Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Argh! Help a girl out.


I hate binding. Hate, HATE, HATE binding.

I took a two hour class on doing it and I'm totally list. Sure, I get the whole cutting the fabric on a 45 degree angle. I know how to piece each strip together so I have enough to go around the quilt. And I know how to press the strips in half lengthywise. But once there, I'm totally freaking screwed.

I don't get the invisible whip stitch. I tried doing it on a sewing machine. Still, it all looks like shit. Too embarassing to even post pictures.

So com'n crafty girls. Help me figure this out.


Sarah said...

Girlfriend...I like binding better than the quilting part of things, but it still can be annoying.

After sewing the strips together and ironing in half lengthwise, I throw it over my right shoulder while sitting by the machine. (This way, it is ready for feeding into the machine when you need it, but out of your way.) Having the quilt's raw edge under the needle, and the binding over your shoulder, you can slowly feed both into the machine with the raw edge(s) of the binding lined up with the raw edge of the quilt. (REMEMBER: Begin sewing about two or three inches down from the beginning of the binding so that once you make a complete "360" of the quilt you have space to sew the edges together.) Use a 1/4 inch seam allowance (with binding originally cut at 2.25 or 2.5 inches, then folded in half).

Corners are the trickiest part. Sew till you are about 1/4 inch away from the corner of the quilt, back-stitch a few stitches, then lift your needle (you don't need to cut any thread though) and rotate the quilt top 90 degrees to the left around the corner. Next, you'll take the binding and fold it back over what has been sewn (but now pointing away from you, since you turned the quilt). It will form a triangle with an angle going from the finished edge of your binding on the quilt's side that was just sewn to the corner of the quilt. (Does that make any sense?) Next turn the binding back over so that it's raw edge(s) are lined up with the next side of the quilt you'll be sewing. Continue sewing with a 1/4 inch seam allowance until the next corner and so on.

(Holy crap this is the longest comment ever. Can you tell I'm bored at work before a holiday weekend? Sorry! I couldn't find an email address for you.)

Once you get around again to the beginning, you'll cut off the rest of the binding left that you don't need and sort of sandwich the end of it into the beginning of the binding (that 2 to 3 inches you didn't sew initially). Once those are sandwiched, finish sewing, back-stitching over your beginning point.

Next, you will fold the binding over to the back side of the quilt and slip-stitch/blind-stitch/whatever so that you secure the binding to the quilt. I think you can find videos online on how to blind/slip stitch. In my opinion, it's okay if you see the stitches.

To keep things neat and easier, I bought some of those simple metal barrette's that snap closed to keep the folded binding in place, and I do about a foot or so at a time. This makes it easier I think. Again, corners can be tricky, but you just go as far as you can and then you fold the next side over to make a nice edged corner. When you get around all the way, you'll be done.

Have a stiff drink to celebrate. :)

KateKwiltz said...

I think Sarah covered it...except I roll my binding up and pin it so it won't take off across the kitchen (sometimes I put it on an empty toilet paper roll). I used some impossibly difficult stitch in an attempt to make them as tiny and invisible as possible, and it took forEVER, so I'm not advocating it. Make little "v"s and aim the ones that go through the quilt back close to the stitching line where you attached the binding on the front.
The clips DO help (got my at the Elston JoAnn's). So does alcohol.
Good luck!