Friday, March 5, 2021

What Makes the Perfect Quilt Binding? / Beauties Pageant 119

I have been involved in a local quilt guild—the New Hampshire Modern Quilt Guild—for several years now. (Im a resident of Massachusetts, but these meetings, when they happen in person, are a quick drive for me.) At times Ive served on the board, as the events coordinator or president. Even as a rank-and-file member, though, I like to contribute on occasion and head up a make-and-take craft or lead a short tutorial.

A few years ago, I gave a little spiel on how I machine-bind my quilts. In my mind, I was simply presenting what I had been doing for years. For some of my guild mates, however, this technique was novel—some of them had always finished their bindings by hand! I kind of love that about quilting—how there are multiple ways to accomplish the same thing, and everyone has a technique that works best for her.

So it’s in that spirit that I thought we could have a little conversation about bindings and have included some of my favorite past bindings here in this post.

I can summarize my binding philosophy as follows:

* Full machine binding (my wrists thank me for it)

* No stripes, but plaids and polka dots are great (I know this might break your heart!)

* Width-of-fabric strips, not bias strips (because theyre faster and require less yardage than bias strips)

* Elmer’s glue for every binding (for real)

For more details, including specifics on my secret weapon for neat and tidy corners, check out my newly refreshed How I Bind My Quilts technique post (click the image below). Then share your binding dos and don’ts in the comments!

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  1. Hum, no stripes? EEK! I don't use it often but when I do I really like how it looks. I need to jump over and see what you have to say about binding. And, yes, I do my bindings -both sides- by machine.

  2. Hi,
    I like stripes, but they are a pain to work into a design.
    And I love polka dots. I do my binding by hand. Have a great day!

  3. I have used white as a binding on a dark quilt and have pretty much decided that no white. Other than that, I do tend to opt for "framing" contrasting colors rather than matching the background color.

  4. I am intrigued about elmer's glue and binding. I can not wait to read your post, Michelle. I am always up for anything that helps me through a project quickly. Thank you for hosting the link party and happy quilting.

  5. I like stripes - though I come to realize I prefer the simple stripe and not the diagonal ones - or semi solid binding, or scrappy - mhhh - seems like I am all over ;) But I have seen a few fabrics used in binding that did not scream "I'm a binding" but imho are awesome. So I will keep my eyes open.

    Technique? Full Machine. First to the front and then "blindly" to the back while stitching in the ditch on the fron. I use lot's of clips for that but some people also glue it. No additional line this way!

  6. I machine bind as well. The only way to do it!! I haven't used a stripe in a very long's been mostly solids lately.

  7. Oh, but I'm giggling. You and I have different favorite binding methods. But as you said, it's about every quiltmaker determining what works best for themselves. Love knowing it's okay to be "rank and file" as a quilt guild member. I haven't had that luxury for years, but intend to rectify that this year - one of the introspective things that came from being in a pandemic... others can step up. It doesn't always have to be me.

  8. Hi Michelle! I gasped out loud when I read your binding philosophy. I love a good debate about just all topics, especially when friends can keep a level head (politics, included). Do we agree or do we disagree?? Who cares, really. I love hearing about your method and learned a few things, too. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  9. I often use binding fabric to draw attention to a colour in the quilt top. I heard someone say that binding can determine what colour we think the quilt is. I like scrappy bindings.


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