Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Machine Stitched Bindings

I haven't really done an "instructional" type of post in a while.  Well, I don't know how instructional this is, but what's going to happen here is I'm going to yap a bit about bindings.  Lol*  I don't by any means know it all, but these are some of my thoughts on the subject of machine stitched bindings.

How did you learn to bind your quilts?  My first ever "how to" quilting book was called The Art of Classic Quiltmaking by Harriet Hargrave and Sharon Craig.  At the time I didn't know it, but VERY good ladies to learn from.  :)  Anyhow, from their book I learned to machine stitch down my binding to the front, and hand stitch my binding down to the back.  I really love the way this technique looks.  It holds up great in the wash, and I'll tell you what, I actually really enjoy the process of completing a quilt and then laying it accross my legs to hand stitch down the binding.  But sometimes you just don't have time for that.  Or maybe you're making a baby quilt that will get a lot of use and you don't want to put that kind of time into your project.  For those times, maching stitching your binding down comes in awfully handy.  It's also a fun way to make use of some of those decorative stitches...

Here is an example I'm working on now.  I've been making a few little totes to sell for some extra Christmas money.  I decided to use the blanket stitch on my machine to close my binding.  I find it a lot easier to use a wide binding for this, so I cut my binding strips at 3", and then folded it in half.  Once attached to the purse, Instead of folding in half again I folded it all the way down so I have a quarter inch binding on the front, but the stitched won't be right next to the binding, but rather, in a about an inch or so, making it look more as if it were just a decorative stitch added to the purse for fun.  Here's the front...

Here's the inside...

For the blanket stitch you want to use an open toe, or a zig zag foot.  When you begin you want to make sure your needle is in the middle.  This is where your straight line stitching is going to go.  I line this up right next to, or maying a thread or two into the binding.  Now I don't know how you other ladies do this, but I do backstitch.  I backstitch only the straight stitches though, because the little "chomp" stitch looks like a zig zag and not a blanket stitch when I backstitch.  So to keep it neat and uniform I try to avoid that.

Here you can see the needle hopping over to take a "bite" of fabric.

I find it really helpful to use these little binding clips when I'm doing this.  I don't use them to hand stitch down my binding, but when doing something like this they are really helpful.

If you have an extension table, it might help to take that off too for a tote.  If you're binding a quilt you may want to leave it on.

Oh and here's another little hint...I'll tell you what, to some it may seem silly but I never knew this.  You know that pressure dial for your foot?  USE IT!  :)  Mine is  set at 2 for the majority of my sewing, but when doing purses and totes I find I have a lot of thick bulky seams.  When I scoot up to a seam like this...

...I drop my pressure down to zero.  Now I'm using a size 14 needle and I slow down, but it goes through nice and smooth without the pressure.

Then I just turn the dial back up once I get through the seam.

Ok so a different post for once.  :)  Not really a tutorial but maybe helpful to somebody out there!


HOPE said...

It is a tute!! For us who need more lessons! Thank you for doing this..and the photos really help..and even your cute desciption..a BITE of the fabric!! Love it! that makes sense that it takes just enough!

I'll be watching for MORE TUTORIALS..

Happy FALL day!
It's nice here..

Thriftyideastoday said...

i use glue sticks for a lot of my bindings (ones that I want to make sure they look really nice. Works really well. I first iron my binding when it is on the quilt thanfold it overion again...then apply the glue stick to the side that will be attached to the quilt, iron and then bring it to the sewing machine and stitch.