Saturday, December 5, 2020

traffic jam binding

Yesterday, I posted my traffic jam finish. Today, I want to share a bit about a new experiment in machine binding I have been doing. One of the presenters at a guild presentation, this fall, mentioned, that, he used steam a seam when attaching his binding. I was intrigued and went to Joann fabrics that night to find what he used.

This is what I chose using a coupon. It was 2.39. I had decided that if that was too expensive, I might use the BYT and cut it myself. The package came with 2 rolls. 

I tried it the first time on my Big easy Christmas quilt, and, I loved it. Someone asked if I would share how I used it. I used almost half of one roll for that quilt.

I began by sewing the binding to the back side of the quilt. I press my binding a little short on the top of the binding, so, I can see that I catch the underside. I used 2 1/4 inch binding on traffic jam. I decided, I like it better with 2 1/2 inch binding.

I like to press the binding with the iron. The black in the picture is a shadow.

On the right side, I began unrolling the tape and pressing it to the binding. It doesn't have to be perfectly even or straight on the binding.

I take the paper part of the tape of as I press the binding over. It's a little sticky, but, not much.

It works great and stays stuck, and takes much less time than pinning.

I use an edge foot to sew it on the front of the quilt.

I don't mind if I catch it on the back, as long as it looks like part of the quilt, or, is nearly invisible. 
I started out hand sewing my bindings. I love doing it, and I like that look the best. But, I like making quilts, and I just couldn't keep up, anymore. My friends use the machine, and, they are much better at this than I am. I tried their way, and I felt like it was just as time consuming as hand sewing. This is a good compromise for me. I am still wanting to tweak my technique at the machine. I need to do a better job of stitching it on in the beginning. I need a better guide than the edge of my presser foot...... next time.
 Traffic jam and Big easy Christmas quilts haven't even used one roll. So, I don't think it is too expensive.

How do you bind? any tips?

I am linking to:

rsc20 super saturday
oh scrap
UFO busting


  1. That is an interesting technique! Glad it worked so well for you.

  2. I prefer to bind by hand because I like the look better and I actually like binding by hand. Some of the places I donate quilts require machine stitched binding so I sew to back and flip to front and usually use a decorative stitch to stitch down in front. I have become better at it over the years but used to hate the look of my machine binding. I use 2 1/4 inch binding if doing by machine and 2.5 if by hand because I leave a little extra quilt and batting to poof out the binding if I do it by hand. Never heard of the Steam A Seam method. I actually don't pin or use binder clips or anything else when sewing down binding by hand or machine.

  3. Interesting method, Maggie. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi, Maggie! I sew my bindings by machine now too. I got used to doing it that way for donation quilts. I use a 2 in. wide binding, and I don't double it. After sewing it to the back, I bring it to the front and press the raw edges to meet the seam, and then fold it down onto the front. As I press at the ironing board, I pin it, folding miters into the corners. Then it's one seam around, and done! It's sturdy, and faster than hand work. Good luck with your bindings, however you do them!

  5. Hi,
    Great idea, I'll have to try that one out. Thanks for sharing. Love the quilt, so colorful. Have a great day!

  6. I put my binding on the back of the quilt and bring it around to the front to do machine stitching. On occasion I use some Roxanne's glue but I generally use clips. After putting the glue on I iron it dry. It's a bit more time consuming, or at least I thought it was, so the clips work fine for me.

  7. A friend of mine suggested I iron my binding after sewing it on. That was the best tip ever for decent binding to me. Now I think of Mary every time I do binding.