Friday, April 8, 2016

Better binding with presser foot

I tried something new for binding the star sampler. I used the #71 foot, the Bernina Flat-Fell Foot.

I haven't been very happy with the results of doing the binding by machine. Yes, it's quicker, but there's too much of a flap left over on the back when stitching in the ditch, and the binding doesn't finish at a nice, even width on the back. I enjoy sewing the binding to the back by hand, but it's slower than it used to be for me, and sometimes torturous, with my tendinitis now.

I searched for any more ideas. And I found an awesome tutorial by A Woman a Day, using her Bernina Flat-Fell Foot. She used the #71, which is the wider foot (like 8 mm wide), and cut her binding strips 2" wide.

Even better--almost no pinning or clipping!

I'm very happy with the results ! It's a little hard to tell with the black binding and the matching black thread, but the binding width is even all the way around the quilt, and perfectly centered width-wise on front and back.

A few things I learned, on top of the advice from Lisa's tutorial:

1--It's slower than using a walking foot, and without the walking capabilities, I had to increase the stitch length a bit more than the preset, and also work a bit harder to help all the layers move through the feed dogs.

2--Have a matching thread to the quilt when working on the front. However, it's important to have a thread matching the binding while on the back.

3-- When working on the back, while securing the binding to the back, corners get a bit tricky. When you are approaching the corners, get as close as you can--less than an inch. Then fold up the miter, and pin the mitered binding in place on the adjacent side that you're approaching. Then lower your needle into the quilt and binding, and remove the binding from the foot. Use a stiletto or fingers, and lower the foot on top of all the layers, and sew the binding to the corner. Back stitch to the edge of the adjacent side, and pivot 90 degrees to meet it. Back stitch again and sew forward a few stitches. Then lift the foot, place the binding back over the foot and into the foot roll, and continue the binding.
Repeat for each corner.

Look at that, even-width binding on the front and back. It's so pretty!

If you can tell, I also used the flat-fell foot to piece together the hanging sleeve. That way, a curtain rod or dowel won't get caught up in the seams of the sleeve, and will slide through the sleeve easily.

I love my Bernina and the high-quality presser feet. There are a lot of feet to help you do just about any sewing technique easier!

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