Easy Machine Binding Technique

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We all love to piece and quilt.  Maybe one more than the other, but we rarely hear “I just love to bind the quilt.”  When it’s time to bind the quilt, we are so close, but so far away.  We have spent time and money to get this far, but we truly have nothing until the binding is on.

This post is not called “Winning Quilt in a Quilt Show Binding” for a reason.  We are going to do it by machine and you will be finished in less than 2 hours.  We piece our quilts by machine, quilt them by machine, but yet think we have to spend hours and hours stitching the binding on by hand.  Often, though, when we try machine binding, we are not satisfied with the look.  The stitching might look fine on the top side, but be off the binding on the back.  This video is meant to show you how to have your binding look the same on the front and back of the quilt.

This binding technique works great for quilts that we need to finish.  The quilts we make for kids or donations and ones we need to get finished.  Let’s get those bindings on so we can curl up under a new quilt this fall.

It’s a little hard to see my cutting chart.  I have written the measurements below so you will have it as a written reference.

Here is our latest Youtube video “Easy Machine Binding Technique”.
   We hope the video was helpful and you will give it a try. Let me go over the mathematical cutting measurements again as they are so important to your success.
1.  This is a double binding technique. Your strips will be cut selvage to selvage.  After cutting your strips, they will be seamed and then folded in half, wrong sides together. Don’t press the strips, just fold them in half. You will be sewing the raw edges of the binding to the backside of your quilt.
2.  Use a “busy” binding to hide inaccuracies. All your stitches will show on a solid.
3.  Use a thin thread such as Aurifil or DMC cotton.  Both are 50wt and thin so they will blend better.
4.  Determine the width of binding you want.  My preferred is 3/8″, but if there is piecing that goes to the edge, I use a 1/4″ so that I don’t cut off my piecing points.

5.  The math is:  6 times the width you want your binding + 1/4″ to allow for the thickness of the batting.

1/4″ binding:  6 x 1/4″ = 1 1/2″ + 1/4″ = 1 3/4″ to cut your strips
3/8″ binding:  6 x 3/8″ = 2 1/4″ + 1/4″ = 2 1/2″ to cut your strips

1/2″ binding:  6 x 1/2″ =  3″ + 1/4″ = 3 1/4″ to cut your strips

To calculate how much fabric you need for binding, consider each strip to be 40″.  You can add up the 4 sides of your quilt and divide by 40 to tell you how many strips you need.  Always round up.  Then multiple this number by the width you are cutting your strips.  This will give you the yardage.  For a throw sized quilt, 3/4yd will be plenty.  For a bed size quilt, 1 yard should do it. It’s always better to have a little extra.

You will have to figure out how to get these sewing widths on your machine so that you are actually stitching the proper width for your math calculation. Sewing your binding on with the width that you used to calculate the strip width is important.

We have the “big board” in the shop so you can come by and take a look.   Hope this will help you finish some of those quilts that just need the binding.

Garment Sewing 101

When we opened Creations in 1978, it was the end of the polyester double-knit era.  We opened as a fabric shop with natural fibers.  We carried, wool, silk, cotton, and linen.  We still carry all of those fabrics in our shop.  It was in the early 80’s that quilting surged.  Many of our customers who once stitched garments moved to quilting. Thru our 42 years, we have continued to carry fabrics for garments.  There were lots of years that it was hard to find high quality garment fabric and easy patterns. We now have some great sources for clothing fabrics and patterns that are easy to construct with little fit  —  comfort clothing!

We thought it would be fun to show you some of our favorite garments and some of easiest patterns to stitch.  In the 4th video in our series “If I Can You Can”, we have featured a group of handwoven cotton fabrics, digital linen prints, Bali rayons, and a textured cotton that looks like linen.

This video is to inspire you to sew, not to show you sewing techniques.  There are loads of great videos on techniques, but few on fabric and pattern inspiration.

To check out the fabrics and patterns featured in our video, we have created a section on our website.  You will be able to order fabrics and patterns featured.  Check it all out at Garments 101

We look forward to the time when you can again browse in our shop, but until then  — enjoy our video!!

Here is our latest Youtube video highlighting some of our favorite patterns and fabrics for sewing clothes.

Crazy Curves Template

Some quilts you just love to make again and again because they look so different with different fabric choices.   We have used the Crazy Curve Template over and over to create the Crazy Curve Quilt and some of its variations.

Crazy Curves Quilt

The quilt shown here is one we did about 7 years ago and we still love it.  It currently hangs in the Lounge at The Main House, our retreat center across our parking lot.

We have completed our third video in a Series we have decided to call “If I can You Can”..

This latest video features the 7″ Crazy Curves Template.  The Circle of Circles Crazy Curves quilt,  pictured here, actually uses both the 7″ Template and the 3 1/2″ Template.  Each of the blocks is constructed the same way.

If you purchase just the Crazy Curves Templates, you will find layout instructions inside the package.  If you want clear pictures and great instructions, then you might want to purchase the book Crazy Curves Continues which includes the directions for the Circle of Circles as well as many other possible patterns.

If you prefer just the freedom of the Crazy Curves, all you need is the 7″ Template and 20 Fat Quarters.  Hope you will enjoy watching our video on working with the template.

 

 

Hope you will enjoy watching our video on working with the Crazy Curves template.

Log Cabin Trim Tool by Creative Grids

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We are at it again!! Everyone has been very supportive for our first efforts so we decided to do another video.  This time we will show one of our favorite Creative Grids “trim tools” for the Log Cabin quilt block.

We love “trim tools” because you get to trim to the correct size after stitching. The Log Cabin is one of our favorite quilts, but each block has lots of small pieces.  To pre-cut the strips, it takes accurate cutting.  Stitching with pre-cut strips also requires accurate sewing to keep all the blocks the same size.  It can really take the fun out of making lots of blocks if they aren’t the same size when you are finished.  Using the trim tool, you are practically guaranteed they will be the same size.

Another reason to use the trim tool is that multiple people can work on the same quilt as all the blocks will be same size when finished.  It makes a fun “group quilt”.

The Creative Grids trim tool for the log cabin comes in sizes 8″ , 6″ and 4″.  Even the tiny blocks will be the same size with the trim tool.  Each tool tells you what size to cut the center block and the size to cut the strips.

Just a note:  We are using the trim tool for the log cabin.  They also make a trim tool for a “curvy” log cabin where strips are cut different widths to creative a curved appearance.  They are simple to use, but our video is showing the original trim too.

Enjoy the video and be kind with your comments…..it’s intimidating to be in front of a camera!!

 

 

 

Once you’ve seen the video, click this link to find these Log Cabin Trim Tool on our website.

This video below can be viewed at full screen size, just hover over the lower right of the video, then click the [ ] icon.

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