Smallish Triangles and a bit about bindings




Remember all those triangle quilts?  Well, this was supposed to be a trial for the smaller  version in the pattern that I originally intended to make.

Not sure why, but the layout just didn't seem right on this on.  I think the triangles are too big for the size of the quilt...

I do like the colors though.  Triangles are Birds and Bees by Tula Pink, and the background is Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt and a grey solid which I can't remember of course:)

I tried two things on this quilt that I don't normally do; stylized free motion quilting - i generally prefer allover designs,  and binding machine stitched by sewing on the front first, turning to the back and then sewing in the ditch on the top and blindly hoping to get a straight line on the back.  tutorial here (can you tell that I didn't think it would work?)

Since I started making quilts, I was taught to machine sew the binding the exactly the opposite.  I learned this way -tutorial here-

I will say that this is all a matter of personal opinion, what you think looks good.  I think that my way is easier  to look good, because you can get your line of stitching straight and never skip off the edge of the binding.  Others do not like the look of a line of stitching on the front of the binding.  I decided to try this other method, and actually was pleasantly surprised.  I think with a bit more practice I could be satisfied with the look.

In the last month or two, I've tried a few different ways of binding so here's a few thoughts on each.


Machine stitched to the front and then hand stitched to the back.  If you're a 'serious' quilter, then this is the way you do your bindings:)   (partially kidding, I consider myself a halfway serious quilter, and I only hand stitch when I'm feeling like it)

It makes a lovely finished look on both front and back, with no visible stitches.  Your front binding looks thinner.  One more funny reason that I like this method, it seems softer somehow, maybe because there's one less line of machine stitching?

The downsides?  Takes a long time, and less durable.  Again, I'm just saying my angle.  For tutorials on this method, just google 'hand binding tutorial' and you'll find lots of options.  I don't feel qualified to point out the best method.




Here's my long used method.  Sewing the binding to the back, then flipping to the front and sewing it down from the top.  As I said above, the main reason I use this method is because that's the way I was taught when I first started quilting.

I think that any of these machine stitched methods take LOTS of practice to get a professional look.  I don't say this to discourage anyone, but just to say that you should expect less than perfect results at first.  Make picnic blankets and simple patchwork quilts and practice on them before you use this method on your heirloom quilt!

Also, cutting and sewing deadly accurate while doing all steps of applying binding will contribute to your success as well.

Here's a link to the tutorial again.




So here's my first quilt binding using this method.  It looks great on the front of course!  I was able to sew right in the ditch so your hardly notice the stitching at all.  The back?  Not completely happy with it, my corners are off with a few tension issues, but I can totally see this being a good option once I've practiced and perfected it a bit!




One more option that I just tried for the first time is this zigzag method from Stitched in Color.  I think it adds a neat texture, and with a coordinating or contrasting color of thread it looks like an intentional design choice.

I think it's a good choice for a beginner since it's quite forgiving (you don't have to sew quite so straight)  You will want to make sure that your binding is wide enough so that it come over and around plenty so that you're not catching the binding on the back with your zigzag stitch. (perusing her tutorial, I see that her zigzags stitch on the binding on the back.)  I suppose that is a matter of personal taste, just so long as the whole thing is the same!

So there's a few of my thoughts on bindings!

Oh, by the way, one of my winners from last week's giveaway has not responded, so I randomly chose another one.

This time it's Michelle!  If you're Michelle and you'd like to win a book and a bit of fabric, send me an email!




28 comments:

  1. I used to do binding completely by machine but then I learned hand stitching it to the back and I find that I prefer that. I could never hand quilt anything so being able to just hand stitch the binding to the back makes me feel special.. LOL. Like I put just a little but of me into it... if that makes sense.

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    1. Also I really like the look of the zig zag... might have to try that.

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  2. I love that there's lots of different ways to quilt and none of them are right or wrong, just whatever suits your fancy for the day. I liked the zig-zag one you mentioned. This is the tutorial I have used on my last two quilts that I have had some success with. http://www.redpepperquilts.com/2009/11/binding-tutorial.html

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  3. I love the triangles! I think they are a perfectly good size. And I really like the variations in quilting (especially the line of big loops!)

    I like the look of the zigzag binding the best, I've never seen that before. It really does look cool with contrasting colors.

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  4. Love the quilt, especially all the fun quilting, looks so adorable.
    I usually machine stitch binding on my children's quilts, but always hand stitch it on my "special" ones, I love how the binding is thinner on one side with hand stitching.

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  5. I first tried hand sewing the binding.. but it takes so much time ! And like you said, it's not as durable as machine sewn binding.
    Than I tried sewing it to the front and then sewing in the ditch but it didn't work that well. I also tried the zig zag method but I don't like the look so much either.

    So my method is just the same as you. And I love the way it looks on the front anyway so there's no reason for me to change that !

    I should really stop being afraid of triangle quilt because they just look so great !!

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  6. I love the triangles and the thoughts on binding! I like the zigzag effect. I have never tried this method but will have to!

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  7. I always sewed my bindings on by hand, and was really insistent on it, until maybe a year ago when I was making bed quilts for my kids. Then I needed something faster. I use techniques from Pat Sloan's blanket stitch machine binding tutorial (except I use double fold binding). I love it because it looks great from the front, and if you are meticulous about bringing the binding to the exact stitch line, it matches up on the back too. And it's incredibly secure.

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  8. Bravo! I think it's gorgeous. And I always love a new binding technique. I love sewing them by hand, but now I'm starting to think that technique may not hold up to frequent washing. I want my quilts to be loved and washed frequently.

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  9. I've never seen the zig-zag stitching before...i think i like it!

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  10. I just love your color choices! Thank you for all the binding info. I found it all very useful. I have not seen the zig zag binding and like how it looks. Have a great day!

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  11. ooh, I love read your post today, now I didn't feel guilty no more! My machine binding is still look 'chaos' and I always do hand stiching, sometime I feel that is too much and crazy, even I always happy with the result, but feel so annoying when my hubby ask why I do hand stiching, to him is too much work and waste my time well..I just don't want to admit that I'm still not good with machine binding :(

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  12. Your machine binding looks lovely! I love the look of the zigzagged binding. I still hand stitch my binding down, though I'm not sure what it means to have one side look thinner. Mine looks the same on both sides... At least, I think it does. :) I've tried machine stitching my binding and it always looks terrible, especially at the corners. I admire you for doing it do well!

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  13. Thanks for your thoughts on the binding. I will have to try them. I always appreciate your teaching moments. Love the colors in this quilt!

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  14. I hand sew the binding to the back. I cannot think of another method by now as I'm enjoying hand sewing the binding on because I think that's the last step to create the quilt. I'm always excited to do so.

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  15. I agree with you. Machine binding is quick, but it takes a lot of practice. I think I've practiced for a couple of years and still not as happy with the look. Maybe I need more practice. :-) But if I want a professional looking finish, then I rely on trusty old hand binding.

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  16. I do both as well. I love the look & cuddle time to hand stitch but have done a few smaller quilts with my machine for speed. And they both look great!

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  17. Love the colors on the gray, gorgeous backing choice.... Love all the triangle quilts, very inspired by them....
    Have the makings set to do one, can't wait...... Thanks so much....

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  18. Thanks for all that info on binding. I'm a traditionalist and like the first method best - I have tried a couple of the others, and you're right, they do need some practice to get right. For what it's worth, I love your triangle quilt!!

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  19. I've only ever hand sewn bindings however I agree machine stitching would be more durable.

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  20. I only machine bind mug rugs or table runners. Hand stitching the bindind is like magic that makes the quilt a quilt. I don't agree hand binding is less durable. My grandmother had one of my quilts in her nursing home for ten years. The only thing that survived whole from years of bleached washings was the bindings.

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  21. Very interesting - thanks for all the links and such.

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  22. I have only ever tried the first method, so good to know there are other options out there - thanks!

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  23. Please, oh, please, write up a tutorial for the Triangle Quilt--- LOVE IT!!!

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  24. We love your blog so we became a follower. Come follow our blog! quackadoodlequilt.blogspot.com

    Thanks!
    Anna and Sarah

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  25. I love this triangle quilt, I think the slightly larger size really works with the smaller baby quilt, also your colour choices are just perfect!

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  26. Sigh. You make such wonderful colour choices. I love the grey with the purple and the sprinkle of bright colours and that fun bit of loopy quilting. I am envious.

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  27. Thanks for including me, Jolene! It looks like when you tried the zigzag binding, you stitched the binding first to the back and then wrapped it around and zigged from the top? I do it the opposite way - stitching binding to the top first, wrapping it around and zigging from the top. So, I catch the back as I zigzag from the top. This is like the first way you learned, but with zigzags =)

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