Monday, January 13, 2014

Binding--Third Time's a Charm!

I've spent way too much time fighting with the binding on my pretty red placemats, which has delayed other projects.  And after three attempts, they are finally finished.
I typically hand sew my binding to the back, but I was NOT going to do that for four placemats.  Seems whenever I machine stitch the binding closed, I always end up with either the edge not caught, or too much caught such that there's a flap.  So I thought I'd try a different approach--sewing from the backside.  Well, looked great on the back, but went in and out of the ditch on the front.  Yuck!  

Time for the seam ripper.  By the way, do you know the proper way to use one?
Most have a little ball to cover a sharp point, and it's this ball that goes in the seam, to prevent poking into the fabric and tearing it.
Then the tool can zip along, ripping out the seam.

Okay, so now for the next attempt, stitching from the right side, in the ditch.  And here's the back
Ugh!  The dreaded uncaught edge!

Again, rip out the seam, and this time, trim the edge to a true 1/4".
Only a small amount is trimmed off, but it gives a consistent edge that the binding should be able to go around.

After trimming, all the binding was pressed outward,
then pressed to the back.
The pressing should help the binding behave.

Stitching in the ditch from the front is easier this time since the binding naturally wants to fold over from the pressing.
Ahh!!  Success!  Here's the back!
Even stitching all along the edge, and no big flaps.  I will admit I had a couple of missed spots, which were easy to fix.  Now I'm happy!  Third time's a charm!

Lesson:  Take the time to prepare and press the binding, and the result will be much better.

Happy Quilting!



  1. I had to learn this same lesson. that pressing really helps, doesn't it? Love your placemats. I have been making at least 2 sets a year as I like variety.

  2. Looks great and I always make sure to press well before doing my binding this way. Thanks for sharing.
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