not only did the quilting stitching go well on this quilt, i had pretty smooth sailing through the machine binding, too. since this is a baby quilt, i decided to machine bind for added durability. this is the 4th or 5th baby quilt i have machine bound in the last month or so. i'm so happy to report that it really does get better with practice. and more patience and attention to detail. here's what's helped me improve:
- i accidentally cut the binding at 3" instead of the standard 2.5" yes, this really did help. it was the perfect size. after a few frustrated attempts at figuring out what seam allowance to use, i found a generous 1/4" was perfect. with the extra 1/2" i thought it would need more, but it didn't.
- i broke down and used a tape guideline on the machine to help with the seam allowance accuracy/consistency. um, it really does help. i just stuck about an inch of scotch tape on the sewing table to help me guide it from further back. even though it was transparent, i could see it and the scotch was easily removed afterwards.
- i went really slow. i got over the urge to just power through the mess. it's still much faster than handbinding so i might as well take my time and do it right, right?
- going slow involved stopping every inch or so to position the binding strip properly. as best i can describe it, i fold over the binding strip so that it is just covers the seam that attaches it to the quilt from the other side, and line up the inner edge of my walking foot's left toe with the outer edge of the binding. that sounds confusing, so look at the photo.
you can see that the walking foot has two toes, which both are open in the middle. look inside the toe on the left: the outside edge of my binding is just barely a smidgen visible along that little opening inside the left toe. the barest line of pink is visible inside that opening. that's what i found to be the right set up for my machine and foot. since the needle falls about 1/16th" to the right of that toe's inner edge, it gives me the perfect seam allowance to catch the edge without leaving too much flap there. on the other side of the quilt, there is a seam about 1/6th" from the edge visible on the binding. this is how i like it.
it feels so good to be improving at this machine binding! after my first dismal attempt, i was feeling as if i'd met my quilt chore match. i guess even an middle-age quilting dog like me can learn new tricks. that's good because there is a whole lot more i want to learn about quilting.
linking up to kelly's needle and thread thursday at my quilt infatuation.