Machine quilting after binding or before binding?

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PattyGB posted on Thu, Feb 20 2014 11:20 PM

Hello quilters,

I'm new to quilting and actually working on my first quilt, although I have been sewing for many years. A friend who has been quilting for years recommends sewing on the binding before home machine quilting it. She says that it is less apt to shrink or warp that way. Everything that I've read seems to say to quilt first and then sew on the binding.  Any experience or recommendations about which to do first?  Thank you.


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Debbie replied on Thu, Feb 20 2014 11:26 PM

Patty - every thing I have been taught says you quilt first, whether hand or machine and then put on the binding.  less likely to have puckers that way.  hope that helps

"I'm just a poor soul who's intentions are good.   Oh, Lord, Please don't let me be misunderstood."

Debbie (dear1953)  

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Hi Patty, I have never heard of Binding first, quilting last, That's a new one for me.  I have always quilted my quilt, squared it off then bind it. If you bind it first, you can not  square it off,   It would be misshapen . In my opinion.  

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PattyGB, I agree with the others. Quilt first then bind. If you bind first you are most likely to get puckers and bunching. Doing the binding after quilting allows you to smooth out the puckers as you quilt.

In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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Agnes replied on Fri, Feb 21 2014 10:59 AM

If you spray baste or glue your quilt layers well you can get away with binding first because if everything is secured there can be no shifting. If you pin or thread baste you need to heed the advise given so far. I have just finished the binding on my first glue basted quilt. I choose to quilt it first because the quilting started and ended right on the outer edge. I wanted that covered by the binding. I have spray basted for a number of years and I would do the stitch in the ditch lines with the walking foot, trim and bind. Then I do all free motion quilting because everything was secure.

A word about glue basting. This was a new concept for me but I am hooked after one quilt. Slightly dilute WASHABLE school glue, paint lightly onto the batting. Work in sections from center out. Paint glue solution onto center section of well smoothed out batting. Lay backing over center section and tug into place without wrinkles. When happy with your placement press dry with iron. Continue working in this manner to both ends. Turn over and continue with the front in the same way. Because all the fabrics are secure there will be no shifting. The only possible disadvantage I have found is that if you paint the glue on too thickly your fabric gets quite stiff.

My advantages: School glue costs pennies compared to spray basting. There is no overspray because you paint and are not spraying. I can do the whole process, because I work in sections, on the ironing table, so there is no crawling on the floor.

Agnes in NW Ontario

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PattyGB replied on Fri, Feb 21 2014 11:43 AM

Thank you all for your helpful recommendations and suggestions !!!

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I like to have a couple of extra  inches of backing and batting on the edges to give me something to hold onto when free motion quilting.  Binding is done after all the quilting is done.

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