Enjoy the Process: Tips & Tricks

Enjoy the Process: Tips & Tricks

Binding. Love it? Hate it? Just don’t do it?

Two things happen simultaneously when I get the call from Debbie that my quilts are ready. First, it’s kind of exciting. Such wonderful things happen to my quilt tops during their time with Deb. They come home to me looking way better than when they left and that never gets old. The second thought is “oh good, now I have binding to do.”

I am not a procrastinator by nature, but what is it about binding that is so easy to put off?? As obsessed as I am with most every part of the quilt-making process, binding is the one thing that I have learned “finished is better than perfect.” Get
it done..........

There are lots of videos and advice on the Web about how to do binding and I’m not going to tell you what’s best for you — but I’ve come up with a few (good or bad) habits that are working for me:

1. Just like needing to use your seam ripper, binding has got to be done. Best to start prepared and with a good attitude.

2. When I am finished with a quilt top, I place all of the leftover fabric, bits and pieces, extra backing, binding fabric, and the pattern in a Ziploc bag. I throw it in a box under my cutting table. When my quilt comes back home, I know where to go for everything related to that project.

3. Most of the time, I have more than one project stacked up that needs finishing. So I make the binding for all of them with no regard for when said binding will actually make it onto the quilt. I only think about making the binding. I gather one finished binding strip and loosely put it in it’s own bag, ready to go.

4. It’s no longer a huge step from Deb’s longarm to my sewing machine and walking foot. I can sew binding on a good size quilt in an hour.

5. I sew my binding to the front first. Then, still working from the top of the quilt, I fold the binding over to the back and machine sew in the ditch. It has taken practice, but I’m getting much better at folding a uniform width to the back and sewing pretty close to the edge. It’s never as perfect as I would like, but my attitude is that it’s getting better every time.

6. I use The Binding Tool to cut and sew the two ends together. I learned by watching Jenny Doan’s tutorial every time I got to this step. If you want to find it on YouTube, search The Binding Tool Explained - Learn The Perfect Binding Technique. It was one of her first tutorials and kind of fun to see. This method works every time for me and is vey quick to do. And just like that, my quilt is truly done.

7. Don’t forget to lay out your quilt and admire what you have created and finished. Don’t look for mistakes, look at the whole picture. Turn it over and admire your binding and the beautiful quilting Deb did to enhance your piecing. Pat yourself on the back and say, “DANG, I’m good!”

8. And with that wonderful attitude glowing from your heart, go do another binding.

Sew Sincerely,

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