Thursday, December 5, 2013

Binding Tools

Like everything else in the world, there are lots of ways to end up in the same place.  Choosing the one that works for you takes time and testing.  People ask me what kind of sewing machine is the best.  I ask them what kind of car is the best.  There is not one right answer to either question.  You have to test drive both vehicles and sewing machines to see which one works best for you, your budget and your lifestyle.  You wouldn't buy a great big embroidery machine and expect to take it to classes easily.
The same theory works for binding.  There are lots of videos on YouTube to watch.  There are lots of tools to try.  This time of year you could have lots of quilts, tablerunners and placemats to bind.  It is a great time to test different techniques.  If you are giving it away to non-quilters they will love it no matter how perfect your binding is.  If the recipient is not too thrilled with a handmade gift, he/she won't notice your binding efforts either.  After you have tested several and decided what works best for you, bind the gifts for your quilter friends so they will be impressed.
The trickiest and most controversial part of binding is how to connect the ends once you go around and get back to the beginning strip.  Current practice expects you to sew the 2 ends together.  There are 2 popular tools (although I don't use either and would help you if you want to come and sew the ends together at the store).
The picture is fuzzy but you can see it is the Fons & Porter binding tool.  I have used this one and made it work.  The second time I had to hunt for the instructions, which I needed because I forgot how to use it.  If you are better organized this is a good tool.

This one is the TQM binding tool.  It works if you cut your binding 2 1/2" wide.  I like mine cut 2 1/4".   If you want to avoid rulers and math calculations, this one will work for you.
Creative Grids has a binding tool for turning corners that are not the usual 90 degrees.  It made turning 60 degree corners make a lot of sense and work out beautifully.  They have great instructional videos which make using their tools so much easier.
Ready, set, go and bind!

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