Saturday, 31 January 2015

Top 10 Tips for New Quilters - Binding by Machine

Welcome to this, the final installment of the Top 10 Tips for new quilters - Binding by Machine.  For the complete line up of weekly tips, please see this page.

http://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.ca/p/blog-page_3.html



Binding by Machine:


One of my proudest accomplishments in learning how to make a quilt has been developing a machine finished binding method that works for me. But, believe me, this was not achieved without a lot of trial and error.

For my first attempt, on my Fall Leaves quilt, I followed the instructions given by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts.  She is a polished quilter who turns out the most beautiful quilts.  Rita's method is accomplished by sewing the final seam from the front of the quilt, ditch quilting along the binding, and catching the binding that has been folded around to the back of the quilt, from underneath.  This method involves the added step of pinning.  Yet, I still missed some places on the back binding and it did not look straight.  I was very disappointed with my first attempt at machine binding.

But I did not give up!  I found out about the Flanged Binding method.  And after using that method for a while, I mastered a machine binding method that works well for me.  I topstitch the final seam from the front of the quilt.  This method requires no pinning.




Flanged Binding:

When I found out about the flanged binding method, I fell in love with this technique, which uses two narrow complimentary strips to make the binding strip.  This method adds a little punch of colour and frames your quilt in style.  This binding method is accomplished by sewing from the front of the quilt, ditch quilting on top of the binding, along the seam where the two strips meet.  This will result in a seam line, next to the binding, on the reverse side of the quilt.


http://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.ca/2015/01/flanged-binding-tutorial.html



After practicing the flanged binding method on many, many quilts, my confidence grew with experience.  And I was eager to attempt machine sewn binding without the extra step of sewing two narrow strips together to make the binding strip.  Click here to go to the Flanged Binding tutorial.


Making Binding:


When making binding there are two measurements you need to determine first - how long does your binding need to be and how wide do you want your binding to be.

To determine how long your binding needs to be:
Measure the perimeter of your quilting project.  For our example 40" x 60".

40 + 40 + 60 + 60 =  200"
200" divided by 42" (the standard width of fabric) = 4.76 strips    Rounded up = 5 strips
So I needed 5 width of fabric strips, cut on the crossgrain, to make enough binding for this runner.

For an explanation of what crossgrain is, please click here.

To determine how wide to make your binding:
For someone just starting out with machine finished binding, I recommend cutting your strips 2.5" wide, as you would for a hand finished binding.  After you have some experience, try cutting your strips 2.25" wide.  This will result in a finished binding that is more even in width on the front and back of your quilt.  And if finishing with the topstitching method, the seam line will lie closer to the binding on the back of the quilt.




Joining the Binding Strips:

In our example, we have cut 5 binding strips from the crossgrain of the fabric.  Remove the selvages ensuring the ends are cut at a 90 degree angle to the strip edges.  Lay the binding strips in a pile, in front of your machine with the cut ends to the right and the folded ends to the left.

Take your first strip.  Peel back the beginning end of your first strip, revealing the wrong side of fabric of the other end of your first strip.

Flip that end of your strip over so the right side of fabric is facing up.

Take the beginning end of your second strip....

And flip it back, placing it with right sides together on top of the first strip, with the ends overlapping at a 45 degree angle.

Since this is a directional print, I have flipped this second strip up to show how, when the miter join has been sewn, the print on each strip will be in the same direction.

Draw a diagonal seam line across end of this second strip.

Sew along this diagonal seam line from the corner of your top strip to the corner of your bottom strip.

Now arrange the end of your second strip in the same position as you did with the first strip.

Take the beginning end of your third strip....

And flip it back, placing it with right sides together on top of the second strip, with the ends overlapping at a 45 degree angle.

Draw a diagonal seam line across end of this third strip and sew along this diagonal seam line from the corner of your top strip to the corner of your bottom strip.  Continue in this manner until all of your strips are joined.

Take your joined strips from the machine and bring them to your cutting mat.

Snip the threads between the joins.

Use your acrylic ruler and rotary cutter....

To trim the corners of the joins with a 1/4" seam.

Press all the seams open.

Beginning at one end of your binding strip, fold with wrong sides together....

And press all the way along the length of your joined binding strip.

I like to use a piece of card stock to wrap my binding neatly until ready for use.

For instructions on how to apply the binding to your finished quilt, please follow the same instructions given in the Flanged Binding tutorial.


http://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.ca/2014/11/little-blooms-friday-finish.html
The binding shown in these instructions was applied to my Little Blooms quilt.


Scrappy Binding:

To make a scrappy binding, make your binding strips from the same fabric used in your quilt top.  For this example, the Negative version of my Stepping Stones quilt, I used strips that were cut from the crossgrain and then cut them in half, using 21" long strips rather than the 42" lengths, to give it a more scrappy feel.

http://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.ca/2015/01/island-batik-sock-hop-and-twin-baby.html




Little Bit Binding:

For when you want to add just a little bit of sparkle to your binding, the Little Bit binding method uses contrasting fabrics to add a little punch of colour.  These little bits are added between each long binding strip.

http://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.ca/2015/01/elephant-parade.html

To make the Little Bit binding, make your binding strips as usual.  Also cut the same number of "little bits" from contrasting fabrics.  The "little bits" each measure the same width of the binding strips and are 3.5" long.

For my Elephant Parade quilt, I choose same fabrics used in the quilt top to make my little bits. 

Step 1:  Take your first little bit and your first full length binding strip.
Step 2:  Draw a diagonal seam line, as shown in purple, and sew to make a miter join.
Step 3:  Using your acrylic ruler and rotary cutter, trim a 1/4" seam.
Step 4:  Press the seam open and arrange your next little bit to be joined to the other end of that first strip.
Step 5:  Draw a diagonal seam line, as shown in purple, and sew to make a miter join.
Step 6:  Using your acrylic ruler and rotary cutter, trim a 1/4" seam.
Step 7:  Press the seam open.
Step 8:  Arrange your next full binding strip to be joined, draw a diagonal seam line, as shown in purple, and sew to make a miter join.  Use your acrylic ruler and rotary cutter to trim a 1/4" seam.
Step 9:  Press the seam open.  Arrange your next little bit to be joined, draw a diagonal seam line, as shown in purple, and sew to make a miter join.  Use your acrylic ruler and rotary cutter to trim a 1/4" seam.
Step 10:  Press the seam open.  Continue alternating your remaining full length binding strips and little bits.




When you have joined all your little bits and long binding strips together, press with wrong sides together along the entire length of the binding.  When you are ready to apply the binding to your finished quilt, begin using the end that has a little bit on it.  When you come to the end and are ready to join the tails of your binding, lay the last long binding strip, overlapping the beginning "little bit" 2.25", and trim the long binding strip.



Binding Inside Corners:

There are a LOT of tutorials out there on how to make and apply binding to the outside corners of a quilt.  But what do you do when you have inside corners like when I made this brightly coloured Scrappy Triangle quilt.

http://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.ca/2014/04/binding-inside-corners-tutorial.html
Click here to go to the Binding Inside Corners tutorial.



One word of advice I can share that will help you to become proficient at machine finished binding -


PRACTICE.

Practice makes perfect.  And it is just so true.  There are a gazillion binding tutorials out there.  Read a few of them.  Bookmark the ones you think will work for you.  And practice.  Take it from me and my Fall Leaves quilt.  Don't think you can't do it just because it didn't turn out perfect the first time.

Don't give up - PRACTICE.  You can do it!


Here is a list of tips for mastering double fold machine sewn binding:

  • Cut your binding strips from the cross grain (selvage to selvage), across the width of the fabric.
  • Start out making your binding strips 2.5" in width, then use 2.25" when you are more confident.
  • ALWAYS measure your quilt's sides and make a plan to ensure none of your binding seams will end up at the corner.  Or lay your binding around the edge to see if any seams land at the corners.
  • After attaching the binding to the back of the quilt, use a hot iron to press the binding back towards the front of your quilt.  This extra step is well worth the effort.
  • Increase your stitch length when top stitching the binding onto the front of your quilt.  I normally use a 3.0 stitch length.  I feel a longer stitch looks more attractive than the short piecing stitch length which is between 2.0 and 2.2
  • I offset my needle, and line up the folded edge of the binding with my walking foot, to ensure a straight and even final seam line when top stitching the binding to the front of the quilt.


OTHER SOURCES:


The following are three other sources for binding instructions that I highly recommend.

1)  Binding tutorial by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.  Be sure to read her additional remarks at the end of the tutorial, which she has since edited to add.

2)  Binding tutorial by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts.  Rita's method is accomplished by sewing from the front of the quilt, while ditch quilting along the binding, and catching the binding folded around to the back from underneath.  This method involves the added step of pinning. 

3)  Matched Binding tutorials by Debbie of A Quilter's Table.  A matched binding uses the same fabrics as the quilt top to continue the design right off the edge of the quilt.  Here is her Straight Matched Binding tutorial.  And here is her Angled Matched Binding tutorial.




Remember, there are many ways of doing things.  And there are many great quilting bloggers who have shared their experiences by writing tutorials.  Find the ones you like and Practice.


You can master machine finished binding!
I believe in you!


Keep On Quilting On!







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Craftsy Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, 30 January 2015

Elephant Parade

From design concept to reality....
The making of the Elephant Parade quilt has been a joy filled journey.




This project was generously sponsored by Northcott Fabrics.  All those adorable animals were made from Northcott's ColorWorks Premium Cotton Solids.  Those rich and vibrant colours really pop against that snowy background.  I am so pleased with how this quilt turned out!




Although I would have preferred an overcast day for taking these outdoor photos, I wasn't about to complain that we had two brilliantly bright and sunny days in a row.   And there was no wind!





I like using a decorative stitch in an edge to edge design for a fast finish.  For the quilting, I decided to go with the Serpentine stitch, setting my stitch length to 3.0 and width to the 9.0 maximum.  And quilted lines that were spaced the width of my walking foot apart.  Approximately.





The backing is this delightful print:  Elephants in Grey by Ed Emberley from the Happy Drawing collection for Cloud 9 Fabrics.  Thank you, Ed Emberley!  You are truly an inspiration! 





I purchased this backing fabric from Hawthorne Threads just before Christmas and mentioned it in this Sunday Stash report.  Because this quilt is wider than the standard width of fabric, I knew there would have to be a seam line.  I did not want that seam line to be apparent and knew that making a matched seam using another cut of the Elephants fabric would be nearly impossible to accomplish.  For that reason, I decided to add this narrow band of Turquoise where the two pieces of Elephants print would meet.



To finish my quilt, I used the Little Bit Binding method.  I love the results!  Those little pops of colour add interest and continuity to the design.  The Little Bit Binding method will be included in my final installment of the Top 10 Tips for New Quilters.  This post will cover the mastering of a machine finished binding and variety of binding methods.  It is scheduled to be published tomorrow.





This quilt finish was the 26th use of my 100 labels ordered from

You can design your own labels, too!  Click here!



The old hay wagon may have seen better days.  But I love it just the way it is.  The Elephant Parade  quilt finished at 48.5" x 55.5" and is now listed with my other Quilts for Sale in my Etsy shop.




 

Linking up to Finish it up Friday with 
Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts

And TGIFF! hosted this week by
Leanne of Devoted Quilter.









Are you ready to Quilt Along?!!!
    Grab a button and join in the Elephant Parade!  It starts on February 1st!
          You can read more about the quilt along plans here.

Sew Fresh Quilts



Keep On Quilting On!




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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Let's Bee Social #57

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for all you do.  For doing your part to make this link up so much fun.  For BEEing Social and reaching out to others.  Leaving friendly comments.  And for sharing about this linky party on your blogs.

The word is getting around and last week there was a record number of Social BEEs here linking up at the party.  Over 100!  Wow!

I also want to tell you how much I appreciate all the support and loving wishes you share with me each week.  With all the deadlines and new projects I've been busy with, I don't always have a chance to email a response.  But I certainly do read all comments left.  And when I have the chance, I would rather return the visit instead of replying by email.  BEElieve me... all your kind comments mean a lot to me!

One of the projects I have been working on is, of course, the Elephant Parade quilt along quilt.  And I am happy to say the big reveal will be happening this Friday!

I also want to thank Northcott Fabrics, who is generously sponsoring this project.  Follow along and quilt along while these bright solids from their ColorWorks cottons collection become shaped into these adorable animals!

Elephant Parade QAL

The quilt along will begin on February 1st, as planned.  And if you haven't checked it out already, the Elephant Parade quilt along page tab can be found at the top of the blog, just below the header.  On this page all the instructions will be linked up each week as they are posted.

Come on!  Everyone loves a parade!




NOW.... Let's PARTY!!!!  What's new with you?


If you are not sure what Let's Bee Social is all about, you can read the details here.







Keep On Quilting On!




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Craftsy
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in my posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”