I’m on a roll

Another binding finished – this HeartStrings top pieced by Barbara in FL and quilted with my Circle Lord Swirls – doesn’t it give great texture to the quilt?

I had the nicest offer yesterday from Karen, a member of the Quilting Queens, a local quilting guild to help me with bindings. Hand stitching these bindings, taking my photos and posting the quilts online are one of my favorite parts of the process so even though it would be more efficient to let someone else bind them, I’m just not able to give them up. I thanked Karen for her offer but declined. By the way, I’m not as fond of making bindings and machine stitching them, but it’s worth it to get to the hand stitching part.

How about you? Is the binding process one you love or one you hate?

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  1. I haven’t even DONE a binding yet, and I hate it already. I’m horrible at hand stitching my little pillow ornaments closed, so I’m sure the hand stitching of a whole binding will not only be an ordeal, but will not look very good. I wish Karen lived near me!

  2. I always have the machine quilter attach the binding on one side, and then I hand-stitch the binding to the back of the quilt. Hand sewing the binding is not one of my favorite tasks, but each side I finish motivates me to do the next. It is satisfying to see the finished quilt.

  3. It looks great, Mary! I too love the binding. I don’t care for the cutting away of the excess backing/batting…but I love the sewing by machine and especially the sewing by hand!

  4. I too love the hand stitching of the binding. Mainly because it’s the end of the project and it gives me such a sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, it really, really kills my left hand thumb. I end up with my thumb in a brace and pay dearly for about a week afterward.

  5. I love the hand stitching on the binding. It’s nice to do in the evenings and it’s almost done.Diane in Alaska

  6. I love hand sewing the binding. Since we’re on the subject, do you cut your binding on the bias or on the straight of grain? Just wondering….

  7. I agree with some of the ladies here…when you do the last part of the sewing of the binding you know you’re at the end and you can’t wait till its done. I’m like lizA I’m not use to a thimble so I kill my fingers but its worth the effect at the end.

  8. I’m not too fond of binding, but I think its because no one’s ever showed me a good way to do it. I’m not very efficient and it always looks a little messy. In fact, I shudder to admit this, but all of our around the house quilts I do the binding by machine (all of it) *gasp* (did I just admit that out loud??)BTW, I love you scrabble board, where did you get that?

  9. I’m with you, Mary — I love hand-stitching the binding. In fact, I even love machine-sewing the binding on, and trimming off the excess backing and batting. Not too keen on actually making the binding, though. And I’m a straight-grain binding person, not a bias binding person. Too lazy to do the bias, and I haven’t really noticed that it makes a difference. I guess it would if you had scallops on your border, though…

  10. Well just finished cutting out the fountain squares for a heartstring quilt, my first time at this one. Its funny cause I know how it goes but I still had to refer to your instructions. I must be tired already, its past my bedtime.

  11. I don’t like hand stitching in any form, but doing the binding means you are almost done and I like that. I made my first bias binding on my last quilt and was amazed to find that it is actually faster than straight binding to make. I’ll be doing more like that.

  12. I love hand stitching the binding. It is my favorite part of the whole quilting process, but I *do* love the whole process! A day without sewing is a sad day!

  13. I don’t much enjoy the machine part of putting on a binding, but I love the handstitching part. It’s my only time to sit with the quilt before I have to give it away.

  14. Sewing the binding by hand is one of my favorite parts. You can sit on the couch with the family while they watch whatever on TV and just be happy with some sewing. I don’t enjoy quilting the quilt. I am working on getting a longarm. Maybe the Little Gracie combo. 🙂dawn

  15. I too love sewing the binding on. I love having the quilt covering me and I find it very relaxing. I use stick on thimble pads to prodect my fingers rather than a thimble. Works for me!

  16. I really like the swirls quilting on your heartstrings quilt. I was trying to imagine it with quilting in the ditch or maybe 1/4 inch from the seams…it wouldn’t make the colors and design of the quilt pop in my opinion like the swirls quilting does. I also like how you did the yellow/gold/cheddar bars or shashing look too. Both really make it very special.

  17. I enjoy the hand sewing part of binding if I have plenty of time. If it is like Christmas Eve and I need to get the binding done for the next morning then it seems to take far to long.I don’t like the machine sewing portion either. The quilt is so heavy at that point it is hard to sew straight with all the weight pulling on it. You could just have her cut the binding and do the machine sewing portion of attaching. Then you would have a backlog to sit and hand stitch.

  18. I love sewing on the binding as I know the quilt is almost done! I don’t even mind making regular binding, but I don’t like making bias binding although I do like the results. The swirls really makes that quilt come alive.

  19. Making, attaching and then hand sewing the binding is a favorite part of quilt making for me. I use a method I found in a very old Quiting Today magazine and the bindings come out perfectly every time (unlike my points-LOL!!)

  20. Count me as another who likes the binding process. It’s like the last bit of yourself that goes into a quilt and somehow very satisfying.

  21. I love binding a quilt. I love the “feel” of a binding that is just right. Meaning the quilt sandwich fills the binding. I love the hand stitching as well.

  22. The hand sewing part of the binding is my favorite part too. It’s a satisfying feeling seeing it get finished, I guess.Great job on all your finishes for January so far!

  23. I’m glad I’m not the only one with those issues. I have a hard time with not doing it all myself. I also am not crazy about making the binding so I make it as soon as I finish the top. Then I make myself do the machine part before I load another quilt. I have to trick myself into doing those things I don’t like! 🙂 I do love those swirls!

  24. OH how I LOVE binding! I love squaring up the top…I love applying it by machine..but the BEST is the hand stitching. I wish i lived by someone who liked applying BORDERS! ick Ick ICK! I would GLADLY trade! It is my most hated part of the whole process. There are at LEAST 5 tops that need borders in my studio!

  25. If I’m giving the quilt away to a crisis center, many times I machine bind it with a decorative stitch. If if is a gift or one for a wall hanging, I hand bind it. It does hurt my hands though and I can’t bind for very long. Machine piecing is my favorite part of the quilt making process. I love watching the colors come together.

  26. I don’t mind the binding, especially since that and beading are the only real handwork I do. Well, some needle felting , but that’s sort of sporadic.

  27. I always sew mine down by machine using a triple zig zag stitch. I know this isn’t considered to be the most “professional” way of doing it, but no one has ever complained or commented on my bindings, so I figure they are just fine and this saves me alot of time. Linda

  28. I hate making the binding and sewing it on. Way too boring!! I do like doing the hand sewing part, but lately I have been doing all the steps by machine. It’s so much quicker, and suits my attention span issues.

  29. I love doing bindings also, even sewing the first side on at the machine. I especially love the satisfaction of doing that last diagonal seam and having it come out perfect. The hand stitching is very relaxing for me.

  30. Another beautiful–and beautifully quilted–quilt, Mary!hmmm, binding, my least favorite part of quilt making. I do it all except the hand sewing. Some of the non-quilters in our group hand sew the bindings for me. If it is a personal quilt, it gets a machine finish…because I have a difficult (painful) time gripping with my sewing thumb/forefinger. I prefer to save what is left of my thumb function for feeding the sewing machine and guiding the quilting machine, etc. I once loved hand sewing, but….those were the days.

  31. LOVE doing all parts of binding–one of my favorite things of quilting. But I’m so totally with Beth–I SO dislike doing borders. Straight pieces of fabric–and I hate it! LOL And I always hand stitch my bindings–my machine stitched ones do not look so good–LOL

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