Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Battle With Binding

Is it just me? Or is binding for your quilt a battle for you, too?

Maybe it is because I don't do it often, and then I have to relearn the process all over again. Yes, I remember how to cut and sew up one continuous piece of binding. I remember what my mom told me about pinning it onto the quilt to make sure a seam isn't on a corner. But then it all goes to pot.

I'm only sewing around a 12-1/2" square block, and you'd think I couldn't screw it up. Oh, but I did. Several ways and several times.

First, I sewed the first two corners like this: - Modern Lonestar Quilt, Battle with Binding

Can you spot the problem? I sewed the corner shut! How am I to turn the binding over to the back when I sewed it closed to the front? Hmmm.  Luckily, I spotted this issue before I sewed all four corners. But I did have to pick the duds out and redo them.

And when I did, I finally got 4 corners like this: - Modern Lonestar Quilt, Battle with Binding
Phew! Just right.

Then it came to closing or finishing the binding,and I was just a mess. First, I didn't give myself much space to work with closing the binding and had to take out stitches so I could maneuver the pieces. Also, I kept sewing them wrong! I just couldn't seem to get the two ends together correctly. One would be twisted, or I'd sew right side and wrong side together, or it was a jumble of material. It was amazing how I managed to screw it up so many ways and so many times. I was too frustrated to take pictures--I was actually embarrassed.  Plus I kept thinking I had figured out what I did wrong and fixed it only to get some lousy jumbled mess--again. I honestly lost track of how many times I sewed them wrong. I had to put it down and walk away.

The next morning, it only took 4 tries to get it done right! Woo-hoo! I was so excited!
I trimmed it. I starched it. And realized, it still wasn't right. - Modern Lonestar Quilt, Battle with Binding
My excitement died. I thought, "Seriously?"

So, back to ripping, remeasuring, and sewing.

Finally. After a two day battle I was victorious! - Modern Lonestar Quilt, Battle with Binding
For a project that was supposed to be "quick" and "easy," it sure is turning out to be "time consuming" and "difficult." First it was the quilting, now it is the binding.

Does anyone else do battle with binding or is just me?

Linked up with Stitch by Stitch here.


Lorna McMahon said...

Hi Allison! Thank you for visiting my blog at Since you show up as a no reply blogger, I wanted to return the visit, so here I am! Thank you for your compliments and response regarding the new cutter! Just wanted to let you know, I have had moments like this with binding, too. I had to refer to one of my quilting books for the first 20 quilts I made to get that last seam right. Then, when you think you got it down... Well my strips would be seamed wrong, or I'd forget to check whether they would end up at a corner. Glad to see you didn't give up! Your mini quilt is beautiful! I'd love to see a picture after the binding was sewn onto the back!

Allison said...

Thanks for stopping by. I'll have to fix the "no reply blogger" aspect of my profile.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who battles with binding. I, too, had to pull out one of my quilting books to help me get that last seam correct...and still made mistakes! But, in the end, I won! (I really feel like some victory music should be playing right now.)

ChristaQuilts said...

That's a pretty quilted block you have there! I just posted a binding tutorial as part of my linkup. Check it out and see if there's a tip or two that's helpful for you. :-)

Allison said...

Thank you so much for the link up to your binding tutorial. I really think if I had read this BEFORE I had worked on my binding it would have saved me a lot of grief. I'm keeping this link close for next time.

Unknown said...

Check out that youtube video about binding, that's helped me so much! I "bookmarked" it so every time I need to bind something I go back to it! It's so quick and easy!

Allison said...

@ Alyx Patterson - Wow! Thank you so much for the youtube link. That will help out a lot!

Happy Turtle said...

I struggle with binding too and it's true - I don't finish as many projects as I start so I end up looking it up over and over again. So you're not alone! :)

Karin said...

Yes, I struggle too at fact, I have to get one of my books out every single time..

Allison said...

Thank you everyone for your help! And I'm so glad I'm not alone in this.

Becca said...

I've managed to make it to the point where I'm comfortable with binding. That doesn't mean it always goes wonderfully, because that is just not true. I can't explain it to people, it is just something you have to work through and learn from, sometimes all on your own. Don't' think of these as failures, but lessons. You should learn something every day, even if it is how NOT to do something. Love your color choices on this little quilt, no matter how you feel about the binding.

Allison said...

@ Becca --Thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind words. I completely agree with you: You SHOULD learn something new everyday. I actually say that often to my children.

Lisa said...

AHAHA! Your story sounds allllll tooo familiar and made me laugh oh so much! I always sew my binding ends together twisty backwards - to this day - even with my binding notes AND a close up pic/tutorial open on my laptop next to me. My notes have really helped me with all the other binding aspects though - as I was always having to re-learn the steps as I would not do it that often. So I decided to write down what worked each time and repeat it the next time. Works like a charm.

Diane Wagner said...

Been there, done that! I've struggled with both problems you mentioned. It happens mostly when I plunge right in thinking I know what I'm doing. For me, the least time-consuming way is to review my instructions before I start sewing that binding on.

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