Amongst quilters, one of the highly debated topics is if you hand stitch your binding down or do so by machine. I largely hand stitch mine for a couple reasons. I love the invisible look and I love an excuse to sit in front of the TV for a couple hours stitching my heart out.
There was a year where I did commit to machine stitching all of my bindings down. I tried various techniques and tools and my skill did improve, but I just never absolutely loved the look. After the year was up, I went back to hand stitching. Today that has changed!
There are so many options for binding already (you can see some here) but having another option is always great. This foot features (as the name suggests) a bottom with 2 different levels. The thicker lower level to the right of the needle allows the foot to hug any bulky sections of fabric like a hem, or a piece of thick material you are appliquéing, or in my case, my double folded binding on my quilt. It then glides along this edge keeping everything very straight and your stitching is precise.
The Janome Bi-Level Foot features a wide opening so you can choose a variety of stitches or needle positions. This makes the foot so versatile! I’m sure I will come up with many other projects with which to use it.
For attaching my binding, I first sewed my binding to the front of my quilt like I normally do. I then spent a time folding my binding over the edge of the quilt and pressed it in place. I wanted to make sure my binding would behave nicely. I then tried both clipping my binding in place and using a glue stick (any washable glue stick works). Since I was going to be stitching from the top of the quilt, I wouldn’t be able to see what was happening on the back, so I wanted to ensure my binding would stay so the folded edge would extend past the line of stitching made while stitching the binding to the front.
I attached my Janome Bi-Level Foot to my Janome Continental M7; moved the needle as far to the right as it would go; placed the foot right beside the binding and started sewing. This sunk my stitches perfectly beside the binding and caught the folded binding on the back. How perfect this looked blew my mind!
I was a little nervous about the corners, but I soon discovered I really didn’t need to be. I sunk a stitch as close to the corner as I could, pivoted and kept going. It was practically perfect!
I couldn’t believe how amazing my binding looked and at a fraction of the time it would have taken me to hand sew it. I really think I may be on the Machine Stitching side of the binding debate from now on.
What side of the binding debate are you on? Tell us below and if you think this foot would be a game changer for your binding game? The Janome Bi-Level Foot is in stock in our Janome Canada warehouse, so contact your Janome Canada Dealer for details.