Saturday, January 02, 2010

Binding Police?!

Well, the binding saga continues here, and it will probably for quite a while! I've currently got 4 quilts awaiting binding, and not enough time to sit and do them all continuously, so I try to get in one side a night or something. Keep it manageable?

Still, it makes me wonder, and ponder, almost in amazement, no it can't be possible...how many MILES of binding have I sewn down in my quilting life time?! The sheer enormity hits me like an anvil on the head (remember those road-runner cartoons?!) Can it really be that much? Oh yes. When you make BIG bedsized quilts, the amount of binding increases much more than you think it would....

I bet it's miles, don't you? I certainly think so!

There is something soothing about hand stitching down a binding. And my binding rarely varies...I cut the same sizes of strips, continually. They are all joined the same way...their extra "cut off" bonus triangles placed in that tall pretzel jar by my machine like colorful confetti, waiting for a project to use them up. The binding is stitched to every quilt by machine in the same way. Somehow I like to play Russian Roulette, just starting my binding somewhere down one side, and stitching bindly to the next corner, just hoping..praying..that I won't get a dreaded seam IN the corner. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't....but I must enjoy the gamble, because I don't find myself doing a test-run first so I can adjust those seams AWAY from the corners! (What does this say about my personality?? No....don't tell me...I don't want to know!)

This picture is of Oscar on my legs as I proceeded to bind this lovely.....I wasn't sure whether he was telling me to hurry up, or to just stop and pet him, which I ended up doing, because I couldn't move the quilt around with him on it. (And I think he knew that too!)

I had a lovely day at my friend Karen's house yesterday....we shared a lunch, worked on projects, gabbed, gossiped, laughed and enjoyed the day. Thanks Karen!

I leave Monday for Seneca and Pickens, SC! First trips of the year...and tho it isn't far, I'm greatly grateful that it is somewhat SOUTH of me. It's way too dang cold here this morning. Something like 28? at NOON? Nope. Not going out.

I've been tackling paperwork....cleaning...reorganizing...trying to get things ready for my friend Randy who comes in from California on Thursday! She is attending my Bee's retreat with me next weekend....oh FUN FUN FUN! Can't wait to see her. It's the first time she's come to see me since I moved to NC. I tend to catch her everywhere else on the planet, but she is actually coming to my HOUSE! And we have much fun planned....


  1. I believe it probably is miles of binding you have done. I know it certainly feels like that when I am binding, although with my small quilts, my miles are probably 1. something, which can still be called miles, right. I don't measure either, and I curse myself when I wind up with a seam in a corner, but when I don't, I'm glad I didn't bother.

  2. Glad to Oscar! Happy New Year to you! Yes, it is cold here in NC. I'm ready for Spring!

  3. I never thought of binding in terms of miles but even after only 7 years quilting I've probably put on a couple of miles myself. I never do a test run either and I haven't ended up with a seam in the corner yet. Close but not in the way. I told my daughter that all I wanted for Christmas was your Scraps and Shirttails book and I got it! Can't wait to try a pattern. I love the jeans one.

  4. binding...grrrr. Miles and miles of it I am sure. My worst binding moment was coming up two inches short on a king size quilt and not having any of the fabric left! Thankfully I was pinning it on first!

  5. I´m running my first mille yet. Slowly.

  6. Gotta love the feline help we get with our quilting!

    Re: binding, I guess I play Russian Roulette too because I never measure, or even get concerned with a seam falling on a corner. Sometimes it happens, and I just deal with it and keep going. It's just a little bulkier than a normal corner, so it's not much extra work to get through it. Maybe I'm the exception, but that's one thing about quilting that truly doesn't bug me at all, but I know it drives some people crazy. And trust me, I'm a definite Type A, OCD, anal retentive personality so I'm probably one of the people it should bother!

  7. Love your Oscar! And believe me: he wanted your attention....! Just like my cat always does.....
    Good luck with the binding! I always enjoy that special feeling of almost finishing a quilt......!!
    Greetz from Holland.

  8. Miles for sure........miles to go before you sleep..... :0)

    I do love sewing a binding by hand but this year I've gotten pretty good at doing some by machine so I can get the quilt given in a timely manor :0).

    Hey do you have a kitchen sink yet?

    Happy ( miles ) sewing!

  9. Wow, Bonnie! I chuckled at your description of how you do binding! I do mine exactly the same way and sometimes I do end up with that dreaded seam in the corner! I just put away my Christmas decorations and checked out a little log cabin table runner that I made years ago when I first started quilting 1989?? I machine sewed the binding on and never do that anymore! Doing it by hand is totally worth it! Happy New Year. I heard that you are coming to our guild Sept. 2012! Can't wait to meet you in person.

  10. Oh I would wager on miles. I too find it soothing to hand sew on the bindings. It is very relaxing.

    Oscar looks like a sweetie! I hope you enjoy the time with your friend - sounds like a lot of fun.

  11. Hi Bonnie, have fun with Randy! Val

  12. Anonymous5:37 PM EST

    I am plugging away on the Mystery and have decided to do it all in blues, once again I love it.
    I hope you have a great time with your friend and oh I wish for snow.


  13. Hundred miles of binding mmm sounds like a good title to your Third book. I have to say 28 degrees would be tshirt weather here. Its been - 29 with a windchill of minus 35. Happy New Year

  14. You got me thinking about how much binding is in a mile. I based my calculations on a queen size quilt of 100 inches by 80 inches. If you sew binding on a queen size quilt then you will need 360 inches of binding. There are 62,496 inches in a mile (5280 feet). So you need to sew binding on 173.6 (62,496/360) queen size quilts to have sewn one mile of binding.

    Seems like a lot of quilts for 1 mile of binding but I can't see my mistake if I have made one.

  15. 28 degrees????? That would be considered a heat wave here. First, we got the blizzard for Christmas, now we have the cold that's supposed to stick around for a while. I doubt it got much above 0 today. Way to cold for my taste. :-)

    Binding is my least favorite part of making a quilt. I started doing mine by machine the way Judy Laquidara showed on her blog. It looks good & doesn't make my hands hurt the way handsewing it does.

    Oscar looks kind of sad in that picture for some reason. Maybe he needs to be spoiled more. LOL

  16. I've always loved to do the binding, yes by hand, but occasionally, on large quilts, doesn't it seem that there are 7 or 8 corners? They DO go on forever!

  17. I have been doing binding all day today, too. but by machine, 4 charity quilt that have to be done by machine and niece college quilt which needs machine binding. One king quilt left to bind and several more to quilt. Wish I had your compuquilter!! I love my CCH, now to get it quilted.
    Happy New Year, Vicki, where it is 24 now in Orbg.

  18. I do my bindings in the same fashion and I gamble too. It's a good day when you miss the seams in all four corners!!

  19. I love doing bindings (I know, I'm wierd that way!)It is soothing to have a quilt on your lap and do the hand stitching. Given that, you'd think I would hand quilt too! Eventually...

    Our sew day was fun!! You got way more done than me :) BTW, I changed my blade today... (should have done that Friday, then I would have gotten more done!!LOL!)See you at Dogwood!

  20. Hello Bonnie,

    your cat reminds me at my cat Lucky, who loved to sit on my quilts, while I stack them together.

    He was my quiltinspector. Unfortunatly he was victim of a car accident last October.


    Your quilt is wonderful, the Carolina Christmas is amazing.


  21. Wow, I could have written this post! I've been experimenting with machine bindings for charity/college/baby quilts, and saving my hand-binding time for the nicer quilts. I don't save my bonus triangles, though; I give them to one of the ladies who posted above me (Kim). She makes the neatest things with them!

  22. "And miles of binding before she sleeps..." :) Binding is one of my favorite parts of the process, the fun before the big finish! Safe travel mercies to you!

  23. Bonnie I noticed in your post about binding quilts that you said you use the same size always. I would love to know the width of your bindings and also I wondered if you usually use the same size strips for your borders around blocks etc. If you do I would love to know what size you use there also. Have a great trip - Deborah

  24. Anonymous11:56 PM EST

    lol Lestat gets the same look on his face as Oscar....Such "neglected" cats! lol

  25. Bonnie,
    I found your site last year (late nights of no sleep while very pregnant!) and love all the patterns and ideas you have for finishing quilts on your site. I am planning to do the xmas mystery this year, thank you so much for all your hard work for providing this to us.
    I just love the blue lady of the lake quilt! I am currently working on one now for my Mom.... great idea for the border. I may have to do something like that on mine!
    Thanks again and I love hearing about you, your life, the kitties and of course the quilts!
    Have a great 2010!

  26. Bonnie
    It's pretty darn cold here in New England too, so a quilt on my lap to bind would be my idea of heaven. Send them all up here!

  27. LOL I have to laugh at your cat, only because mine does the same thing. http://themerrychurchmouse.com/kitty/aeris/DSC03180.JPG

  28. Anonymous8:25 AM EST

    I love the look on Oscar's face. They all get it don't they when we don't drop everything we are doing instantly.

  29. Bonnie I so appreciate all the patterns you have generously given us. I have your first book and will order the second, just haven't done that yet. I love the binding process. I consider it the sprint at the last of a good race, getting that second wind and making sure I cross the finish line (metaphorically speaking lol...I am not a runner). Thanks again.

  30. Hey Bonnie, Just wondering how your visit with Randy went? Are you still drowning in binding?

  31. Let's talk binding............I just finished a trip around the world ala Blanche Young. This is a Queen sized quilt but the edge I bound was zigzag!!! I am such a queen of mitering now, but figure it was the equivalent of three large quilts worth of finding! Once is enough...........gorgeous though!


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