Quilting in quarantine part 4 - Binding

Binding a large quilt

Finally, I have finished free motion quilting and moved to the very last stage of completing the quilt I've been working on in lockdown. I always find the final stages of a project somewhat nerve wracking, especially when it's taken a long time to put together. It doesn't take a lot to detract from weeks of work that I'm quite proud of. Mixed results on this part I feel.....

I used the same fabric for the binding as the background of the quilt, because it's what I had. On the positive side, because it blends in it hides some mistakes more easily, but on the other hand, having a contrasting binding would provide a clear edging and border. If I was making this again, I probably would try to use the left overs from the coloured pieces. However, you do actually need a lot of binding. This quilt measures 20 feet around the perimeter, and the binding is cut in 2 1/2 inch strips.

Binding a large quilt, feathered arrows quilt

Attaching the binding was fairly straight forward, though I wished I had done it differently. I used my machine to attach it on both sides. What I should have done is use the machine to attach the front and then hand stitch the back. I didn't even think to do this as I was just getting on with sewing (and a little bit tired to be honest). Even with the binding held in place and checked, the machine does still make it hard to stitch in the ditch on the opposite side so I have some parts where I've now machine stitched over the binding, which doesn't look great. Can't believe I completely cracked on without thinking to hand stitch.

PS - I used wonder clips to hold the binding in place rather than pins and they did a great job. So much easier than taking pins out along the way. The corners were a bit trickier and in some cases I did need to go back and hand stitch a couple of bits securely down

Binding a large quilt, quilting negative space

On the one hand, there's a lot I have to be proud of with this quilt. I like the pattern and am really happy with my free motion quilting (thanks Craftsy!). On the other hand, I didn't correctly calculate some elements so there are a few areas (some of which are part of the pattern) where you can see joins in the same fabric and it's not great. Hand finishing the binding would have helped as well - it's annoying as you only really need to hand finish the last phase of binding, the first part can still be machine sewn.

Binding a large quilt

It will be a while before I make another quilt, but I have learned a few things that I would take through to the next one. I wouldn't be put off by the size, and I might be more adventurous with either colour or shapes (but not both - I've learned the need to restrain to a single palette in a quilt like this). I think I'll try to use the left overs to make smaller projects just to keep my free motion skills up. I already use the small machine mat I made for practising on a lot so can see a few applications for what I have to hand. And hand sew that binding!!

Binding a large quilt

If you are interested in the journey to this point, you can see all posts in Quilting in Quarantine as well as other quilt projects on this page.


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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