I’ve been wanting to do a test to see just how neatly I could get a binding to go on if I used the machine binding method rather than my usual hand stitching. So I finally sat down and bound a small quilt sandwich – don’t look to closely at the quilting because it’s just a test piece with lots of messy scribbling on it, not an advertisement for my machine quilting! LOL
There are differing opinions on which method looks better or lasts longer, so it’s really a matter of personal preference. Some might choose machine binding because it’s faster, because they think it’s stronger long term, or because hand binding strains their wrists and hands. Others might choose hand binding because they like to hand stitch in general (my mother) or because they like to have something to do in the evenings while they binge on Netflix shows…(me!)
I personally wanted to find out two things:
- would machine stitching all around the binding make the edge stiff or hard compared to my hand stitched bindings and
- would I be able to get the stitching line that shows on the back of the quilt to be straight and neat enough for my personal satisfaction
Once I was finished I laundered this piece and found that alongside a quilt with hand stitched binding, it was not stiffer, so that was good news.
I was reasonably satisfied with the stitching, although there were a couple of areas that I wasn’t happy with. When it comes to my free motion quilting, perfection is not the goal, and I remind my students that it is, in fact, unattainable because we aren’t machines. Once the quilt is done, most of the little “mistakes” we might have noticed as we stitched are lost in the bigger picture (that’s not to say I never pick anything out, because I certainly do if it has really gone off track!). But in this case, that stitching line is going to run right along the binding seam somewhat like an echo stitching line, and if it isn’t straight and neat it will be obvious, at least to me!
Overall, I think it could work out to be acceptable and I can fine tune the areas I’m not completely happy with by working on the method a little more. I’m not completely convinced yet that I want to change how I bind quilts in general, but I am tempted to try this method on some smaller projects that seem to take as long to bind as they do to quilt! The test is done and it yielded better results than I expected, but the jury is still out…
Check out the video below if you’d like to watch me stitch it. Of course, I’m talking too, so you get to hear my voice, which makes it almost like I’m right there in your house. HAHA