A number of people have spoken to me about this new attachment. They are very interested and want to know more about how it works. I have spent quite bit of time “playing” with it and will share some things I have discovered:
I am, first & foremost, a quilter so when I received the advance information about this new attachment, I was not overly impressed. My nose was high in the air when I said to myself that I can do a queen-sized quilt binding from cutting the strips of fabric to finished in under 1 1/2 hours so why would I, as a quilter, want to use this? It is also not an inexpensive item so I had serious doubts it would sell well. Short version of the story is that I had to eat my words!!! The very first event where I promoted this attachment, I sold ALL the inventory we had of the item in our warehouse and it immediately went onto back order. We have had several shipments arrive since then and it is currently on back order again. SO……I am sorry, I was wrong. You LOVE this new attachment and are buying it like there is no tomorrow.
I have also now bound about 5 or 6 quilts using this attachment and I also now LOVE it too!! I think I could very easily do a queen-sized quilt binding in well under an hour. I have not actually timed myself yet as I have been so busy since April with promoting and traveling with the Janome Horizon that I have had absolutely no time to do any big quilts this year. BUT I am working on another Smith Street designs embroidered quilt: applique-in-the-hoop. I think I have now embroidered about 24 blocks so far but I keep plodding along as I need 48 blocks – I am planning to make a quilt which hangs to the floor level. Why am I always so ambitious? When it is complete, I will time myself when I add the binding. So under an hour is my educated guess for now.
The resaon it is SO much quicker is that you are not having to sew the binding all the way around the quilt, doing the little stop/start at each corner to fold the mitered corner; THEN go to the ironing board to press the binding outwards; THEN sit and pin the binding over in place all the way around the quilt: THEN sew the binding down. If you sew your binding by hand, you will know that takes many, many hours. If you do it by machine, it is a good deal quicker but will still take upwards of 1/2 hour or more if you are slick & confident about it.
NO…….with the new quilt binder attachment ALL of this is done in ONE pass around the quilt: the binding is fed into the attachment and then you feed the quilt into the attachment and sew………the binding is wrapped around the quilt edge AND sewn in place in one go. Going from corner to corner, takes a matter of minutes. Yes, you do need to stop at the corners to fold the mitered finish but you have to do that with the other method too.
I refer you to the blog post by Linda (our Educator in Toronto) back in July 2010 – just scroll down through the archives and you will find it easily. She did a wonderful posting with pics and instructions of how to use this Quilt Binder attachment. She specifically shows how to do those folded mitered corners. It may seem a bit fiddly to start with, but then so did doing piped and scallop binding seem fiddly when I first learnt that from Ricky Tims. I love all these techniques now as the results are SO WORTH it.
The quilt Binder attachment Part #846421007 starts with binding strips 2 inches wide and does a finished quilt binding of 1/2 – 5/8 inch wide. This is a pretty standard binding size in the quilting world. If you feed a SINGLE strip of fabric through the binder attachment, you will have a single binding on the quilt. ( see pic below)
Now I KNOW us quilters love our double bindings, so I experimented with feeding a DOUBLE layer of fabric through the binder attachment and it worked just great. (see pic above). I found it worked perfectly to lay my binding fabric on my cutting table right side up & then spray it with fabric adhesive. I then laid another piece of the same fabric (right side up) on top of the glued fabric and then smoothed it out so that there were no air bubbles between the layers. I pressed it at the ironing board and then cut my 2 inch strips as though it was a single layer of fabric. I then joined these and fed them into the binder in the same way – it worked perfectly so I was super pleased.
If you read the back of the blister pack for the Quilt Binder, you will see that it mentions that it is only for use on the following machines: MC11000- all models; MC6500P; MC6600P and MC7700/Horizon.
It also mentions that you may use binder attachments previously available for the Janome Coverpro/CPX to obtain different finished size binding on your quilts. In other words, the binder part of the Coverpro/CPX binder attachments will work once screwed onto the quilt binder base plate on your sewing machine. Obviously, you will not use the base plate that comes with the Coverpro/CPX attachments as it has a different configuration to fit that serger. HOWEVER, Janome has packaged these 2 alternative size binders with different part numbers just for the quilt binder – no base plate as you already have that with your Quilt Binder.
Part # 795842007 takes a 1 5/8 inch wide binding strip for a finished binding size of 1/2 inch. (see pic below)
Part # 795824014 takes a 1 1/4 inch wide binding strip for a finished binding size of 3/8 inch – so quite narrow. (see pic. above).
So, if you already have these Coverpro attachments…..great, you can use them with your quilt binder. If not, and you do not own a Coverpro, please use the above Part Numbers to buy attachments that do not include base plates you will not use.
I hope this helps and answers some of the queries you have been asking me during my travels. If not, send me a comment and I will post more on this GREAT quilt binder attachment.