Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How to not get your binding backwards

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Can’t show you more of this quilt yet ’cause it’s for a quilt-shop challenge that’s meant to be anonymous (and who knows who might be reading...you know, aside from the Mother), but why this shot of a seam in the binding?

Well. I’ve been quilting for several years, but there’s one basic task that has eluded me: I’ve consistently joined the two ends of quilt binding backwards. And it’s not because I’m too macho to read the instructions—far from it. Every single time, I look up the process in my go-to quilting manual and in any number of other books, information sheets, PDFs, and what have you, and I could swear I’m following the pictures and the instructions properly, but every single time, I manage to join the ends with a twist so they won’t lay flat on the quilt. Much cursing ensues, followed by a brief, begrudging communion with the seam ripper and much mental backtracking to figure out what I did wrong. Usually I’d think to myself, OK, if what feels right is actually wrong, then what feels wrong must be right. But had I thought that on the first go? I’d tear my hair out if I had any left.

I’ve managed to get it right the first time on the last two or three quilts I’ve bound, though. How? I’m not quite sure. All I know is that QuiltWoman.com’s Endless Binding instructions [PDF from here] contains diagrams that somehow get through my thick skull. I skip right to the “Joining Final Ends of Binding Strips” section, follow the picture, and the binding comes out right. I’m not sure why this version works for me (maybe the labels?) while no other has, but thank you, Ann Anderson.

Maybe I’m the only person with this particular deficiency, but if you share it, perhaps those instructions will keep you untwisted as well. And then you too can bind without a seam ripper!