Saturday, July 19, 2014

Binding (a tutorial of sorts)

The thoughts have been ever present for me regarding the projects I have going, and what I see out there as more artistic expressions in quilting. I've been so fortunate to receive lovely fabrics, and fortunate to separate them into projects I want to do for my family. Thing is, I started doing this sorting when I was more of a beginner and for the most part want to stay with these traditional techniques a while longer. Yet my soul longs to break out of conventional methods too, and try some of the creative works. These quilts take time and focus which I am not sure I have right now.

This morning I worked on binding a PayItForward project & realize that I love doing the binding work. It took me awhile to learn the clear way of creating the mitered corners. Quarter inch seams end quarter inch from the edge. It starts with that crisp fold at the corner, binding to the left.

Then, binding is folded back to the right. And you pick up the sewing quarter inch in from the left hand edge. I've found that I make non-mitered joining for binding, just joining with a vertical line.
Both methods are pretty much a person's choice for bindings and borders on a quilt. I've pressed the seams flat and they don't have much bulk. With scrap quilting, it is sometimes a matter of how much fabric you have.

The corner miter has two sides to it. Its actually important that the mitering holds on both sides. This all starts with the seam to 1/4 inch while joining it, and then folding it with both sides in mind. I always take another hand stitch running through both sides just for simple reinforcement, and my peace of mind.

I like to hand sew binding. It gives me pleasure to do it this way, & machine sewing it is a less finished look in my opinion. If you look carefully, you can see that one folded side of this corner is open to the top, & the other side is open to the bottom. This is the strongest way to make them. If both openings face one direction, it is called a 'pig's snout' and can get inadvertently pulled open if it gets snagged. 

The beginning of the binding is cut and pressed at an angle and then the end of the binding is cut at a matching angle and tucked inside. Binding suffers the most wear on a quilt and is often seen in shreds on older ones. Its not a place to skimp with the quality of fabric.

Back to what binds me. I am wondering if the self-imposed binding I have in my quilting is what keeps me safe for now, as well as what helps me learn the various steps. For as much as I want to break out and do something wild and creative, its almost as if I don't know how the material and threads and even my machine work well enough to let me take liberties with them. And I recognize that the binding on a quilt takes the most wear and tear, I wonder if the binding in my heart and soul also absorb the strongest strains.

I have to hope there is enough time in my lifetime to learn these processes and then take the risks with what I know.