Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tell Me This . . .


Last Friday I was at the monthly Tea with Gran at Bearpaws & Hollyhocks, and Gran and I were both stitching down the binding on our Tagalong Schnibbles quilts. Gran asked a couple of us whether we press the bindings back after we've machine stitched them. One quilter said she didn't; I said I do. I like to keep my bindings somewhat narrow, and pressing the binding gives me a sharp edge and I don't have to tug on it as I'm stitching. Several more quilters weighed in, and the table was mixed--some do; some don't.

Then we started talking about binding clips. I don't use them because they get in the way and I feel like my binding's not migrating anywhere, but then I'm not much of a notions gal either. Many of the other quilters DO use them and said they think it's faster.

So what about you? Press your binding? Use clips as you're stitching? Why? Why not? Any other tips to share? Inquiring minds . . . .

39 comments:

Suzan said...

I press my binding when I am not in a hurry to finish! I use binding clips now since I got tired of bleeding on quilts and that always happened when I used pins. I cannot just turn and hold until I stitch because of the arthritis in my thumbs so I really like the binding clips though they do get in the way a bit. What I really like to do is stitch on the binding and then take it to my sister to let her do the handwork!

Eileen said...

I will chip in here and No I do not press back my binding. Finer press and if I get the corner good it should lay right . I hold it down with my fingers as I go along. Never thought about the clips or iron predding.

Julie in the Barn said...

I enjoy sewing the bindings. I almost always use folded 2" straight grain strips to bind small items. I like my bindings to be tight. On large quilts I'll generally use 2.5" strips just to make it a little easier to sew. I use straight pins to hold the binding while sewing. I also put a sleeve on everything at the same time I sew the binding. I use fabric to match the back. That way if I ever want to hang a quilt, the sleeve is already there!

Carol said...

I press my binding and use clips. Jut makes it easier for me to sew. What pattern did you use for the Christmas quilt you put the binding on in the picture?
Carol

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Okay, I really don't like to sew on bindings, so I neither press nor use clips. If there is ANY way that I can machine sew my binding, that is what I do. I just pin those babies down and head to my sewing machine, mostly using a decorative stitch. It works fairly well :-S Of course I am not an award winning quilter either!!

Kelly Ann said...

Great question....don't iron and don't know that I know anyone that does but it is an interesting idea...most of us around here use binder clips...some use pins but dang I keep sticking myself...

Nancy said...

WHAT??? Everyone doesn't press their bindings from the right side?? How can that be??? And binding clips and pins just get in the way... I was at retreat when someone brought out a quilt to hand bind. It took her longer to add all the clips along the edge that it did to actually stitch the thing...

reminds me that I have quilt all ready for binding....

PunkiePie said...

I don't press but I do use clips. Why? I do not know. Just thought it was the thing to do. LOL!

~Jess said...

I press mine back...it makes it easier for me to stitch.

Cara said...

I'm going to admit I hadn't even though of pressing my bindings but I'm going to try it.
I do use binding clips, it helps the strain on my fingers..
I do use the clover bias maker to make my bindings, saves my fingers from the iron, which likes to jump out and burn them.

Vickie E said...

I don't press my binding but I do use clips. Interesting topic.

Laura said...

I never iron my binding! This is actually the first time I've ever heard of that. I do use straight pins to pin down a few inches ahead of when I'm doing hand sewing, but that's it.

Hand sewing the binding is one of my favorite parts of a quilt. I find it so peaceful!

Rhonda said...

I have pressed before especially if the quilt is large. Wallhangings sometimes I don't. As for clips.....I don't use them....I use straight pins.

Quilter Kim said...

What a great topic, bindings. No, I do not press my binding before hand sewing in place although I do use clips. I used to pin it in place but was forever poking myself. I was so excited when the "zip clip" came out. I immediately bought one with an extra set of clips and have not looked back since. I love sewing down a binding while watching TV.

Laura said...

The only pressing my bindings receive is when I'm making them and I don't use clips or anything else during the hand sewing process. I just fold over a little section at a time as I go. Seems to work for me.

paula, the quilter said...

No, I do not press the binding back. Yes, I clip it down. I use the micro sized office bulldog clips instead of the hair clips that are sold for binding. I clip because I have had 3 surgeries on my hands/wrists and if I tug too hard it makes my hands hurt. I just use the right tool for the right job.

Carol said...

I have never pressed the binding after sewing onto the quilt. I don't use binder clips, I'm a pinner. Old fashioned I know, but I like to use straight pins.

Dianne said...

OK, first of all, if you ever get tired of that quilt...you can call me! I LOVE IT!!! To the business at hand...I use clips, but I do not iron down the binding. I will try it on my next quilt, however.

Denise in PA said...

Hmmm, I never thought to press the binding back - I'm going to try that! And, no clips for me, just one pin that I keep just ahead of where I'm stitching. I know a lot of people don't like to do it, but I love stitching binding (maybe I should hire myself out - LOL!)

Molly said...

I've never thought to press it back. But I do love the binding clips. I will put them on a 3-ft. section at a time. I think I stitch faster than without the clips. And pins stick me.
Molly~

Suzanne Kistler said...

I don't press the binding, and I don't clip, I pin. For some reason I don't seem to stick myself terribly often - knock on wood - must be the almost 30 years of practice. ;)

If you're pressing your binding, make sure you didn't quilt with rayon or polyester - melting is a BAD experience...signed, One Who Learned The Hard Way ;)

Janet said...

Our sewing group was just having this same conversation. I had actually never thought about pressing my binding and decided to try it. I like the crispness of the finished binding. I don't use binding clips (just how I have always done it). One of the ladies presses her entire quilt after it is done and it really does look nice.

AnnieO said...

Interesting question and answers! I don't use an iron but I do use my thumbnails to finger press the binding flat and avoid getting a ridge. For hand sewing a binding down, I use maybe a dozen binding clips at a time, moving them along as I stitch, and I straight pin the corners. For machine sewing a binding (my preferred method), I only pin the corners and otherwise hold down my binding with my fingers as it goes under the needle.

dianne said...

i use clips - dozens of them (and i don't think i could EVER have too many) - they save my aching hands from losing the tug of war ...... it never occurred to me to press the binding back after machine sewing it - but i was taught binding by a shop owner who was not open to change

Caryl W said...

I have never thought of pressing the binding back after machine stitching it down!! AND I like using clips way better than using pins...I put a clip about every inch for about 12" ahead of my hand stitching. Interesting topic..

Judy in Michigan said...

I often think about pressing but then I forget and start to sew and then I think - too late! I do use hair clips. I always start about 8" before a corner and sew until about 4-8" after a corner. I only clip that much at a time. When I start sewing, I have a goal - to get from point A to point B. The next day, I sew from point B to past the next corner, etc. That way, when I'm almost done, I don't have a long way to go and I've gotten all the corners done already. Maybe it's my incentive to finish the job but I do love hand sewing the binding down. Will you tally all these results?? Good question. How's your front yard doing? Haven't seen any pictures in a while.

Beth said...

I press my binding before I sew it on the back. In fact, the last quilt I bound I accidentally sewed it on the back first and ended up hand sewing it down on the front, and I liked it way better, I may do all my quilts that way, and I do like to use the clips. However, generally, I hate doing the binding more than anything on a quilt. LOL

Lynne in Hawaii said...

I always press first. I use about 6 pins to keep about 10 inches pinned ahead of my stitching. I try to always tuck the pint of the pin in between the layers of fabric...you do not get stuck as much.

kimland said...

Yup... I press my binding. Clips didn't do much for me, I can take them or leave them. Binding is a slow process for me. I bury my stitch in the binding, so it is hidden. I keep telling myself I am going to learn to do a "cute" little binding stitch but, always go to what I know and I am comfortable with...but it's slow going! My dilema is my thread constantly breaks and I am NOT using "cheap" tread I have tried different kinds...same thing. So, I am thinking it is my needles. What needle is recommended when binding???

Anonymous said...

I clip and use the freebie plastic clips that come on my husband's shirts from the laundry. They are easy to use and keep me from bleeding on the quilt.
Sue

paulette said...

Pressed or unpressed...I'm loving this little guy!! I got to get me one of those!! Thanks for sharing!
Paulette

Anonymous said...

Hi Kim. I cut my binding 2 1/4" and the iron it wrong sides together. I machine stitch it on and then hand stitch it down. I do not waste my time using clips. Just slows things down. I never have problems with it lying properly or corners that won't behave.

Julie-Julia

Carol said...

Well, I have read through the comments and not seen the method I use, which I read on a blog. After initially sewing on the binding by machine, I put YLI Fusible thread in the bobbin and then do a wide zig zag stitch all around the quilt in the seam allowance. The zig zag should be sewn with the binding you have just sewn down on top, so the fusible zig zag threads are on the back of the seam allowance. Then take to the ironing board and press the binding around in place and the fusible holds it in place for hand stitching. Yes, it takes a FEW minutes, depending on the size of your quilt, but NO holding with pins,clips or my painful arthritis fingers. Just stitch it down with no effort at all. Those few extra minutes I figure amount to clipping or pinning all around the quilt and relieves my fingers from the constant pulling and tugging.

Robin (rsislandcrafts) said...

When I completely machine stitch my binding down I do iron it. If I am hand stitching the binding tot he back, I do not iron. I prefer the "rounded" feel when I am hand stitching the binding. When I am machine stitching, I feel that ironing it down gives me a better chance of stitching the binding down evenly around the quilt.

I like to use a binding clip at the beginning of sewing down the binding. It helps me get started. After that, I just use my left hand to hold the binding down and go crazy with my stitching. I don't have the time or patience to move the clips (I only have a handful) :)

ratherbquilting said...

No, I don't press. Yes, I do use binding clips - not the ones you buy at the quilt store...the kind you buy in the hair care section at Wal Mart!

Mary said...

Love your latest quilt! Those Christmas fabrics are to die for. I had never even thought of pressing the binding. Maybe I'll try it and see if it makes a difference. And no clips or pins for me - I just turn it over and start sewing and it always works really well.

Kim said...

I always press. I think it's a habit from sewing clothing for so many years. I use a few straight pins to pin a few inches ahead of me.

Anonymous said...

When I remember, I press my binding before I do the hand stitching, my binding ends up smoother and crisper. I don't use pins or clips. I use a hand quilting thread when I sew my bindings on, using a ladder stitch, not a whip stitch. My stitches never show using this method. I like to have bindings to sew on when I'm watching TV. I just love turning the last corner on the binding and finishing up. I like the method using the YLI fusible thread--I'm going to have to give that a try. Good question!
Thanks for asking for comments!
Sandy E-H
Bemidji, MN

Kathy said...

I do like to press my binding before sewing it on to the front of my quilt. I have used the binding clips made for hair and I like them better than pins for holding it over the edge. Recently I began using elmers's school glue (washable) to turn the edge of the binding before sewing. I use it sparingly and steam press the binding to the back. It also sets the glue. I am careful to have the glue set back away from where I am stitching and it is my favorite way to do bindings now! I learned about it from watching a Sharon Schamber video called Binding the Angel.