There are days when my eating is great, and I feel in complete control. Then there are days when I feel like I could (and maybe am) eat the contents of the entire kitchen. In an effort to distract myself from eating the entire kitchen, I have decided to focus on things in my quilt studio. I just finished the baby quilt we gifted to one of Chris’s co-workers. Yes, we gave it to her at her baby shower a few weeks ago, even though it wasn’t finished, so we brought it back home so I could get it done. We delivered it just as she was going in to the hospital to have the baby. Talk about perfect timing. LOL
I tried a slightly new way of making and attaching the binding, and I had mixed results with it, as you can see. I’m not displeased with it, per se, but I have lost some skill in straight stitching. When you don’t use something, you lose it. And I haven’t been sewing nearly enough lately to be “good” at things like this.
Still, you don’t improve if you don’t practice, and I’ve come to realize that a) I’m way harder on myself than others are, and b) when I wash the quilt once it’s done, the wavy stitching likely will be a bit less noticeable.
The technique I used for this is to make double fold “bias” tape. It isn’t really bias tape, because it wasn’t cut on the bias. I just didn’t have enough fabric to cut it that way, so I cut on the grain. It still works, but since it doesn’t have that ability to curve like bias tape does, I bound each side independently.
I don’t really ever do hand sewing for binding anymore, because I had some issues with people complaining that would come apart. I’m not sure how that happens, because I have some quilts I hand bound and years later, they are still in fine condition. But for a baby quilt, I machine stitch regardless. Baby quilts get washed a lot, they get dragged around by children as they grow, and it doesn’t leave spots for baby to get fingers or toes caught like hand sewing sometimes can.
The double fold bias tape is sort of narrow, frankly. I used a 25 mm bias tape maker to make it, which means I started with 2” strips of fabric. But after all the folding, the strip is about half an inch. It can be challenging to pin that to the quilt, sew it, flip and sew again. Alternatively, you can pin it and just sew both sides at once.
Through all my lurking on various sewing and quilting boards, I learned about the magic of Elmer’s Washable School Glue. I use a washable glue stick to secure the binding before sewing.
I first glue down one side of the binding, then the other, trying to keep them as even as possible so I catch both sides when I sew the binding down. Before sewing, though, let the glue dry. It doesn’t hurt your machine, and I haven’t personally had any issues with gumming the needle, but I change the needle after each project, and since binding is the last step for me, it may explain the lack of gumming.
I’ve been using this method of attaching the binding for a couple of years now, and for me, it works quite well.
Now that this quilt is completed, I’m going to finish off my $5 quilt blocks for this year, because we start a new year this month! I can’t believe it’s already been a year since we started this one! But it’s been tons of fun to make. My plan for it is to set the squares with binding and finish it for a Christmas gift for someone this year. I’m just not sure who yet.
After that, I plan to get back to the quilt I’m making for my granddaughter, and the quilt I want to finish to give my grandson for Christmas. Really, I shouldn’t start another project until I get some of the ones I’ve got underway completed.
Then again, there IS this new technique I’ve been wanting to try …