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To Machine Bind or Hand Bind...That is the Question!

Some of you followed along as I made my first quilt for my soon to be born nephew. I finished my quilt top and was quite triumphant. I felt like I had conquered the Mt. Everest of quilting. My quilt was the shape and size it was supposed to be. I didn't have any major boo-boo's along the way. No tears were shed from needle pokes or out of frustration.

But how did I get from this point (Just the finished quilt top)...

To this point (It's actually finished!)...

The process between point A and point B included a lot of needle sticks, frustration, and seam ripping. I elected to hand bind my quilt. By the last stitch, I decided I was never hand binding again.

Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with hand binding. In fact, I applaud the quilters who have the patience and the needle skill to hand bind a quilt. It's a time consuming process. And for someone with no experience in sewing...well, it was nearly a disaster.

My stitching was uneven. Sometimes there were huge gaps, and other times, the stitches nearly overlapped. My binding had a wave-like edge instead of being a straight line. I took one look at the edge I had completed and burst into tears. I had this pieced quilt I was so proud of, but the binding was a glaring sore that took away from the beauty of the quilt.

I'm going to be 100% honest with you all. I had my mother "assist" me with the binding. And by assist, I mean she basically bound the quilt for me. The end result was beautiful. When I gave the quilt to my sister and brother-in-law for Christmas, I had to break the news that not all of the work was done by me. I hated to admit that.

Now that I've had the experience of making a first quilt, I want to make a second one for myself. But I just can't hand bind it again.

Unknown to me, until a few days ago, there is a second method of binding. Machine binding! I don't know a single thing about machine binding (remember, I'm still a baby in the quilt world), but I want to give it a try. I'm willing to try anything if it means I can say I did every single stitch on a quilt.

On February 17th, I'm joining in on the webinar, Machine Quilt Binding Made Easy. For one hour, Jenny from Jenny Kae Quilts will be teaching her most sought after method-machine binding. I have no doubt that after this webinar I can make perfect corners, straight binding and put a beautiful finish on my future quilts.

I am a firm believer in finding a method that works for you in every sector of your life. I loved the experience of making a quilt, but I don't want to let my frustrations with hand binding end my quilt journey. So if machine binding is the method that reinstates my new found love for quilting, then I'm all for it! Just look at this beautiful binding. It was done by machine!

If you're a hand binder and love this method, more power to you! But if you're struggling with your binding, or have always been curious about machine binding, I would highly suggest this webinar in February. There is no shame in machine binding!

Oh, and look at the final finishing touch to my quilt-the quilt label!

Happy Binding!

QCA Rachel

 


Comments

Carol from Pittsburgh wrote re: To Machine Bind or Hand Bind...That is the Question!
on Friday, 23 January 2015, 10:09 PM

Rachel the quilt is beautiful! And there was nothing wrong with Grandma helping with the binding! I do my binding by machine all the time. It just takes too long to do it by hand.

Jeanine wrote re: To Machine Bind or Hand Bind...That is the Question!
on Saturday, 24 January 2015, 6:48 PM

Machine binding is the only way to go!

canx-scrappinvt wrote re: To Machine Bind or Hand Bind...That is the Question!
on Sunday, 25 January 2015, 6:14 AM

I just signed up for this. Can't wait to see her technique.

Monica wrote re: To Machine Bind or Hand Bind...That is the Question!
on Monday, 26 January 2015, 8:22 AM

I actually enjoy the process of hand stitching my binding on.  I find it relaxing an something to do while sitting in front of the TV w/ my husband.  Yes it takes longer but that is OK with me.   Gives me one last chance to enjoy the quilt I made before I ship it off to it's final destination.

I am going to start machine binding my baby quilts.  They do get extra washings and lots of love (abuse).  I think machine binding them will ensure the binding stays in tack for nieces who do not have time to mend / sew a binding back in place.

Monica wrote re: To Machine Bind or Hand Bind...That is the Question!
on Monday, 26 January 2015, 8:22 AM

I actually enjoy the process of hand stitching my binding on.  I find it relaxing an something to do while sitting in front of the TV w/ my husband.  Yes it takes longer but that is OK with me.   Gives me one last chance to enjoy the quilt I made before I ship it off to it's final destination.

I am going to start machine binding my baby quilts.  They do get extra washings and lots of love (abuse).  I think machine binding them will ensure the binding stays in tack for nieces who do not have time to mend / sew a binding back in place.

JudyPeterson wrote re: To Machine Bind or Hand Bind...That is the Question!
on Wednesday, 28 January 2015, 7:34 AM

I really enjoy hand stitching...and it was special to be able to have a part in my grandson's special quilt! I find the hand stitching relaxing and it makes me slow down and  enjoy.

sjlangmaid@maine.rr.com wrote re: To Machine Bind or Hand Bind...That is the Question!
on Thursday, 29 January 2015, 8:33 AM

I had terrible results with machine binding and decided to try hand binding.  It's not hard at all, once my best friend showed me how to do it efficiently and precisely.  It can be done in a few evenings while watching TV.

sandykcmo57 wrote re: To Machine Bind or Hand Bind...That is the Question!
on Sunday, 1 February 2015, 9:18 AM

I do both. It irritates me when my friends criticize the machine binding. They don't like the look of the stitching on the front and the teeny tiny "flap" it creates. To each their own. Personally I think the machine stitching is sturdier, which is important for a kid's quilt that will be played with and washed a lot.

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