We get asked so many questions about the Quilt Binder so
I thought I would go through it once more in review on this blog.
(Please scroll through the Archives on the right hand
side of the blog page to July and November 2010 for previous blogposts on this accessory.)
I have now completed the quilting on my Geisha quilt and
added the binding using the wonderful labour and time saving Janome Quilt
Binder. I took photographs every step of the way and so here goes with another
step-by-step pictorial guide:
- Cut your binding strips 2 inches wide. This does NOT need to be on the bias. In fact, I would recommend that it is not cut on the bias unless you are binding curved edges.
You can do binding with narrower finished size. You will need additional
binder attachments to do this – Please see your local Janome Dealer for more
information. Also see November 2010 Quilt Binder blogpost.
- Figure out how many strips of binding you need and then join them all together with ¼ inch seams along the short ends. Do NOT press the seams open as you would normally do on a quilt binding. Rather press both raw edges the same way – to the tail end of the binding as it feeds into the Quilt binder. This is fairly obvious as those raw edges will just flip backwards as they get drawn through the binder attachment. You may join the strips at an angle if you prefer but still press the seams both the same way – to the tail end of the long binding strip. I generally just sew my strips together straight across due to time and patience constraints. However, the choice is yours.
- Attach the base plate of the binder to the sewing machine as per instructions on the inside page of the blister package (it opens like a book…..did you know
that?). You may position the base plate horizontally or at an angle – whichever suits you better. Then tighten the large screw to hold the base plate tight.
- Now attach the quilt binder to the base plate but don’t tighten the 2 screws completely as you may need to adjust the position of the binder from side to side to line it up perfectly with your quilt.
- Attach the special quilt binder foot supplied with the binder to the ankle. I have
been asked why is this necessary: it is because the regular A foot is too long
and would bump against the back of the binder attachment – Janome thought of everything!!
- Do not fret about attaching the binding with this supplied Quilt Binder foot as
opposed to a walking foot or Janome Acufeed foot – Trust me….. the layers
feed just fine. I have used this quilt binder to bind more than a dozen quilts
now and have not had a hissy fit yet! Big deep breaths…….this is supposed
to be fun…..not a rigid following of an arbitrary set of rules that says I
HAVE to use a walking foot every time I have more than 1 layer of fabric.
- Feed the binding into the attachment with the fabric WRONG side facing you.
- Pull it all the way through, into the ”mouth” of the binder & straight back under the foot. Tuck the raw edges to the inside of the folded binding and finger press gently if necessary. I usually lower the presser foot to hold this until I have my quilt inserted into the binder. Leave a generous tail of at least 4 inches
behind the presser foot at the start. You will need this to join later. Short tails are way too fiddly to be bothered with.
- I find it works best to push the binding tail coming out of the back of the binder through the machine to the back & have it resting on my table at the back. Ensure it feeds evenly from there into the binder. Keep an eye on this from time to time as you work as you do NOT want the binding to go into the binder twisted.
- Feed the trimmed quilt sandwich into the “mouth” of the quilt binder. I do NOT start at a corner as the ends would be too difficult to join. Rather start somewhere in the middle of one of the sides. Make sure that the edge of the quilt (the raw
trimmed edge) is right up against the BACK of the mouth of the binder
attachment. Think “gag” and you’ll get the picture! It you do not ensure that
the quilt edge rides right up against the back of the “mouth” at all times, the
binding will not fit closely around the edge of the quilt.
10. Select whatever stitch you would like to sew down your binding. Traditionally binding was sewn by a tiny hand stitching but since we are not going to do that here, you
may choose a straight stitch OR…here’s a novel thought: what about one of those hundreds of decorative stitches that the Janome Horizon has (or your sewing machine may have)?? On this particular quilt I used Horizon Quilt category stitch
# 100 which I left at the default setting of SW 7, SL2.5. When I use this stitch again I think I might open up the stitch length a little. Another stitch I use often for stitching my binding down is Horizon Quilt category stitch #108. On the Janome MC 11000 Special Edition these stitches are Decorative # 24 and Quilt #38.
11. Now check that your needle and stitch path is where you want it to be: straddling
the edge of the binding (in the case of a decorate stitch)? Or just to the right
of the edge of the binding? You can either move your needle position if you are
doing a straight stitch OR you can move the quilt binder attachment slightly to
the left or right until you are satisfied with the position. Tighten the base plate screws.
12. Start stitching slowly. However, once you have mastered this technique and have gained confidence, you will be able to breeze along at top sewing speed from corner to
corner. I have managed to literally HALVE the time it took me to attach a binding
by machine. Nevermind the many hours it would take to hand sew a binding if I had ever been so inclined.
13. I will conceed that the corners are a little more effort but the way I look at it is that I
was stopping at the corners to fold my mitered corner before anyway, so what’s the
difference? The first quilt you do might have you scratching your head…….but persevere and PRACTICE and I promise you that you will master and LOVE this Quilt Binder. Ask me how I know: I was very sceptical and unenthusiastic when the Quilt Binder landed on my desk just over a year ago. I was a snobby quilter who thought she had her double continuous binding down pat, thank you very much. I was proud I could complete a queen sized quilt from cutting the binding strips to folding up the completed quilt in under 1 ½ hours. I’m not lying…….I timed myself many times. Now that I have practiced and have mastered the different technique of the Quilt Binder……I am SOLD!! It has me doing the
binding on a queen sized quilt in under an hour…..no kidding. Once again I timed myself.
So HOW DO I TURN THOSE CORNERS with the Janome Quilt Binder? See Part 2 coming soon on THIS blog.