Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bias binding woes

You might remember a little while ago I started making my first quilt. I'm yet to actually finish it (I know, shameful) but i really enjoyed the process - so I decided to make a couple of small baby quilts to sell at the design market:



It was all going really well, until it came time to attach the bias binding. There was no way I was going to hand stitch these little ones, so I went for the machine stitch approach. I decided to stitch in the crease of the bias on the back side, and then edge stitch from the front, so I could make sure the line was nice and neat.

But this is what happened:


What did I do wrong? It looks like the front side of the bias binding is misaligned with the back, causing that twisting effect. Should I have used a walking foot for this? Or did I just tack my bias badly and therefore if one end starts misaligned the whole edge gets out of whack?

I got to this point about a month ago and i totally stumped me. The quilts have been patiently waiting in the corner ever since ;)

30 comments:

Kirsty said...

This might help you out:

http://tinyurl.com/6kw6f7

It's Dear Fii's tute on binding.

Fer said...

Bugger! Can't help I'm afraid, I always hand stitch. It is very therapeutic though!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I can't help as I hand stitch as well (it's the best in-front-of-the-tv activity) but I just wanted to add that your fabric choices are LOVELY!

Fran said...

don't use "bias" binding, just use straight cut, unless you're going to go around curves (e.g Double wedding ring)

Email me for help if you need it,
hugz,

Tina said...

How frustrating. I'm guessing, but, when you cut on a bias doesn't the fabric have more stretch? Maybe their was to much tension/pull, and it was stretching in parts. I would try loosing the tension on my pressure foot.

ShiriMe! said...

i'm no expert on quilting, having only made one (the one i showed you photos of months ago). BUT - i used to do repairs on old african american improvisational quilts for a quilt collector. those quilts tended not to have "binding". in the sense that quilts weren't finished off with a strip of fabric. most of those quilts continued off from the back piece, pulled forward over the front patch piece and sewed as the edging. but if you must have a strip of binding, i would use fabric with less stretch and something closer to quilting fabric and experiment with ways to create a pretty border when sewing around corners.

good luck! i love the fabrics. i'm bad at matching the fabrics i purchase from you. haha.

Nicole said...

I think you're gonna have to hand stitch one side down :( the "bias" probably wouldn't have helped. You could try machine sewing with unbiased binding...but it could still be tricky to get it in the right spot....Great looking quilt other than your binding woes.

Jen said...

I'm not a quilting expert, but I have sewn bias binding, and machine sewn binding just not the two of them together (the machine-sewn binding was straight grain).

However, I think the use of a walking foot would be a great help in this instance so that the back/bottom fabric doesn't get as stretched (like in your case). It's a handy investment for the quilting side of things anyway! (And if you want to sew thicker fabrics later down the track).

Don't get turned off using bias binding for quilts - makes for a much hardier, longer wearing binding (or so I've been told).

Lauren said...

Hi Lara! I love bias binding, it's a pity it hasn't worked out for you :-( I only hand stitch my bindings....after it's machine-sewed onto the front of the quilt of course. I find if I get lazy with my pinning I get the same rippling look too. I have to pin really close together to avoid this. You could always send it to someone to do it for you....hint hint....hehe :-)

amy.gunson said...

Hi Lara - I often have the same problem with my bindings. I've found that I do better when sewing down one edge and hand bind the other. Tedious yes, but maybe you could find someone willing to bind for you in exchange for your gorgeous fabrics.

One of my friends has a more expensive machine than me, she recommended a binding foot which I've loved to try. Maybe that would help?

Cass said...

Can't really add anything else but I always machine stitch the front and hand sew the back as per the Heather Bailey tutorial. Love the quilt though

Florence said...

I am contemplating my first quilt and would have done exactly as you did and thought that the binding should have been on the bias, so I've learnt a lot reading through these comments.

A walking foot is invaluable though and I don't just using it for binding, I use it for everything...and have just bought a Pfaff machine where the walking foot is integrated (and so far less noisy, which is a common problem with the add-on ones).

Good luck with your quilt though - it looks lovely in every other respect! x

Pollipop said...

Your quilt looks lovely Lara. I've never attempted a quilt before so I can't be much of a help with this. Bias tape can be tricky little things to sew, especially with a machine.

I've made a small selection of Blythe dresses with your gorgeous fabric, so do check them out at my blog.

Regards,
Grace.

Jason said...

I have made a few quilts believe it or not but I am not a proffessional.

I have never had trouble with finishing the edges. I think one problem could be due to the use of binding.

Did you use a lot of pins? Pinning a lot will help too. I would unpick it and make my own binding that is a little wider than what you have used.

You know you can also cheat and just fold over the remaining quilt to form the binding. Something to experiment with anyway.

Oh and thelast thing...tacking. Tacking the binding then sewing works wonders too. It gives you an idea of how the end product will look. However it does take a while.

Good Luck.

Cicada Studio said...

I can't help because I'm useless at binding. My inclination would be not to use bias binding on this since it's all straight lines and just miter the corners. I am sure I'd be breaking rules! I did want to say, it looks very nice!

Michelle said...

Is it binding cut on the bias, or on the straight? If it's cut on the bias, then that will happen. Cut your next binding straight, and defnitely use your walking foot.

Good luck!

Wendi said...

Just to second what a lot of people here have said. . .

Don't use binding cut on the bias unless your quilt has a curved edge. Cut your binding on the straight of grain and miter the corners.

Do use a walking foot. It makes a HUGE difference!

And if you REALLY want it to look nice, sew one side by machine and finish the other side by hand. There's really no comparison and it's a very relaxing sort of sewing.

I have a tutorial with TONS of pictures on my blog. It shows how to cut straight-grain binding, attach my machine, miter the corners, and handsew the other side.

Good luck! I love your fabrics and the quilt is beautiful!

Sam said...

oh, this is why i have never finished a quilt. i love to make the tops though:)

Sew Bettie said...

the quilt is lovely. i've never made one but i do use a binding to finish aprons. for me, just practicing has made this problem a little less bad. you have pin very carefully - every couple of inches and sew slowly. watch as you sew that the binding isn't pulling beyond where you've pined it or you'll end up with a bunch of fabric at the end.

Anonymous said...

check out this bias tape tutorial... its really good!
http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2008/03/bias-tape-tutor.html

Anonymous said...

i agree with fran, dont use the bias with a machine, its super hard to get it straight. Just use unbiased binding, it should work fine

stephanie levy said...

Hi Lara,

I'm sorry that I can't help you out on the quilting question - but maybe check out Anna Maria Horner's blog - she has lots of quilting/sewing advice and just posted a baby blanket with some instructions a couple of weeks ago...

And! Please drop by and see some of your lovely fabrics on my blog today :)

anne-cecile said...

Have a look at this tutorial and website, it is very helpful...
http://www.sewingmachine-sales.co.uk/sewing_machine_info/video/36/bias-binder.html

I have used the bias binder foot and it is really great!
Otherwise, you can fold the binding tape in two, press it carefully, and then sew it directly to the fabric. If you do it slowly, making sure the crease of the tape touches the quilt edge, it should work well.

Miss Snips said...

I love your quilt, but I would not settle for that binding. Take it apart. Sew the by hand. Bias Binding really has no reason to be used on a straight edge. Use straight cut binding, which actually is stronger and longer lasting than bias anyway. Your corners are good though...

belinda said...

this is what i do -
* straight cut binding
* tack first and then sew, this holds the binding in place- much better than pins.
hope this helps, the quilt looks great by the way.

Sarah said...

For machine stitched binding I'd definitely recommend Angry chicken's bias tape tutorial mentioned earlier.
Love the quilt by the way.

Bellgirl said...

I'm just about to start my first quilt so I haven't tried this myself, but my mum uses bias-cut bindings to machine-edge her quilts. She machine-stitches to the front of the quilt like I think you did, then she hand-tacks round the back. Still some hand-stitching, but only half as much!, and the machine sewing seems to make the edge stronger.

She uses bias because she does a curved edge at the corners.

Bellgirl said...

Ooo, I just found this on bias binding: http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.3a0656639de62ad593598e10d373a0a0/?vgnextoid=0a912222350e4110VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default

Anupam said...

Thanks for this nice design.

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