Quilt Binding Marathon

Binding is my least favorite part of the quilt making process. Especially if it is a big, queen-sized mother like this wool [ ] quilt.

FIRST there is the continuous, continuous, continuous bias strip, which can sometimes be fun to make, but not so much, when you have to be relatively precise about it, and you have to make and iron miles of it.

THEN it’s time to haul the binding and the quilt under the machine in a smooth fashion, and again it seems like a never ending journey.

AND then it’s time to hand stitch the binding into place. It takes forever to turn a corner, let alone four of them. It’s practically a marathon!

YET when finished, I find there is hardly anything more satisfying than a beautifully bound quilt, in the way it simultaneously brings together the quilt as a whole, and signifies the completion of a creative cycle.

What part of the quilt making process is your least favorite or most satisfying, and why?

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12 Responses to Quilt Binding Marathon

  1. belinda says:

    ….well……binding runs a close second to my least favorite….BUT….I just did a post on I HATE BORDERS….ALL kinds shape and size…..it’s the process of it all….crawling around on the carpet….sore knee burns….measure out and then pin on the binding….ugh!
    Your wool quilt is lovely….especially your red quilting design…..swoon!

  2. Heather says:

    Having just taken seven hours to bind a quilt with scalloped borders, I think I would have to reconsider it being my favourite step. I did a bias binding and machine sewed the whole thing. It seemed endless. But looks damn good!

  3. Kimberj says:

    Hi Sherri, I just finished sewing together the layers of a quilt I’m making for a little girl of 5. I’m sewing the binding on today :P I don’t love doing it but I love having a finished project. I’m curious what backing fabric you used on the wool parenthesis quilt? I’m pulling my fabric together now and I wondered if a medium weight corduroy would work or whether it would look screwy with a lot of stitching all over it? Also what type of fabric did you use to make your binding?

    • Sherri Lynn Wood says:

      I used a medium to light weight linen for the backing and the binding of my wool quilt. The corduroy may work fine as long as it’s easy enough to quilt through. Perhaps you could quilt a little sample to see how it looks and handles. You may want to consider a pinwale corduroy for the binding. A bulky binding is hard to work with because it’s two layers folded over the quilt edge. So you have two layers of binding – top, batting, backing – two more layers of binding on the edge of the quilt. Best to bind with a fabric that is thin but sturdy.

  4. Alissa says:

    I don’t love making or attaching the binding (and I do straight grain, I know – that’s not technically “right” but it’s so much faster!!) but I LOVE the hand stitching step. It’s so nice to be working on my quilting, but also be able to chit chat and socialize with people! Plus it’s so calming and meditative for me. I always stop and savor the final stitches of the binding… the sense of satisfaction of finishing another quilt. I love it.

  5. Sheila P says:

    Machine piecing the top is my greatest thrill…there’s nothing like cutting fabric apart, and sewing it back together! The hand-sewing down of the binding, which seems to take forever, is my least favorite task!

  6. Lanea says:

    I like binding too, in part because it feels like such an easy way to end a long project, and in part because I hand sew quickly and enjoy doing it.

  7. monica says:

    I could have written this post. word for word. except I don’t cut my binding on the bias (… i know i know….)

    beautiful quilt by the way.

  8. Heather says:

    Same as you, I like the binding best. Although the conceiving of the idea is pretty sweet too. The in-between bits are hard slogging, but have their own small pleasures I suppose.

  9. shannon says:

    that quilt looks great!!!

    i’ve made one quilt (ha!), but like lindaroo, binding the quilt was actually one of my favorite parts. well…actually cutting and making the binding was neverwracking for me (to make sure if fit), but the hand binding part, i really, really enjoyed. it’s so relaxing for me. i also love piecing the quilt together. i love to combine fabric and see the whole thing come together.

    the part that drove me bonkers was cutting the fabric–cutting fabric always gives me anxiety. if i do it wrong, or the i cut slightly off, i feel like everything’s ruined. :P i know, i need to chill. also, for some reason, making the quilt sandwich and then quilting the darn quilt by machine drove me batty. i think i’d be so much more happy hand quilting!

  10. The Sew Man says:

    The binding process was always the part I dreaded…until I learned to machine bind. Now I look forward to the process. There’s still all the time it takes to sew the binding together and press..but overall it’s good. My least favorite part is actually putting on multiple borders…not hard…just my least favorite.

  11. lindaroo says:

    It’s funny, I love binding a quilt! Choosing a binding that will frame and not overpower the quilt, then cutting and ironing miles of ribbony evenness. Taking the quilt to the machine one last time, just along the edges. Hand stitching it down, looking at all the delightful creativity along the way, excitement of reaching and turning a corner, satisfaction of having the quilt in my lap and still working on it, meditatively approaching that finish, that completion of the creative cycle.

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