Sunday, September 30, 2007

More of My Cheater Bindings

Because the photos of the cheater binding on my Directions? quilt didn't come out too well, I thought I'd show you two more of my cheater bindings and explain how I made them.

The first is from my quilt Quality Time that I made in 2004 (and originally posted to my blog on 12 May 2006) so you can see that I've been breaking the rules for quite some time.

I made this for the Sydney Quilt show that year and was coming down to the wire. I had to drop the quilt off in 2 hours and didn't think that I could make a proper French double-fold binding in that time, even though this is a small quilt. So I tore some strips of black fabric, ironed them in half and sewed them on with the quilt edge tucked into the fold.

But the strips were too wide and it didn't look right. So I folded the raw edges to the outside and, using red variegated thread, held the folded strips in place with a simple machine embroidery stitch. Much better. Liked the softer edge that the torn strips gave this quilt. And the stitching did give it a bit of an edge so it looked finished.

If it hadn't worked and the quilt had been late, I probably wouldn't have ever done another cheater binding. But there is nothing like a bit of success in breaking the rules to encourage you to do it again. But some of us need less encouragement than others ... it can just be a matter of principle.

My second cheater binding is on my 2007 journal quilt, Joie de Vivre, that I just sent off to Houston. I can't show you any more if it (and you've already seen the back so I'm not really holding out on you) but this shot of the binding at one corner.

This time I don't really have an excuse. I had time to make a proper binding but decided not to. So I tore 4 strips for my cheater binding, sewed them on with the quilt edge tucked into the fold and decided I didn't like it.

Because I just made it up the first time, I had no idea how wide to tear the strips. I got it right for Quality Time but made them too wide this time, even after flipping the torn edges to the outside and sewing them down with green/blue variegated thread and the same machine embroidery stitch. Something had to be done.

So I trimmed the top strip close to the machine embroidery and used pinking shears to take the back strip back a bit. And I ended up with the binding you see here. Not what I'd planned or imagined but I still liked it.

And, truth be told, for my cheater binding for Directions?, I'd planned to fold it over so the torn edge was to the outside but I tore them too narrow for that. So, Goldilocks, one was too wide and one was too narrow and one was just right ... and I still have no idea how wide the just right one was.

I guess I'll have to keep making cheater bindings until I figure it out, eh?

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