Monday, 12 January 2015

slow stitching on a wet Sunday afternoon

WM is not well so what could be a better way of spending a wet Sunday afternoon than curled up in front of the television watching the final two-part episode of “A Touch of Frost” (a British detective series) while sewing down the binding on a quilt?

The quilt was donated to our quilting group by my quilting teacher in 2013 in response to the terrible bush-fires that occurred in September of that year in which 200 homes were lost and a further 200 were damaged. This donated quilt was only at the basting stage and no amount of effort by me at the time it was given would have gotten it done in time. I asked my teacher if she’d like it back but she said that once given, it was given (or something to that effect).

In my last post, I explained that my week had been spent working on other people’s projects.  Quilting this fairly small quilt (48” x 62”) took me three days – I haven’t quilted anything for more than a year and I found my muscles tensed up a lot; each quilting session was shorter than the previous one! Anyway, I finished the quilting late on Saturday night; thank goodness for excellent lighting in the sewing room. I was so exhilarated by finishing that I even attached the binding which went on extremely easily and quickly compared to the previous two quilts! I found a video on YouTube which instructs the quilter to stop a quarter of an inch from the corner, which I have always known, then turn the quilt clockwise 90 degrees and sew off the edge of the quilt. Those extra three stitches have made turning corners so much easier than my previous method, which was to backstitch when I got the quarter of an inch mark!

Kerrie's quilt finished

What was even more exciting for me was that the corners mitred on the back so easily! I am absolutely stoked with the results I got this time. The only thing I don’t like is that the binding is not as “padded” as I prefer because I trimmed the backing and batting to the same size as the top (as instructed on this video) – my previous teacher had me trim a quarter of an inch out from the quilt top which gave that little bit of extra padding to the bound edge.

For my next binding, I will try this new method of doing the corners (which logically shouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference!) with the extra quarter of an inch batting under the binding! I might find I need to cut my binding at 2.75”, or even 3”, to compensate for that extra padding but I won’t know until I try.

Did I mention that I’m just so happy that the binding looks almost as good on the back as it does on the front? ;-)

How do you do your bindings?
By hand or by machine?
With a 2.5” binding strip?
What about the corners?


I’m linking this post with Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy’s quilts.

Slow Sunday Stitching


  1. I hand stitch binding on any commission, gifted, or family quilts. Charity or utility quilts are machine stitched for durability as they usually get heavy washings. I prefer to use a 2.5" binding strip. I always miter the corners as well as hand stitch them closed.

  2. I started using this stitching method awhile back and have been pleased with the results. I use 2 1/2" and double, hand stitch to the back. It is my favorite part of making a quilt...crazy, huh?

  3. I do my own binding in 3 inches wide strips. I hand sew it and mitre the corners. Love the quilt.

  4. Yes! Yes! I saw that method recently and found it worked well. I have always struggled with the corners until I used this method. I also blogged about it. It doesn't seem to be widely publicised. I wonder how many quilters use it? Maybe you will get some more comments about it.

  5. That way of stitching off the edge after a turn is pretty routine here in the USA; it sure does tame those corners! I use a 2 1/2 " binding strip with a 3/8" stitching seam that is applied without trimming the layers first. (Just line up binding with the top edge.) I trim after applying the bingeing then hand sew the back. I have a nice full binding this way, too. The quilt is lovely, Lynne!!! Great accomplishment!

  6. A lovely finish... congrats!
    I attach the binding exactly as you said, and hand stitch it down on the back of the quilt. It's one of my favorite things to hand stitch.
    Thanks for linking up! You'll have to add your link to Julie's binding blitz party at the end of the month.

  7. Love the quilt!

    I machine sew my binding on the front and hand stitch it down in the back. I miter the corners using that technique. I usually use a single layer of fabric so my bindings are cut about 1 3/8 inches.

  8. Looks wonderful, Lyn! I machine the binding on the front and hand sew it on the back and mitre the corners. Larger items I like to use 2.5 folded lengthwise. Minis, mug rugs, table runners usually 1 3/4 folded over.

  9. Beautiful finish! I machine stitch my binding to the front, then hand stitch the back.


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