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Topic: Easy Binding!  (Read 829 times)
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« on: January 21, 2009 03:21:20 AM »


I'm almost finished with my first (and slightly inept, but hey, I'm learning) quilt, and I'm having real trouble binding it.

I bought some bias tape from the fabric shop and have pinned it in place, but when I try to machine stitch it on, even slowly, I can't control the straightness of the stitches because I don't feel like I have enough hands to guide the quilt, keep the rest of the quilt straight, and pull out pins.  It's probably worth pointing out I'm a bit of a novice machine sew-er as well, so I'm not that hot at sewing in a straight and controlled manner really either Sad

Any tips?  Easy shortcuts while I continue to learn how to sew straight?

« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009 03:44:23 PM »

Well, first of all, take three deep breaths.

Doing it via bias tape, as long as the bias tape is big enough, is fairly easy, and the good news is that you get LOTS of practice in sewing straight lines, as you go around the whole quilt twice.

Rather than trying to "finish" sew the bias on first, try the following technique:

Fold the bias tape all the way open, with right side to the top of your quilt. Line up the raw edge with the side of your quilt, and sew it around once like that. So that essentially the bias tape is half sewn on, and kind of "flapping". If it makes you more comfortable to do so, pin it all, pin one side of it at a time, or pin a certain distance ahead of where you're sewing, but this is not strictly necessary, and you may find yourself eliminating the step as you get more comfortable with it. In order to practice sewing "straight" here, simply line up the edge of the presser foot with the edge of the bias tape and the quilt. As long as it doesn't pass the closest fold line, you're FINE, you can wander all over the map and not have to pick it out.

Once it's "tacked" on (and the first round of stitching will not be visible, thanks to the way bias tape works), fold it back up along the original fold lines, around the quilt. Then "top" sew it, all the way around, again. And again, pin, don't pin, it's entirely your choice. You'll probably find this a bit easier in that you've already lugged all the material all the way around once and know better how to manipulate it, and a bit scarier, because, well, you're top stitching.

The other trick is to just go slow - and I'm not talking about the feed dogs, here. Don't race around it, take your time, and breathe. If you get frustrated, just stop. You can come back to it later, hobbies are supposed to be relaxing. Sewing is wonderful because in 99% of cases, whatever you've just goofed, you can fix and nobody on earth will know the difference Smiley
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009 02:11:29 AM »

Thank you so much - you make it sound easy!  I will give it a go over the weekend and hopefully finish my first quilt Smiley
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009 11:15:13 AM »

On one of the many threads about binding issues on here someone posted a link to a youtube video of eleanor burns showing how to do machine binding by hand.  Since it's visual it might be helpful.  Try searching you tube.  Good luck - it does get easier.
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