I personally love binding. From choosing the fabric that pulls the whole project together, to hand stitching it in place.
I love stripes for binding, I like the effect the stripes have, and that their are multiple colours from the quilt included in the final step. If there is no stripe, or the stripe isn’t calling my name I will choose a darker color, or a small print, something that you won’t notice grime from fingers on.
I always do a double fold binding that I cut at 2.5”. I use my Stripology Ruler from Creative Grids to cut my binding, it’s quick and accurate and I can cut 8 strips without moving the ruler at all. I only cut my strips on the bias if I have rounded edges on my project, everything else gets cut selvage to selvage.
Do you like to sew your strips together straight across or on the bias? I generally will do bias seams, but every once in a while I will sew them straight.
Once I have a long enough piece to get around the whole quilt, I take it to my ironing board and press it in half along the length, wrong sides together. I know not everyone presses their binding strips but I prefer to. I find it easier to work with when it is pressed.
I almost always hand bind my quilts in the evenings while watching a favourite tv show with my husband. I machine stitch the binding to the front of the quilt and than flip it to the back and hand stitch the fold down. I use The Binding Tool by TQM products or the Creative Grids Bias Binding Simplified Ruler to join my final ends. Both are great and both have you tube videos on how to use them.
I machine stitch to the front because than I know I have a nice consistent seam allowance on the front which is seen more than the back of the quilt.
In the past few months I have machine bound a few quilts, and I must say my first one left something to be desired but practice makes perfect and the most recent one I did yesterday turned out much better. I prefer hand binding but sometimes time gets the better of me and machine binding is the answer. Also it never hurts to know a few different techniques.
When machine binding I stitch my binding to the back and than fold it over to the front and use one of the decorative stitches on my machine or a simple zig zag to tack it down.
My wonder clips work great for holding the binding in place while hand or machine stitching.
Esther recently came across some fusible thread. This also works great for holding down a binding before you hand stitch it. It works best in the bobbin, when placed in the top it is very hard to get nice tension. You sew it as you normally would, than give it a press and the the heat causes it to act like a glue. It works great for hems and installing zippers too.
So how about you, do you prefer a certain fabric pattern for bindings, bias binding or not, machine or hand finished?
I have four quilts that need to be bound so my husband and I are going to turn on a movie and I will get to work.