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How I machine bind

How I machine bind

Old 05-13-2017, 07:36 PM
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Default How I machine bind

We are too impatient to finish binding by hand. I have watched several videos, taken a couple of classes, and even bought gadgets, but I was never totally happy with how they turned out. Recently I decided to take all the things about bindings that I had learned, put the parts together that made sense to me, and see if I could do a better binding. After only a couple of quilts, I was finally happy with how the binding turned out.

If any of these techniques look familiar, it's because there is nothing new under the sun. I have taken snippets from Patrick Lose, Red Pepper Quilts, Martelli Notions, Emerald Meadows, Creative Grids, and probably some others. I take no credit for the techniques; I just put them all together.

I will probably have to break this up into several posts, and I may even do it over a period of time.

I hope it helps someone.

First step - I use 2.5" binding strips. I got tired of the wonky way the strips went together when I just sewed the imaginary line from corner to corner. I had this ruler for cutting small pieces and found a video on YouTube that showed how you could use it to make 45* joins. It's called the "Quick Trim and Circle" ruler and I love it. Check out the YouTube video.

After the strips are joined, I fold it wrong sides together and press it closed. I start sewing it onto the back of the quilt about 2 feet from the bottom corner, leaving about a 12" tail. I use a seam allowance of just under 3/8" and a stitch length of 3.0.

While you're sewing, make sure your quilt has good support and there is NO "pull" at the needle. This requires a lot of maneuvering, but it is worth it.

When you come to the first corner, measure up from the end just less than 3/8" and place a pin. Sew to the pin. You can reduce your stitch length here if you need to so you can stop at the pin.

Stop at the pin with your needle down, raise your presser foot, and pivot the quilt so you are sewing at 45*, and sew off the corner of the quilt.
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:02 PM
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I should have gone another stitch or two here, but you get the idea. A perfect 45* stitch is best here, but it is somewhat forgiving.

This pic is upside down, but you see that when you sew that 45*, it gives you a guide for your fold.

Fold your binding at the 45* angle, then back down the edge of the quilt. Go all the way around the quilt in the same way, stopping about 18" from where you started.

You now have a gap of 18" or so, and 2 tails.

Make sure you have enough tails to start trimming before you cut anything! When you have confirmed you do, trim one tail straight near the center of the gap. Make sure your quilt is flat and smooth on your surface. Lay the other tail over the first one and measure an overlap of 2.5" plus 3 or 4 threads. Cut the second tail.

Fold the right tail upward at 45*.

Leaving the bottom half of the left tail in place, open the left tail and lay the top corner onto the top corner of the right tail.

Pin the tails together, keeping the corners lined up. You will be sewing from the upper left corner to the lower right corner of the join.
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:11 PM
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Sew from corner to corner (I know I just told you I hate doing that, but I haven't been brave enough to try trimming it first!). I use a 2.5 stitch length and my needle is in the center position.

Finger press the join open and lay your quilt out flat. Make sure the binding is not too short or too long.
When you're happy with the join, finish sewing the binding onto the back.
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:30 PM
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I should have mentioned this at the beginning, but it's a good idea to make a practice piece before you start on a real quilt. Two pieces of fabric with a scrap of your batting in the middle make a great practice piece. Mine was about 4" by 12" and then I wrote down all of my machine settings right on the fabric with a Sharpie. I have one for my machine and one for my wife's.

I forgot to take pictures of sewing down the binding on the front. There are just a couple of important things to remember. I start sewing on the front in the same area I did on the back. When you fold your binding over, it should just cover your stitching from the back. I used a stitch length of 3.0 and set my needle a couple of clicks smaller than the 3/8" seam allowance I used on the back. Again, make sure there is NO drag on the quilt. My wife actually held the quilt up for me and kept it moving at the same speed as the feed dogs. When you get to the corners, make sure your miters go in opposite directions. I think of it sort of like nesting seams. You have to sort of estimate where to stop the needle using your almost 3/8" allowance. I like to take an extra stitch or two, then reverse to make sure the corner is tacked down good.

I think that is everything. You can see a finished binding on this post: http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...r-t286389.html

I welcome your comments or suggestions.

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Old 05-14-2017, 02:06 AM
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thanks for taking the time to post this tutorial
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:32 AM
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very nice tutorial thank you for taking the time to take and post all those pictures and very clear explanations.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:36 AM
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A well done tut. on binding. Thank you.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:46 AM
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Thank you. I will have to do a practice joining to make sure I follow you. The rest is pretty straight forward.
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:54 AM
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Putting all the best ideas that work in one place. Thanks so much for doing this.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:04 AM
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I've never heard of sewing off the corner at 45 degrees to use as a guide for the mitre. Going to try that!
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