foot is - I never measured.
    Martina
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  13. #13
    Super Member sew_Tracy's Avatar
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    I sew my binding to the front and also use the edge of the walking foot. I hand stitch to the back for I cannot sew a straight line
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  14. #14
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborahlees View Post
    Depending on the size of the quilt I have sewn it on the front with a 1/4" seam then pulled to back. That way if I need to do any fudging at all it is on the back. I either use glue, pins or clips to hold binding in place and then stitch on the top in the ditch.....when done go to back and do some hand work if necessary to catch anything that was not caught....... I would also strongly suggest doing a couple samples on what IS COMFORTABLE for you to handle....
    Again there are not any Quilt Police,......1/4" or 3/8" front or back....what ever works for you and this quilt...the next one could be totally different...
    This is what I do too, for quilts with cotton tops and bottoms and Warm & Natural batting. I cut the strips 2 1/4". After I sew it to the front wit a 1/4" seam, I press it to set it, then press it so the binding is pressed back, then press it a 3rd time with the binding folded over. Sounds like it would take a lot of time, but it's not that bad. If I do this, I usually don't even pin and don't have any skipped areas.
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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    How wide your ideal seam allowance would be depends on how wide you cut your binding strips and how thick your batting is. As a rule-of-thumb, when I cut 2.5" strips I sew a 3/8" seam on the binding. My typical batting is Hobbs 80/20. If you are using a very thin batting, you might want a larger seam allowance; if using a very thick batting, a narrower seam allowance.

    Be aware that the size of the seam allowance affects the look of the finished binding. I would not sew more than a 3/8" wide seam allowance because anything wider than that makes the binding too wide for my taste. For show quilts, narrower bindings are preferred, which typically requires cutting 2-1/4" strips and using a 1/4" seam allowance.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I recently cut mu binding strips 2-1/2" wide, fold in half, press and sew on the front using 3/8" seam and hand stitch to the back. Turns out perfect. I like the hand sewn better. Good luck, some on here machine sew it.
    Another Phyllis
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  17. #17
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    Copy & pasted this from an e-mail I received today (Aboutquilting.com)

    While We're Talking About Binding Janet Wickell


    One of my biggest binding pet peeves concerns the binding instructions that many quilting authors have traditionally written. I've cautioned quilters on this since I began writing quilting books in the 1990s, but still see incorrect instructions everywhere.

    The Real Deal

    When preparing to miter binding at the corner of a quilt, the point where you should stop and backstitch must be a distance equal to the finished width of the binding.

    Nearly all patterns tell you to stop 1/4" away from the quilt's edge. That's correct if you are sewing a 1/4" finished width binding, and that width is a must if quilt blocks surround the outer edges of the quilt, since they have a built-in 1/4" seam. What if you have a border, where the width of binding is arbitrary? I've made lots of miniature quilts with 1/8" bindings, and larger quilts with 1/2" bindings. Try stopping 1/4" from the edge of those quilts and you'll end up with a messy (if not impossible to construct) mitered corner. Stop sewing at the point that matches your finished binding width and the miter will create itself, almost automatically.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I believe Sharon Schamber demonstrates how to glue-baste binding in her Youtube tutorials:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PE0Yq9iGlc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3vHI7rgZpw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W--xgi4nux8

  19. #19
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Trick question! I sew a scant 1/2" in from the edge of the batting, but 1/4" in from the edge of the binding. That gives me a nice full 1/2" binding, using 2.5" double fold. Confused yet?

  20. #20
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Machine sewing to th front and then hand stitching to the back is the easiest method for me. On a big quilt, it takes about 45 minutes per side of the quilt to complete and looks really nice when done. I can watch television and bind and I find it very relaxing and one of my favorite parts of quilting.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopetoquilt View Post
    Machine sewing to th front and then hand stitching to the back is the easiest method for me. On a big quilt, it takes about 45 minutes per side of the quilt to complete and looks really nice when done. I can watch television and bind and I find it very relaxing and one of my favorite parts of quilting.
    This is how I do it also, don't like the look of machine sewed binding, decorative stitch or not...and if you ever want to enter a quit in a show that's the way it has to be...hand sewed after the binding was first machine sewed on to the back. I also hate to hand sew and the arthritis in my hands hate me to do it, but it's part of quilting.

  22. #22
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    I only use Sharon Schamber's Elmer's School glue method. If binding has not been your thing, then you need an expert's advise (hers not mine). This is the easiest, most precise way to do binding. Once you learn this method, you won't send your quilt out for binding. Here is the link to her youtube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2hWQ5-ZccE I personally use 2 1/2" strips, glue, press, stitch to the front 3/8", press from the front (setting the seam), press from the back (making sure everything is laying flat), trim the corners, fold to the back, glue, and stitch it down from the back using monofilament thread in the top and bobbin (depending on who the quilt is for). I don't use monofilament for baby or soldier's quilts. Those I use a decorative stitch with whatever thread that I used for quilting the top. I really like variegated, so it is usually that. The first pics binding is just using a decorative stitch from my old Viking. The second quilt is using a star stitch from my embroidery machine. And sometimes, I hand sew them.
    Name:  Aiden - Warm Wishes Binding detail.JPG
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Size:  130.4 KB Name:  Jelly Roll Quilt Binding detail.JPG
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Size:  138.9 KB

  23. #23
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    I have always stitched binding to front and hand stitched back but I do enjoy hand stitching - however I do like pictures of decorative stitches samples and may give it a try on a baby quilt - am always trying to use those stitches I paid so much for.

  24. #24
    Member norwalkgma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hopetoquilt View Post
    Machine sewing to th front and then hand stitching to the back is the easiest method for me. On a big quilt, it takes about 45 minutes per side of the quilt to complete and looks really nice when done. I can watch television and bind and I find it very relaxing and one of my favorite parts of quilting.
    I agree - just bound 4 quilts exactly same way and enjoyed the Olympics! Turns out nice every time.

  25. #25
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    I cut my binding strips at 2-1/4"; machine-stitch to the front with a 1/4" seam allowance; hand-stitch to the back. If you use more than a 1/4" seam allowance, wouldn't that make the blocks on the outer perimeter a wee bit smaller than the other blocks? I have a Janome 6600, and I use the AccuFeed to sew on the binding, and move the needle to make the seam 1/4".

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