Thursday, July 16, 2009

Binding without Hand Stitching

Yesterday was a busy day, with too many things scheduled that did not relate to sewing/quilting. However, I promised myself I would be more than happy if I only managed to prepare and attach the binding to the otherwise finished Half Hexagon Quilt.


Binding a quilt is not one of my favorite tasks and I tend to defer it. I audition way to many fabrics, and then procrastinate. I think the real reason is that I don't always enjoy the slip stitching by hand, I am not good at it. I therefore decided that instead I would try stitch the binding down by machine.


I attached the binding to the front of the quilt as normal and pinned the binding down at the back of the quilt. I then matched top and bobbin threads to the top and back of the quilt, and from the front of the quilt, stitched in the ditch along the binding just catching the binding edge at the back of the quilt also. It worked like a charm, and it is probably the neatest binding I have ever done, including neat mitered corners. (This is by no means the only way to stitch binding by machine, or even the right way, but it worked well for me).

Half Hexagon Quilt - 53 inches x 43 inches

This quilt has been lying around way to long without the binding (and there just might be a few more awaiting binding!). Now that I know I can stitch the binding down by machine perhaps this process might occur in a more timely manner! Maybe.

44 comments:

  1. Hi! Lovely quilt! This is how I do my bindings also, as I have other hand sewing projects on the go (a hand pieced hexagon quilt) that I would rather spend time on than bindings. I'm glad to hear someone else doing it because other people that I've talked to about it seemed to recoil in shock at the idea, but I like it. I would love to see a photo of the back of your binding, as this is where mine can sometimes end up looking messy, when the stitch is too far in from the binding edge, and it leaves a bigger flap

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  2. Your quilt is just gorgeous! I've not tried machine stitching the binding backside, because I actually like sewing the binding down by hand. It gives me one last time to pet my quilt and look at the fabrics.
    I've seen others stitch the binding by machine, sewing the front as you did, but then they used a decorative stitch to stitch the binding backside by machine from the front. The decorative stitch is a little more forgiving..so you don't don't have to stress about getting that line of stitching exactly in the ditch and catching the edge of the back with that narrow line of stitching. :)

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  3. LOL, I was hand stitching the binding to a quilt last night and my DH asked "why can't your brand new baby do that for you?" I said that I actually like doing the binding by hand and he said "well it's a dud and it can't do everything like you said it could" He really doesn't listen, I really do like binding by hand. I'm sure 'Janey' would love to try machine binding one day.

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  4. Your machine binding looks really good, nice and neat! I love the look of hand bound quilts because my machine binding is terrible - more practice needed. Love this hex quilt!

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  5. The quilt is beautiful! I do NOT like hand stitching the binding either but I am thinking just one missed area of the machine and then what??? Rip it all out and try again?? Thinking on this one...maybe the decorative stitch is the way to go?

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  6. Oohhh goodie for you! Great job. I'm a bit like you...the hand stitching can be such a let down (although a good excuse to watch TV!). I just might have to give this a try!

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  7. Beautiful colours! So bright and cheery :) I'm the opposite... I enjoy doing the binding by hand lol!

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  8. It's lovely! I haven't had much success with machine binding. I don't think I'm a straight enough stitcher.

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  9. What a beautiful quilt! Great fabrics and wonderful colors. I love stitching the binding by hand. It's mindless work, and it begins to feel like a quilt when the binding goes on. You did a great job on your machine binding.

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  10. I couldn't do it your way, my skills are probably not that great. Plus I kind of like the hand stitching at the end. Now for charity quilts, I sew the binding to the back side and top stitch the binding down from the front.

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  11. this is so-o-o pretty. i love the colors you chose. i have also been machine binding, but first attaching it to the back and then top stitching from the front.

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  12. The quilt came out gorgeous! You did a great job on the binding. I would never trust myself to do that by machine - I'm pretty sure I would ruin it! Glad you gave it a go and now have a quicker way to finish your beautiful quilts!

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  13. your binding looks great! i never would have guessed that it was machine sewn. i may just have to try that myself one of these days. i love how your hexagon quilt turned out. the colors are so cheery and the fabrics look great together!

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  14. Your quilt is beautiful--maybe even your prettiest yet or at least second only to your Mini Pinwheel Quilt.
    Your machine binding is perfect and if I thought I could make mine half as nice, I might give it a try! Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  15. I sew my bindings down by machine on quilts that are going to get dragged around by children, and things like placemats that will get washed often. But, I sew it on to the back first, and then topstitch from the front -- often I use a zigzag to topstitch. That way you don't have to worry about missing any spots, as CJ mentioned.

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  16. I love this quilt, the binding makes it even zingier! So glad you found a quick method that works for you. You have so many wonderful ideas. Looking forward to meeting you next week xo

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  17. This is beautiful! I love all the colors. I am currently working on a traditional hexagon quilt. But the half-hexagon is very intriguing to me even though I almost always handpiece my quilts. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great day.

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  18. this quilt is so gorgeous...i love the colors.

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  19. Wow! I never knew you could attach binding my machine!!! But I guess you just did!!! I LOVE to hand stitch the binding of my quits...I think it might be my favorite part!!! Anymahoo.... you do such a great job on ALL of you quilts! I love them soo much.... keep posting and keep up the good work!Keep on quilting....

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  20. Gorgeous. I have tried machine stitching binding but have not mastered it yet. I can't seem to match the front with the back and you end up seeing where I sewed. I watched TV and hand sewed binding on a mini quilt last night.

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  21. This is beautiful! This is so pretty. I love the colors!

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  22. i've seen it done before with piping.. where you attach the back first.. then the front in the ditch where the piping is... looks cute.. and so does yours!! i actually like the hand stitching... relaxing for me!

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  23. Your half hexagon quilt is simply gorgeous! I have never sewn the back of the binding down by machine. I tend to enjoy the slip stitching. I find it a relaxing way to spend my evening time with my family. Although, I have been tempted by your method. I have seen it done before and it really does turn out well. Your quilt is a case in point. It is lovely and the technique worked out phenomenally well. Why change if it works?

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  24. Sometimes I enjoy doing the binding by hand, but half-way through a queen-sized quilt, live to regret the decision. I have seen some suggestions elsewhere to use fabric glue to "pin" down the binding so that you don't get that funky wavy effect the pins/snappy clips sometimes cause. I tried it on a table runner & it worked -- it just takes a bit for the glue to dry so that the binding is held down firmly.

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  25. I have heard that is possible but have never tried it. Good on you. I LOVE the look of your quilts.

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  26. I just love scrappy looking quilts. You may not have used scraps, but I love all the different colors and sizes of the designs. I always worry about putting greens togethers. They never seem to work. But yours looks wonderful. Must be a hang up of mine :)

    I agree with the binding is a pain in the petunia, but you did a lovely job on this quilt. I had my first as-perfect-as-I-am-ever-going-to-get-them mitered corners on a mini quilt I finished recently.

    Have a great weekend!

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  27. Your Quilt looks Fabulous...Great that you Mastered this way of doing the Binding...not one of my Favs either but has to be done...I might give it a go..
    cheers

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  28. I guess we're all different... I don't mind doing the binding by hand. Gives me a chance to sit and watch favorite movies, or CNN/Fox News ;-) I may have to try machine binding sometime... no doubt that its FASTER than by hand! Cheers!

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  29. I so love your half hexie quilt! Interesting way to do binding, and it does look great! I just might have to give that a try.

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  30. I love this quilt!! What a beautiful job and it looks like you did a wonderful job. I love hexagon's and I want to start one. I love your choice of colors.

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  31. I tried that once, exactly the way you describe. Apparantly I suck at it. I missed so many spots.
    I'll stick to hand stitching, I do actually enjoy that part - even if it takes a long time.
    The quilt looks great.

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  32. I bind this way also. One of the things I do to make sure that the back doesn't slip out of the way is use Roxanne's Glue-Baste It and tack down the back side so it stays in place as I stitch in the ditch on the front side.

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  33. I love your finished hex quilt. Beautiful work :) I'm encouraged to hear that maching stitching the binding can work, hand sewing is one part I haven't been looking forward too so I might give this a practice try.

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  34. I always use a machine to attach the bindings. I tend to pick a decorative stitch to add a little design element, but then, I almost always pick a solid or monochrome binding.

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  35. I like to sew my bindings on machine too. Usually I use a visible stitch on the front and the back, like one straight and one zig zag, so even if I go astray I still catch the back. I would really love to see how your binding looks at the back. Did you make it a little extra wide to be able to catch it on the back?

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  36. I like hand stitching a binding, though it does often seem like it goes on and on on a larger quilt. I wouldn't have thought to consider that choice of design for binding, but it looks wondeful!!

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  37. I'm always afraid to machine bind the back. . .but you've given me inspiration. . .I think I may try it! Your work is wonderful!

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  38. it's gorgeous! i'm glad that you found a way to finish your quilts that is more enjoyable for you. i love to handstitch bindings...it's so theraputic for me. and i'm so glad that i do like it, or none of my quilts would be usable. :)

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  39. MACHINE-BINDING.. Aaah yes, the joys of time-saving genius and general short-cutting! Lovely quilt-work, girl :o)

    Oh, and another method is the use the doubled-over binding dtrips, sew the rough edge to the front (but a little further in than usual), turn over to the back and sew through the whole binding edge with a matching decorative stitch from your machine's choices. You see it on both sides, but that's the intention, so worries bout 'will you see it? will it go over the edge? will it be straight?' are all irrelavent.
    Easy, quick and very cute. Oh, and did I mention very robust - especially on kiddy quilts that will likely take a beating.

    Happy binding :o)
    ~Sonya (Sago)

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  40. As a total hand sewer, I long ago started sewing my bindings like this (top and bottom at the same time). My sister showed me how to just do a sideways running stitch and catch top and bottom. At the time I was whipstitching the whole binding, one stitch at a time! This is much faster.

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  41. I like machine sewing on the first side, then hand stitching the other. I do not find it takes all that long...and it's a great project for the car or tv night. There is a real zen thing to hand stitching down that binding. I think it is my favourite part of making a quilt!

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  42. I love sewing the binding on by machine. That's how Elenor Burns taught me! (on her tv show) Love your 1/2 hexagon. I made a wall haging with that pattern 2 years ago for fall colors. But I didn't want to cut all those little pieces so I cut large triangles and strip cut out the middle for my wall hanging and then a really cool "ship" looking throw blanket size with the extra pieces. -Anna in Alaska

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