An Online Community for Man Quilters
I am trying to finish my first quilt. I just need to cut and attach the binding. I have watched and read various videos and "how to" web sites. Others have told me I need to cut the binding on the bias and I have read about that also. What is your experiance. Is it that imortant to cut the binding on the bias first of all, and if you do think that it is, what is your method? There seems to be various ways to do it and all of them look a little complicated. If someone knew for certain that a particular method worked it would be helpful. A web link would be nice.
Dan: go to www.quilterstv.com and search for the program I did on bindings. I know your original post was back in January but just now signing on here. No it isn't necessary to cut binding on the bias. This is an "old wive's" tale. However, if you are doing a curved binding then you must do binding. I cut it across the fabric. This gives it a bit of give.
The important part is to be consistent in your seam allowance and stop at the corner about 2 stitches from that width. When I am getting to the corner I fold the binding back on itself and fold in a 45 degree fold. This gives me a mark that is exactly the same distance when I reach the fold as the width of the seam. Stop about 2 stitches from that point. The same principle applies here as the "scant quarter inch" for piecing. You need to leave a little space for the double fold of the binding.
I demonstrated this recently on QuiltersTV. I don't know how to navigate that site to find it but perhaps you can.
bindings should be consistent in seam with, carefully mitred corners and filled with the quilt. I discovered that I was loosing control the last 1/2" and my seam allowance was not consistent. This made rabbit eared corners.
Couple more thoughts on bias binding. The posts are correct about bias on curves. Another which I read is for strength.
When you use across or straight binding then there are long threads along the edge that wear. In bias, since the threads are cross it has more durability. Now this can be a personal decision.
Now about judges. While some judges like bias, not all of us believe this is the rule. In fact there is no rule. Except, if you use a directional cut fabric for yur binding - stripes and printed stripes, the fabric should be cut with the pattern and not exact. This is so the print will be consistent along the edge of the quilt. However, if you use a stripe printed fabric or plaid, then it is better to cut on bias otherwise the binding will look like a candy cain. As a quilt judge, this is what I look for - the consistency of the pattern in the fabric. Remember - accurate seam allowance right down to the corner, binding full of quilt and batting and precisely mitred corners. If your corners are not coming out exact, the go back and rip out, if already sewed and see where the seam allowance stitch went right or left. Or better yet, check this before doing the hand work on the corner and restitch if necessary to make the seam consistent. It will be a better corner.
Judges also prefer to have the diagonal fold stitched closed on both back and front. In your personal quilts, this again is a matter of choice. Consider the binding like a picture frame...
Sharon Schamber has some great videos. I have the one on binding and she is one heck of a great teacher and artist!
Here is the link where you can buy her DVD's. The woman is SERIOUS about her work and teaching!