Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thoughts on Machine Binding and a Finish

I really am backtracking on my feelings about machine sewing the binding on my quilts.  I've made several mini's lately "practicing" free motion quilting and I have yet to hand sew any of the bindings.  Although the baby still takes 2 or 3 naps a day, I usually am only able to get to the sewing machine for one of them since I like her to have one of the naps in her stroller so that I can take a long walk.  And her third nap is either also on the go if we are out and about with her sisters or is just a short 20 minutes at home.  In other words, I have limited sewing time these days and it is very satisfying to be able to get the binding done in under one hour (for these small quilts!)

I'm still basically sticking with the zigzag method I wrote about in my last post.  However, a couple days ago, I unintentionally sewed the binding (raw edge to raw edge) to the back of the quilt.  I know I could have cut down the quilt and started again but I decided to go with it since I remembered reading this tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts.  However, she uses a straight stitch and I stuck with the zigzag.  Combining elements of her tutorial with the the tutorial from Stitched in Color has really resulted in both a process and end result that I love (not to say that won't change since I am apparently fickle when it comes to binding methods.)

Speaking of bindings, another change for me is using bright and/or contrasting colors for the thread.  I used to just use off-white, beige, ivory, etc (you get the picture) for basically everything I sewed.  When I started hand sewing the bindings, I ordered a variety of thread colors so that I could match the binding fabric.  I've now been using those bright colors to sew the zigzag.  I like the look when I stay within the same color family as the binding but using a bright enough thread that it purposefully shows.

As for the "finish," as you can probably surmise from my pictures, it's my hexagons!  Following the same paper piecing method, I attached a border of hexies made out of one fabric and then cut strips out of that same fabric to attach to the hexagons.

I originally sewed two more borders around the hexagons BUT I somehow messed up the quilting.  I'm not exactly sure what happened - when I first noticed the fabric bunching I just kept going figuring once I washed the quilt, it wouldn't matter but the bunching kept getting worse.  I also felt the quilt was too large since I really just wanted to highlight the hexagons and plan on using it as wall art.  So I stopped quilting once I got to the border closest to the hexagons and cut off everything else.

At that point, I probably should have just put it away so that I could come at it with a fresh perspective in a few days but instead I sewed on a binding.

I still might cut off that binding and figure something else out.  I spent a LONG time sewing those hexies by hand so I really want to love the finished product - I really LIKE it, but I want to absolutely LOVE it.   So, now I am going to put it away for a few days (or maybe hang it in the baby's room) and look at it with fresh eyes in a week or so.  What do you think?


  1. I LOVE hexagons! They look great! One of my very favorite quilts I've made is was an English Paper Pieced Hexagon quilt that I finished in December as a Christmas quilt.

  2. Awesome hexies! They are definitely some of my favourite things to make. I have boxes of them just sitting waiting for the perfect project. I should probably use them sometime soon....
    I would definitely let the quilt sit for a bit, I think it will grow on you :-)
    Thanks for linking up to The Handmade Parade!

  3. I really like Hexies. Thanks for showing how you did the border on them.


Thanks for visiting!