Today I think I have come to terms with my dislike of binding - the final stage of making a quilt. First, for anyone who doesn't already know, I am the diva of ducking the finishing stage of quilt making. There are innumerable unfinished quilts languishing in our home - most of them needing only a binding.
You may also remember that on my September to-do list of projects there are two binding chores (I am smart enough to know that listing more than two might have been the kiss of death for the entire idea of the to-do list). Yesterday I began working on the first quilt for which I had already at least made the binding. I machine stitched binding to quilt but decided to leave half finished until I purchased thread that would match the binding material more closely than any I have. Today, I decided to forge ahead and just use what I have and get the job done.
Also, I have always found making a totally smooth joining of the binding strips an iffy business at best. Sometimes it went well; sometimes it was a disaster. The more experience I had, the better it went - most of the time. BUT there were times when it really mattered that it didn't go well at all, and I think the more uptight I got about it, the more it didn't work.
However, I have finally found a truly foolproof (well, all right, one really has to follow directions carefully!) method, and oh, how my heart sings to see the joining smooth and fitting perfectly! That took away a bit of my dislike and delay in "finishing".
Next there is the issue of machine stitching BOTH sides of the binding. Typically one machine stitches one side in a way that can't be seen and by hand blind-stitches the back side of the binding to the back of the quilt. I've experimented with machine stitching both sides of a quilt. That can make the stitching either semi-hidden or (as I prefer) visible and decorative. It's also much faster. Guess which one I like to do!
Here is a close up of machine-stitched binding. It is a curlicue pattern you have to look closely to see on the edge of the quilt. It's a view of the edge of the quilt as it would appear at a casual glance.
This machine stitching is deemed of lesser value, something that simply isn't done, and it is not accepted as appropriate. Oh well. They used to say that about machine quilting as opposed to hand quilting. Here's what I realized; I don't like hand sewing binding. It is tedious. It is not stitching that adds to the beauty of a quilt by its presence because the hand sewing isn't visible if done correctly. Indeed, I thought to myself, it's like sewing the hem in a skirt - another job of finishing I never enjoyed doing. Light bulb moment: I like a creative not a routine approach.
Below is another view of the edge of the quilt, and in this view you can't see that I did the machine stitching on the front.
So here are today's revelations:
1. Having lumps where binding ends meet really drive me bonkers. Question: Why continue to sew them as taught? Answer: No one cares or notices the method only the result. Solution: Use the method that really works and that satisfies that perfectionist soul within.
|Donation Quilt for a Female Veteran|
2. Hand sewing binding is a chore I thoroughly dislike. Question: So why do it? Answer: It isn't accepted by judges. Solution: Hand sew ONLY bindings on quilts that will be judged!