Thursday, October 2, 2014

A New Trick

Yes, this old dog has learned a new trick. That t-shirt quilt I bound on Tuesday was finished so quickly because I finally tried machine-binding.

Back 30 years ago, or thereabouts, when I was a very inexperienced quilter, I tried machine binding using wide bias tape that I'd purchased. What a mess! It was a total disaster. And in all these intervening years, never ever did I consider trying it again. But lately, I've been hearing other quilters swear by it;  I've inspected their work and it looks good, so I decided it was time I gave it another try. Ha! If you go really slow, and if you don't cut corners, it can turn out pretty darn good! *smiles*

I cut the binding at 2.5-inches, pressed it, and wound it around my hand. Then I slipped it over this spindle that holds my thread cones. The base of this thread holder is heavy cast iron, so it had enough heft to adequately hold the binding while it slowly unwound as I sewed it on.

In the picture above, you can see how I set up my little operation. I have my walking foot on the machine. That is a must, for sure.

I sewed the binding to the quilt with a seam allowance of about 3/8" and I was very careful when I turned the corners. I really did take my time. So far, though, I have done everything as I've always done it. It's this next part that I was nervous about. I girded my apprehensions, though, and forged ahead.

I had the good sense to use blue thread in both the upper and lower feeds. That was a smart move, as my occasional slight dips and tangents are less obvious. If I'd kept my neutral top and bottom threads in the machine, I am sure I would not have been as happy with my results.

The binding tacked down like a dream! I am so thrilled to have made myself do this. Think of the time savings! I will definitely consider this method on future quilts.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. That's good to hear and thanks for taking us through your method. I tend to always hand sew my binding on the back. I tried machine binding on a quilt recently and the results were ok. I think you're right about not cutting corners. If I did it again I'd take my time and be extra careful. After all it saves a whole lot of time in the end! X

  2. nice! it is always fun to try new techniques that others have used. looks good


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