Last week, I talked about adding the binding to Barney, the purple quilt that came out of storage early this year and is finally nearing completion.
There are a lot of very good reasons to bind a quilt entirely by machine. And there are five very good reasons to sew the binding to the quilt by machine, then stitch the fold to the back of the quilt by hand.
The first reason is finding a scenic place to sit, stitch, gab while you stitch. . . .
My friend Amy invited me to her camp on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario for just such a sit-stitch-gab opportunity on Friday.
Barney came, too, along with needle, thread, thimble, and lunch!
Barney, the purple quilt, has a binding.
After many excellent suggestions and a whole lot of mental debate, I finally decided on a binding for the quilt that came out of storage earlier this year.
I chose a purple that is a shade or two different from the border fabric.
Yep, it was a bit breezy (love the 'doo, right?). This photo of Amy and me was taken from the deck just outside the screened porch where we were sewing.
The remaining four reasons for hand stitching a binding have to do with a couple extra steps taken at each corner of the quilt to preserve the crisp 90 degree corner well into the quilt's use.
As I stitch the binding fold to the back of the quilt, when I get to the corner, I fold and miter the binding front and back.
Then I push the needle through from back to front (not pictured), just enough to grab the miter fold with the thread, then plunge the needle back to the back spot on the miter fold (pictured).
Once I pull the needle back through to the back of the quilt,catching the miter fold on the back side . . .
. . . I draw the needle through the binding layers, then through the backing fabric and a bit of the batting fluff.
My needle is then in position to carry on to the next corner where reason, three, then four, then five are waiting.
As we learned last week, Barney has five sides, but only four corners!
I find these steps are so important because they make the corner binding miter sharp and crisp. Over time, without those extra couple of stitches, the binding corners are apt to round out through use and washing. The extra back-to-front and front-to-back stitches compress and control the fabric layers at the turn of the binding.
By late afternoon, Barney was bound and only now needs a label to call it 'done!'
Meanwhile, Amy worked on the hand quilting stitches on her yellow-and-blue shining star quilt. The two quilts together created quite a foreground to the waves from the lake, don't you think?
As an aside, I used my trusty thimble while sewing the binding to the quilt. But when I got home, the thimble was no where to be found. Did it fall out of my sewing basket? Into my car? Onto the lawn when I packed up my car to head home? What about my pockets. . .
I couldn't find it anywhere. Until I was reaching for a snack in my favorite sewing chair, and I spied from my little eye the container where I keep my binding clips. Opened it up, and mystery solved.
BUT. . . Not before I ordered another thimble online . . . just in case this one didn't turn up. Eh, well. I suppose I could have cancelled that order, but. . .
. . . Nah!