Left handed binding

Yesterday, I picked all the key limes off the tree.  It was exactly as much as the recipe called for to make a pie.  This is our first year to have limes.  I got the tree last year and it's still pretty small. 
Several technical errors were made...tin was too big for the filling, baked 2 minutes too long because the filling was spread too thin, meringue pulled back from the crust...but, it was tasty.  A little tart, but tasty!
We took some pictures of what I've figured out about binding as a leftie.  I'm using a warm up piece, which is a whole cloth quilt that I created to play on.  I use one to warm up if I'm doing complex quilting and I use them to try new patterns to see if I can do them, or what I need to pay attention to when I do them. 
First, I cut my binding to 2"...I like a very narrow binding.  And, I join the strips at 45* angles.  And, I fold it in half (I have a neat trick for that that uses a safety pin and folds a whole binding in a very few minutes.)

I don't pin my binding.  Even with the walking foot, that never seems to work for me.  But, it takes a lot of time to do, and then I end up pulling the pins anyway.  So, I skip that and sew my binding twice.  I sew it once at 5/16" allowance, which is halfway between a quarter and 3/8".  That attaches it to the quilt.  Then, all the way around again at 3/8".  I like 3/8" because when I fold that to the back, it forces the edge of the quilt to fold along with it, which gives me a full and slightly stiff binding. 

I mark a diagonal line at the corner (sorry, I forgot to take a pic of that.)  And, I sew up to that line.  Because it's a diagonal line, both of my seams work right when I sew to the line and backstitch.  Then, I fold to the right, parallel with the edge of the quilt.  

And, then back to the left, which gives me that little triangle that doesn't get sewn down.  I mark the diagonal line on this side as well...you can see it if you look close.  And, I start sewing a little ahead of that so I can backstitch to the line.  This is the method I learned from watching Eleanor Burns on her TV show. 

Then, I fold the binding to the back.  Now, if I was right handed, I would sew right to left.  And, when I approached that corner, I'd sew down the side I sewed down by machine first.


But, I'm left handed, so when I approach that corner, I'm first sewing down the side that I machine sewed last.  And, that never works out well.  So, I've learned to pin the side I sewed down by machine first as I approach the corner.  That puts the fold that creates the miter on top of the corner, just like it would if I were sewing right to left. 

And, that gives me a much cleaner corner.  Of course, I could not get the one I was taking pictures of for you to turn out perfect, but I got it really close.  Close enough for anything I'm making for home.  I might have picked that out and tried again if it had been a show quilt.  Remember, this is the corner from the back.   The front looks near perfect. 
So, just pinning that side down so that it ends up under the fold, like it would if I were sewing right to left has made a big difference in how my bindings turn out. 
Everybody have a good week.  It's a short week, but it's also first week of the month, so lots of reports.  And, my boss has asked me to do something that's realllllllllly challenging.  I worked on it a little Friday, and couldn't figure it out.  But, fresh start, and all that, right?
Be well.  Lane


Anonymous said...

Great tutorial! What's your safety pin trick for folding binding? The limes look delicious. Have a great day. Thanks for sharing. Mary

Rebecca Grace said...

You know, as I was slip stitching my own binding down yesterday, I was actually wondering how lefties get their corner miters to come out nicely! Your method sounds like a good solution. The only other way would be if you sewed your binding on BACKWARDS with the machine going in reverse... Yikes!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Interesting technique! Will share with my left-handed friends. Thanks!