Sunday, September 4, 2016

Binding Redo Continued

Two weeks ago I told you I was removing the binding on my Phoenix quilt before it left for the next show. I reviewed Sharon Schamber's great video on straight-grain binding, removed the offending binding and began again.  I went at it very carefully, following all her directions to the letter.

She shows how she does the mitered corners and it is really easy, but I stitched slightly "off" on one and had to go back and redo it.  Easily fixed so not too bad.

TIP:  Check each corner as soon as you finish it.  It is easier to fix it right away than to wait until the binding is finished.  You can get a tiny pleat if you are not careful.

The other place where I had a bit of trouble was getting the binding to cover the stitching on the back.  In some places I had to really tug to get it where I wanted it.  One place I redid the seam for about six inches.  Note to Self:  Next time sew the seam a skosh closer to the raw edge.  However, my binding is FULL!  Judges like that.

Every step of the way is glued with Elmer's School Glue.  This keeps things in line without any distortion.  The only downside for me was that I got glue all over the place.  Even with a tiny tip it escaped and showed mostly on the binding back, but some on the front too.  However, I soldiered on and finished it all.

Sharon uses the ladder stitch to sew the binding down on the back.  I had never done this so I investigated.  Wow! That is really worth learning.  It is easy and looks so much better than a hem stitch.  I can't show a photo as I was working black on black with black thread.  It was hard to see well enough to sew, but magnifying glasses helped.  It worked so well that I took no photo.  The stitches didn't show!!

TIP:  Learn the ladder stitch.  It is easy!

Finale:  Here is how I got rid of the glue spots.  My quilt had already been blocked so the edges were nice and straight and the corners square.  I needed to wet down the binding to dissolve the visible glue, but didn't want the quilt to get distorted.  I pulled out my blocking board (one inch styrofoarm insulation) and pinned the quilt face down to it in the same manner as for the original blocking.  I measured the sides, placed pins at critical points, measured again, and placed pins 1/2 inch apart all around at the edge where the binding is sewed to the quilt.  Since the quilt was dry and straight, there was no pushing and pulling to get it in line.  I just wanted to secure the shape.  Then I grabbed the spray bottle of water and soaked the binding exuberantly -- only the binding -- and let it dry overnight.  In the morning the glue spots were completely gone on both the front and back.  Magic!  Bonus:  the quilt is still straight.

TIP:  Think it through, and if you think you have a solution, try it.  If this hadn't worked I would have soaked the quilt and reblocked it.  BTW  I am very glad I didn't have to do that!!

Result?  I think my binding is neater and more professional.  The quilt is off to a show now.  We'll see what the judges think.

Once again no sewing-related photo.  No sewing this week either, other than the binding as I have had guests for two weeks and a nasty virus as well.  We had a great drive into Rocky Mountain National Park, and I saw my first moose close enough for a photo... but not too close.  They are a fairly recent addition to our wonderful selection of wildlife, but they are huge and unpredictable especially at this time of year.  Here is my photo of the big bull:

Bull Moose
 Sew a happy seam this week.  I wish you success with your next binding.


  1. When I began quilting, I used the internet to learn. The first binding method I came across was hand stitching to the back with the ladder stitch. I agree that this stitch gives a beautiful finish. Good luck with this next show.

  2. Going to have to try that ladder stitch. I have a mini that I'm not very happy with the binding on, so I plan to redo it using Sharon's method. I figured I would try it on something small before attempting to use all that glue on a larger quilt. Thanks again for the link to that video - it really has changed the way I think about binding.

  3. Thanks so much for the tips, and for sharing on Midweek Makers. Hope your quilt does well at the show.

  4. The ladder stitch is the one I learned when someone showed me how to bind my first quilt. Easy and tidy. Good luck at the new show.

  5. Thanks for the tip on the video!

  6. Love how you learn as you go and share the learning with the rest of us.