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Crisis in decision making   General Discussion

Started Mar-3 by Pirate (PIRATE_SR); 565 views.
Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


I am heavily biased in favor of always using double fold bias binding.  I make my bias using the continuous tube method, which for me, makes the entire process painless and error free. 

The edge of a quilt bears the brunt of all the use it ever gets.  It is the most abused area of a quilt.  It needs heavy duty protection.   I prefer double fold bias because with TWO layers of bias fabric as the binding, it is the most durable edge you can put on your quilt.  

You can *always* use bias binding, even on quilts with a straight edge ... and you are required to use bias on quilts that have curved edges.   So, since I can *always* use bias and it's the best binding you can put on a quilt, that's what I prefer ... and tend .. to use.

Except now.

I am experiencing an existential crisis for the binding of a quilt.  You see, for this particular quilt, I want to create a "faux piping" edge.  This is a binding that LOOKS as though you inserted a piped contrast on one side of the binding.  You see that turquoise fabric below?  That's the faux piping.  Although it LOOKS like a separate, skinny little piping, it really isn't.  And that's the look I want for this particular quilt.
Faux Piped Binding - HQ Stitch | Quilt binding, Sewing piping, Quilting designs

The problem?  Well ..... all of the instuctions that I've read have you cut your binding and the faux piping fabric on straight of grain.  OH THE HORROR OF IT ALL.   ::gasp::  The reason is because you are going to sew the strip of faux piping fabric to the binding fabric, along the long edge.  This is all dandy when both fabrics are straight of grain.

But what if I want my BIAS binding?????  Whether you create the bias binding by diagonal strips or the continous tube method, the long edge of the binding is ....  ON THE BIAS.  We have *all* been instructed on the almost universal avoidance of sewing seams on the bias.  It's darn near instinctual to not do it.  Why?  Because bias edges wiggle.  There is no stability to them .. they flex ... which is what we want!  If we sew two bias edges together, especially if those edges are long, straight edges, that seamline is going to be wiggly.  And that is NOT what we want.

It appears as though, if I want the faux piping look, I will need to forgo my precious bias binding.   I will admit that I will not be too happy with having a straight of grain binding on my quilt.

HOWEVER, it occurs to me that there might be a compromise position .... I'm going to try an experiment at a 50/50 construction method.   I will make the binding using my continuous bias method so that the binding that goes over the edge of the quilt will be bias fabric.  BUT .... I will make the faux piping fabric on the straight of grain.  When I sew the straight of grain fabric to the bias fabric, I am reducing the wiggle factor by 50%.  I'll still need to be careful with the bias fabric BUT I'm hoping that the straight of grain fabric will offer its stability to the seam line.

When I make the faux piping binding, there will still be 2 layers of fabric for the binding but one will be straight of grain, with the outer layer being the bias fabric ... giving me the durability of bias threads along the edge.

IN THEORY, it sounds plausible.  IN MY HEAD, it works out just fine.   I hope that the experiment is a success because it's going to be a while before I get around to quilting this top ... and slightly longer before I bind it!   I'll definitely leave notes to myself with the top to remind me of what my intention was!  :-)


From: Midkid5


Totally understand, and if you are use to bias binding, straight of grain can be difficult to work with.  I did a small project back in January, was not happy with the binding after using straight of grain.  

When you sew the strips together, won't you want the bias strip on top?



From: bornblesse2


Shelley,  I get your issue and before I got to the end. I was going to suggest the same….the piped edge from straight of grain with your bias edge.   Keep us posted on how it goes!

i have done that faux piped binding, but did just us3 straight of grain.   The first time it was a wall hanging and I didn’t care.  Then I did it on a small quilt that I gave away.  

I've done both pieces as bias, no particular problem as I starch heavily.  Didn't know you weren't supposed to.


From: judyinohio


Here comes Judy in Ohio with her blasphemy.

When a quilt has been over-quilted ("quilted to cardboard") and becomes so stiff with quilting it becomes uncomfortable on the bed. While the quilt is lovely to look at it is not cozy to sleep under because it does not drape over the sleepers.

The over-quilted quilt that is stiff and not cozy is gifted to a young married couple and they are stunned by the quilt's beauty but they put the gift quilt on a shelf in a closet and they never use it. Ergo it never needs laundering. It never gets any stress from daily use or frequent laundering

The quilt and its binding will remain pristine.

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


re: wall hangings ... that is very true and I also subscribe to that thought .. although since I don't tend to overquilt anything (too lazy to stick to it for the required amount of time) that circumstance wouldn't apply to me.   BUT, I completely understand the choice of straight of grain binding for wall hangings.    I just personally like using bias.  :-)

However, I am puzzled by your reply.  The quilt in question isn't going to be over-quilted (I don't think I have ever done that and won't be on this quilt); it isn't going to a young married couple ... in fact, I have no idea who the recipient might be, as I didn't make it with anyone in mind; while it very well *could* be a wall-hanging, it is also a useful size and might indeed be used.

I was simply bemoaning my "crisis" in contemplating using straight of grain binding, contrary to my customary preference.  Rather like complaining that my favorite brand of crackers is unavailable and I have to settle for the next choice.  :-)    Not that I haven't ever used straight of grain before .. and very well might again ... but it sure does go against the grain, so to speak.  :-)

You aren't being blasphemous in any sense of the word.  Your scenario is absolutely spot-on and in that circumstance, I would certainly agree that straight of grain binding is a viable choice.   We are in agreement.  :-)


From: judyinohio


I was writing as someone who has never used bias binding because I have never done hand stitching on my quilts. My decades of hand stitching were behind me when I took up quilt making as a new hobby.

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


judyinohio said:

because I have never done hand stitching on my quilts.

ooooh!   I can count on one hand the number of times I've hand-stitched a binding.  It might be the same number of times I've hand-quilted something.   I find it curious that I have oodles of patience for very intricate counted cross-stitch designs, needlepoint, hand embroidery, tatting, smocking, and English Paper Piecing.  I'll do any of those until the cows come home.

But hand quilting?  Oh no.   Never, never ... well, hardly ever.  I greatly admire hand-quilting but it is one skill that I simply choose not to do ... it bores me.  LOL!

The ONLY time I've hand-stitched a binding is when there are scallops on the edge.  You absolutely need to use bias binding for that.  I do machine stitch the bias to the scallops for the first round of stitching but the final edge is hand-stitched.  And that is ONLY because I've not yet figured out how to do a credible job by machine!

The bindings on all of my other quilts are totally machine stitched.  I've never thought the machine stitching on the front of the quilts looked odd because most of my quilts are also machine quilted!   And without any false modesty or claims of bragging, I will say that my machine binding and mitered corners are excellent.  :-)


From: MelRN


If it's do-able, I believe you can/will. I have to say that I'm not as picky about mine. I have done bias binding, but I more often just do straight of grain because it's quicker/easier. I also machine sew it on completely. ¯\_(?)_/¯ I'm a cheat; what can I say?

For me it about how the quilt will be used. If it a wall vs bed or sofa quilt.

I suggest you make a few samples to decide the best way. Fancy bindings really are such a beautiful addition to a quilt.