Thursday, July 5, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Red, White, and Binding Hell

Happy 4th of July! Welcome to Earf. (One of the internet's most persistent misquotes--Will Smith clearly says "Earth" and YouTube agrees. At any rate, yay Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum for figuring out how to defeat the aliens with a Mac PowerBook and a WWII airplane.)

Anyway. I sewed a bit yesterday and today, though I didn't make as much progress as I wanted to, primarily because I am lazy. It happens. But I did make enough progress that all I have left to do is sew the binding down on the back.

Speaking of binding, let's get to the binding hell of the post title. This binding did not go well for me.

There was a lot of this happening. :(

In addition to the little "situation" pictured above, I ended up having a lot of extra binding by the time I finished a side, particularly on the two long sides. I pinned really well and appropriately tautly (I thought) so it really flummoxed me, as well as made me pretty angry (I may or may not have told my boyfriend I was going to burn the quilt.) I didn't know what to do with it, so when I got to the end with the excess, I re-mitered the corner, and then folded the excess like so:

Technique pictured in no sewing book, ever.

After I folded the binding over to the other side, the corner was a bit thicker, but it didn't look too bad, so I guess it was an ok solution. But why did this happen? This is only my third binding, but I didn't have trouble at all with the first two. But I think the problem is more with my equipment than me (that sounds like I'm evading responsibility...) I have an old, basic Singer and no walking foot. My first quilt binding was attached with my mom's fancy-schmancy new Bernina (with walking foot.) My second quilt binding was just that little table runner which was much more thoroughly quilted and also much smaller with less room for the binding to get bunched up over a distance. So I'm wondering if I just didn't have enough hands to make this workable without the walking foot.

In any event, I'm going to wait until I have access to a machine with a walking foot when I do my friend's wedding quilt, which is my next project.

It was highly irritating, but after I flipped it over and pinned it, it still doesn't look too bad from the front. It'll be fine once it's washed and finished, I think. Still qualifies for Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday.

A few other pictures from the process:

1) Basting: I thought I'd have to go to my office to find enough hard floor for this, but my kitchen had juuuuust enough room (kind of). :) Also, I now know that my kitchen is only slightly bigger than 40" by 50"!

Eat your hearts out, greedy women on House Hunters.

2) Backing: I'm really happy with this fabric. I found it in the sale section! It matches so nicely and it's really soft. So many wins right there. I'm still a bit on the fence regarding my feelings toward the binding, but it's too late now. :)

Backing: "Journeys" (Free Spirit), Binding: "What a World" (P&B Textiles)

Anyway, I medicated my binding woes with chocolate pie. It always helps.

My kitchen has the lighting of a cave. Now you know why I'm not a food blogger.

I hope you all had lovely holidays (if you're in the U.S., otherwise, I hope you had a lovely Wednesday). I walked a couple of dogs at the shelter this morning--an 80-lb. Rottweiler who couldn't believe how amazing life and walks and the whole world in general were, and a 5-lb., 10-year-old Chihuahua who can barely walk from an old dog attack injury--making it my most disparate dog walking experience ever. My boyfriend and I independently decided that we would make ourselves burgers in lieu of having any plans, and once we discovered that our brains worked exactly the same way on this point, we had a "burger contest." As one might expect from a distance burger contest, the results were inconclusive. All we know is, in the immortal words of Ron Swanson, that "turkey can never beat cow."

I love you, Ron.

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21 comments:

  1. Binding is my nemesis too! But I think the binding looks great! It suits the top and backing without being too matchy matchy and that backing is just perfect!!

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    1. Thanks Alyce! I'll admit, it's really grown on me. :)

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  2. Oh I struggle with binding too. I wonder sometimes if the excess (which I've had happen too!) is more to do with the ironing than anything. I think sometimes I might stretch it a bit when I iron it in half. I was super careful the last time I ironed binding strips and it seemed to work better. Other than that, no idea!

    I think your quilt's looking great!I'm with Alyce, I think the binding suits nicely!

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    1. Thanks! Sometimes it's comforting to know I'm not the only one to run into these little situations...

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  3. I think a walking foot is exactly what you need. I get puckers and gathers when I sew long strips without a walking foot, but never when I use one. I have an old Singer too, and you can get walking/even feed feet for them for a reasonable price (I think <$30).

    I love that striped binding, and I adore the backing fabric - it's so cute!

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    1. That's good to know! I'm actually getting a new machine this summer, so I didn't want to invest in the walking foot for only a little bit. Although, if I'd known they were relatively inexpensive for the Singer, it might have been worth it!

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  4. I've given up on pinning the binding at the beginning. I hold it in the right place as I go, stop at each corner and use Jeni's method (In Color Order) to do the corners, then stop when there are about 8 inches to go to sew the start to the end. I definitely couldn't get the binding taut enough when pinning! I don't have a walking foot either.
    Good work on the backing fabric btw - it goes really well! I love the backyard baby fabric too. Waiting for a friend to have a little boy sometime...

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    1. You are brave! I'm definitely a pinner. :)

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  5. I definitely couldn't live without my walking foot. But even then sometimes I end up with the edges of the binding becoming uneven. The worst is when you fold it around and realize that the binding is pulling out on the front side of the quilt. Fail. Also, I share your mutual love for Ron Swanson.

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    1. Haven't had the front of quilt problem yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Excellent taste regarding Ron. :)

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  6. 1. Girl, get yourself a walking foot before you set your house on fire.
    2. Greedy women on house hunters? Sarcastic voice: "Nooo, never!"
    3. "You had me at meat tornado." Ron Swanson is pretty much my hero.

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    1. Will do. :)

      It cracks me up so much. I'm always afraid a realtor is going to get strangled over the lack of stainless steel appliances some day.

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  7. I don't pin when sewing binding either. I don't have enough patience for all that prep work. I keep the binding in a roll in my lap and just hold it on as I go. I also have a Singer, albeit a newer version than yours, and I have a walking foot that I almost never use. Why? It makes me sew slower and has a bizarre clicking noise that drives me nuts. I'm sure that there are probably some instances where I could have had a better result with the walking foot, but I'm doing ok without it!

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    1. You non-pinners are so brave! I'm definitely not there yet. :)

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  8. Your post made me giggle, it's so honest and refreshing. I use a walking foot from the moment I start quilting through to finishing sewing the binding around but I don't pin my binding in place. I fold my length of binding in half and match this to the opposite centre of the quilt to where I want the end join to be and then I check that there won't be any seams falling on any corners as this will make them too thick. I work hand over hand with the binding around the quilt and binding to find the starting point about 5" from the end point and start to sew - no pins at all and I've not had any puckering yet. Hope this helps :)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the tip! I haven't checked on the seams-on-corners thing before and have been lucky thus far... but I should probably start doing that!

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  9. Your quilt looks gorgeous...I love a stripy binding. It's been said before but the walking foot is your friend. It's a great investment as you can use it to attach anything from zips to piping without pucker and fullness.

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    1. I have definitely been convinced! :)

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  10. So I'm finally catching up, so sorry!

    First I agree with everyone else, walking foots are a necessity!

    Second, you probably are cutting you binding on the weft threads (selvage to selvage) like I do. The weft has a bunch of stretch to it (not as much though as on the bias). If you cut your binding on the warp threads (parallel to selvage) it would have the least stretch and the tendency to move after pinning is minimized. But, it also is a ton more fabric. I take the stretch over buying more fabric myself :)

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    1. I would too! I know I'm probably not as careful about stretching things as I should be...and I guess I pay for it! :)

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  11. Have you seen the Ron Swanson QAL?

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