Hand is a Four-letter Word

Hand is a four letter wordI’m a machine girl, always have been, always will be. I’m amazed, impressed, in awe, humbled by those who stitch by hand. But truth be told, I don’t get it. I think the ONLY thing I like about handwork is, it’s portable. You can throw it in a bag and take it anywhere. Kinda hard to do that with your embroidery machine. Just ask my sweet husband about that fishing trip we took to Arkansas. You know, the one where I told him, “I’m just going to bring a little bit of work with me. Okay, honey?” Here’s the photo of ‘my little bit of work’. But he still loves me.

Machine Embroidery Blog

Since I don’t like handwork, I’m always looking for a way to turn handwork techniques into sewing techniques. Take binding for instance. Most people believe binding should be sewn by hand to the back of a quilt. I think that’s because they only make one or two quilts per year. Oh okay, that sounds kind of mean and it’s probably not true. It could be they just have higher standards than I do. That’s more like it.

In fact, my standards on binding are not really that high. If I could leave the quilt, raw-edge, I probably would. I have been known to show quilts in a classroom setting without a binding. You might remember my friend, Cindy McCord – a student in San Antonio. Cindy just couldn’t bear to let me show an unbound quilt (honest, there was only one!). She took it home on Friday, purchased the perfect fabric, bound and returned it to me at the start of class on Saturday morning. Wow, that was impressive.

Cindy And Eileen

Since that humbling moment, I’ve taken great strides to bind my quilts. But I still absolutely refuse the hand-sewing part. And this morning, I found a new use for a sewing foot that’s been in my drawer for years.

Embroidery Machine Foot

The lowly, blind hem foot is apparently, the perfect tool for stitching in the ditch. Why didn’t I know this? Or think of this? Or try this sooner? Doesn’t everybody else know this? I looked at that little foot and thought, hmm, that metal guide might be just the thing to run along the binding seam and keep the whole mess, I mean beautiful quilt, under control while the binding is sewn to the back.

After sewing the binding to the quilt, I pressed the binding to the back and pinned it from the front. I slid the binding under the blind hem foot, nestling the foot’s metal guide in the seam.

Foot on binding

I placed thread that matched the quilt – not the binding – in the needle and moved the needle so that it was just a millimeter to the left of the metal guide. Then I floored it! I whizzed around the binding, pausing only to remove the pins. And when I flipped it over – I was thrilled! The entire binding was captured from the front. Binding Captured

No stray sections wandering off the back of the quilt. Yippee! Oh my, what a relief. The quilt is really done – completely finished and 5 days – yes 5 WHOLE DAYS – before being handed off to the mom-to-be at her baby shower.

Daisy Quilt

These new moms love the contemporary quilt movement. How about you? Do you love it or could you leave it? Are inspired by their use of negative space and clear color? Truth be told, I’m intrigued and have been delving into designing some quilts with this contemporary slant. Share a comment about contemporary quilting and you could win a trio of Stipple! Collections: Geometrics, Butterfly and Seashells.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Share a comment about contemporary quilting and you could win a trio of Stipple! Collections: Geometrics, Butterfly and Seashells.

The winner of last week’s assignment is:

What’s your go-to tool for embroidery? Is there one thing that you use almost every time you embroider? Share your thought with us and you could win a pack of 250 yellow Target Stickers.

And the winner is…”I can’t do without my Hugo’s Amazing Tape. It keeps my thread tails neat(and confuses the cat because she can’t unroll any thread now).” – Shannon D.

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143 Comments on Hand is a Four-letter Word

  1. Patsy T
    April 10, 2013 at 8:08 am (7 years ago)

    Thinking more and more about trying a new contemporary type quilt, just have to get out of my box first!

    • Sandra
      April 12, 2013 at 10:07 pm (7 years ago)

      I am a newbie at quilting. Finished my first two weeks ago as a baby gift and did the binding by machine and it turned out great. I do love Eileen’s helpful hints and upfront honesty.

  2. Rachel Price
    April 10, 2013 at 8:12 am (7 years ago)

    I would love to quilt, but just can’t seem to find the time. And I too, don’t like to hand-sew. I tried your technique with my baby bibs. The binding also sits perfectly around the bibs. So much easier! Thanks Eileen for that hint. One of these days, I’ll be able to find the time to Quilt. But right now my Baby Lock Elissimo and Enterprise are keeping me quite busy with my orders.

    • Patty Hockman
      April 10, 2013 at 8:57 am (7 years ago)

      Rachel, What are you making to well?

      • Rachel Price
        April 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm (7 years ago)

        Patty, not sure what you mean by “making to well”?

        • tls
          April 11, 2013 at 11:48 am (7 years ago)

          “making to sell” would be my guess

      • Rachel Price
        April 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm (7 years ago)


        I embroidery towels,tote bags, pet collars, Baby Onesies, etc. I make bibs and embroider those, also make Tissue Cases and embroider those as well. It’s actually unlimited what one can make and embroider. I have all kinds of things with embroidery designs on them and sell them at craft fairs, etc.

  3. PD
    April 10, 2013 at 8:13 am (7 years ago)

    I am new to quilting and love this idea! Can’t wait to give it a try, once I have the quilt ready to bind.

  4. Kathy Markham
    April 10, 2013 at 8:15 am (7 years ago)

    Love your stipple quilts and your quick method but didn’t fully understand until I watched your Craftsy class. It was GREAT! You are a wonderful teacher.

  5. Leanna Chideste
    April 10, 2013 at 8:17 am (7 years ago)

    Love anything that makes binding easier, thanks for the info:)

  6. Sandra Smith
    April 10, 2013 at 8:25 am (7 years ago)

    I love the warm and “homey” feeling I get from traditional quilts, however I am drawn very strongly to the contemporary quilts I see and have been using more of their concepts in my own quilting projects. Their simple looking designs and clear colors reflect my own preferences for my environment at home, uncluttered and fresh. I want to surround myself with that feeling!

  7. Anne Rita
    April 10, 2013 at 8:27 am (7 years ago)

    I love modern quilting with all the negative space. I am now working on my curage to advance my free motion quilting skills. I saw Angela Walters speach at Quiltcon on Craftsy the other day, and she makes it sound so easy. I also took your class on Craftsy The machine embroidered quilt with the beautiful feathers. Thanks for a great class!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Someday soon…

  8. Dee
    April 10, 2013 at 8:27 am (7 years ago)

    LOVE the new contemporary quilts. Have not become addicted to quilting because really didn’t like the finished result. But the new contemporary ones – can’t wait to try

  9. Karen
    April 10, 2013 at 8:30 am (7 years ago)

    Wow, I’ll have to try this. Thanks.

  10. Ginger Sheppard
    April 10, 2013 at 8:33 am (7 years ago)

    I too absolutely hate hand stitching or sewing. I always try to find another way somehow to sew by machine if anyway possible! I love your embroidery techniques and your embroidery stipple products! These are the 3 that I do not have and would very much love to have them. Hope I can be a winner this time around! Thanks so much for all of your quilt projects! Love them!

  11. Brenda McNeil
    April 10, 2013 at 8:34 am (7 years ago)

    Always hated the binding process! Great info! Thanks! I haven’t tried the “newer” quilts. I’m old school but think I’d love to try one!

  12. Patty Hockman
    April 10, 2013 at 8:52 am (7 years ago)

    I really like most of the contemporary quilts. Some are a bit too wonky for me.

  13. Linda S
    April 10, 2013 at 8:53 am (7 years ago)

    What a neat “find”. Great idea. I will try it soon.

  14. Cheryl
    April 10, 2013 at 8:54 am (7 years ago)

    Just dropping by with a big thank you for the wonderful tip! I am just starting to quilt and this sounds so much easier than how “others” tell you to bind a quilt.
    I would love to try making a more contemporary quilt especially with my embroidery machine. Thank you for this opportunity to win your Stipple sets.

  15. Sandra
    April 10, 2013 at 8:57 am (7 years ago)

    I am off to give that great binding tip a try, thanks. Can’t wait to see some of the more modern quilts you have in store for us. Again thanks, really enjoy your designs and you’re sharing knowledge with all of us crazy quilt embroiderers

  16. janice thompson
    April 10, 2013 at 8:57 am (7 years ago)

    I usually make patches quilt. I love the binding that you did. Might have to give it a try. Has to be better than by hand.

  17. le floch anne
    April 10, 2013 at 9:32 am (7 years ago)

    If I try a quilt, it will be a contemporary one, extra small, just to get the technique, and make sure I finish it!

  18. Donna
    April 10, 2013 at 9:45 am (7 years ago)

    Love this technique for binding. Every other machine method I’ve tried isn’t neat enough for me. Thanks.

  19. Mary Haggenmaker
    April 10, 2013 at 9:47 am (7 years ago)

    Well I really don’t know the difference between contemporary and the other kind, possibly because I haven’t taken the plunge yet. I’ve got all these ideas for quilting but I am still on the fence. The one thing I have started to do is I take my preliminary stitchouts of embroidery designs and sew them together. This, however is taking forever. Maybe I will be able to “plunge” after this weekend at the Stitching Sisters event.

    • eileenroche
      April 10, 2013 at 11:17 am (7 years ago)

      Looking forward to meeting you this weekend, Mary!

  20. Jackie Reilly
    April 10, 2013 at 9:47 am (7 years ago)

    I have started many quilts, and finished none! I might have to try this binding technique! I just recently got an embroidery machine and I want to try the stippling with it!

  21. Lydia
    April 10, 2013 at 9:48 am (7 years ago)

    I like hand sewing, but I like applying binding with the machine better. I use a decorative stitch instead of the blind stitch on the front side to finish. Select a stitch with little back and forth movement and one that is airy and light. My favorite is a serpentine type of stitch. You might have to increase the presser foot pressure to “smash” down the fabric for best results.

  22. Patti Cole
    April 10, 2013 at 10:00 am (7 years ago)

    Love this technique! Thanks!

  23. Sue Duisenberg
    April 10, 2013 at 10:01 am (7 years ago)

    I do the opposite and sew the binding to the back, bring to front and top stitch. I think contemporary quilts are the quickest to quilt with the straight and serpentine rows of stitching.

  24. kbo
    April 10, 2013 at 10:10 am (7 years ago)

    oh I never considered using the SND foot. Must try it and thanks for your input on binding. Hand sewing for me, is also a 4 letter word….Yuck

  25. Debbie
    April 10, 2013 at 10:17 am (7 years ago)

    My greatest joy after a long hard tax season is sitting at my sewing machine or my embroidery machine and creating beautiful pieces of art. And the binding on many have been the hardest choices to make. The last several years I have used the machine, but my last one a mosaic quilt of my 4yr old granddaughter I chose to hand sew the binding. After cutting placing and sewing down 1,704 pieces, hand stitching the binding was the right move.

  26. Carolyn H
    April 10, 2013 at 10:25 am (7 years ago)

    Love how you did binding by machine. If I ever make another quilt I’m doing the binding your way!

  27. Phyllis F
    April 10, 2013 at 10:40 am (7 years ago)

    I have a quilt I am just about to bind. I!m going to try your idea. Thanks

    April 10, 2013 at 10:54 am (7 years ago)

    I will do anything to avoid handwork, no matter what type of sewing I am doing. I am very much a traditional quilter, not really into the modern stuff, just does not appeal to me.Unless you consider machine embrodiery quilts, I am into them big time!

  29. Eileen wray
    April 10, 2013 at 11:11 am (7 years ago)

    I just made my first quilt ( a baby quilt of course) I whizzed through the quilting .,,, much to my amazement a beautiful pink baby quilt emerged for my gran baby to be ( very soon .., tomorrow maybe? ) . I thought I was home free …, all I had to do was bind it and wrap it right? Haha the joke was definitely on me … I tried and tried and to my dismay I could not do it! I had thought of placing a flannel back on this Beaty and flipping it right side out … But I couldn’t it was so pretty . I watched fifty million you tubes with everyone from Nancy to someone’s grandma … Mental block I suppose,, I urgently called a friend( Miss Rose) and pleaded my case and showed up at her sewing class within the next ten minutes .., I purchased a stitch in the ditch foot and received excellent tips from her ( miss rose won’t see With a hand needle either) I returned home used every pin I could find in my sewing studio and finally began to sew by machine from the front side to attach the back side .., I drove that machine like a little old lady from Pasadena… I did it but what an unpleasant experience … All the while a that little blind hem foot was staring right at me ! Oh I will do this next time for sure ! Thanks Eileen

  30. Leora B
    April 10, 2013 at 11:21 am (7 years ago)

    I like the look of the contemporary quits. they are very modern and fun looking, I haven’t tried one yet, but plan too soon.
    and THANKS Eileen for the great tip with binding.. I myself do not like to hand sew, but have always had trouble with getting the back to catch.. I will try the foot with the quilt that I am working on now.

  31. Peggy Schroeder
    April 10, 2013 at 11:25 am (7 years ago)

    Hi Eileen,

    Great tip, I have a real problem with hand work; these old arthritic hands just can’t do it. With this tip, maybe this will be the year that the many UFO’s come out of hiding to get completed. I do have all those weird feet that go to the machines, maybe now is the time to get them out and at least try and use them. Have you found out yet when you are coming out this way again? Sacramento or Santa Rosa would work, just want to go to one of your seminars again. The last two were such fun, and we learned a lot, my friends are ready to do it again, so try, try, try!! Thanks for all of your help, I have used many of your tips over the years.

  32. Susan J
    April 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm (7 years ago)

    Neat tip! I just finished a quilt for my 2-year-old grand (or is it “great”) nephew and decide I had to finish the binding by machine for durability. I wasn’t 100% happy with how the back looked, but knew no one else (but another quilter) would even think twice about it. I will try the blind-hem foot next time around…a quilt.

    I haven’t thought much about contemporary quilts, but I will look for some at the Cincinnati Quilt Festival this week and see what I think. Until recently, I have kept negative space to a minimum deliberately because I don’t do free motion quilting. I usually just do ditch stitching and straight lines, but I am starting to unlock the potential of my embroidery machine to quilt some of that negative space, so i might be more attracted to a contemporary design than I would have been in the past.

  33. Mitzi
    April 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm (7 years ago)

    I stitch my bindings completely by machine, also. Attach to the front, then flip over to the back, then stitch from the front side again with a blanket stitch. The weight and size of the blanket stitch can vary from eensy-weensy to big and bold, depending on the project.

    Haven’t figured out all the fuss about “contemporary” quilts. I’m all for more open space and less fussy piecing. I enjoy the quilting part better than the piecing, so perhaps I’ve been doing “contemporary” all along without knowing it!

  34. Susan Burns
    April 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm (7 years ago)

    What I love most about contemporary quilts is the freedom to express yourself, and the reality of not having to be “Perfect”.

  35. Patty Hockman
    April 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm (7 years ago)

    must have done something I din’t understand. Getting way to much email in my inbox. Don’t know how to fix it. Help

  36. Maryhelen Bronson
    April 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm (7 years ago)

    Eileen, perfect timinh! I am finishing a block of the month quilt -stitcher’s garden-and I have that same foot, but have never used it! Can’t wait to try your method. Thanks!

  37. Sherrie Lilly
    April 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm (7 years ago)

    I hate hand sewing and just love this tip. I will print it out and put in my folder to use on the Tree of life quilt that I am in the middle of. My next quilt will be a contemporary quilt but everything has been put on hold while I recove from knee replacement surgery! Absolutely love your tips.

  38. Judy Wentz
    April 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm (7 years ago)

    Contemporary quilts are OK, but not my style. I love LOTS of different fabrics in my quilts and then to quilt them heavily with beautiful threads. Wait, maybe that is my style 🙂

  39. Jan Lumetta
    April 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm (7 years ago)

    I love contemporary quilts. The clean lines and dramatic designs appeal to me.

  40. Cheryl Greenleaf
    April 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm (7 years ago)

    Using an edge foot for binding? Who knew? Great idea!
    Not sure if I’m a contempory quilter or not but I know that I hate hand sewing and love my sewing/embroidery machine. Power to the machine quilters!

  41. Anne Marie Reilly
    April 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks, I’m not fond of hand sewing binding either so will definitely try this idea. I have made some small traditional quilts and would love to try a contemporary one.

  42. Barbara McKenzie
    April 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm (7 years ago)

    I might hate hand sewing as much as you do! I’ve always machine-bound my quilts – that “stitch-in-the-ditch” foot is perfect!

  43. Shelly C
    April 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm (7 years ago)

    I am thrilled with contemporary quilting, I have cronic pain in my hands and arms and I cannot hold a needle for very long let alone push it through the layers of fabric. I have been having my mother finish my quilts for me and I was so excited to find the newer technics so my machine can do the work for me. I have 17 grandchildren and I love to make them quilts at different times in there lives and this allows me to do so much more than I was able to do when I tried to finish them by hand. Thanks for thinking outside the box for me!!

  44. Glenda
    April 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm (7 years ago)

    Contemporary quilting is great and a machine sewn binding is even greater.

  45. Angie M
    April 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm (7 years ago)

    This is a great tip, Eileen! I think I’ve tried EVERY way to bind a quilt – no patience for hand-sewing either but I don’t like a messy binding. This just might be the answer I have been looking for! Love EVERYTHING you do!!!

  46. Beth Shelton
    April 10, 2013 at 5:04 pm (7 years ago)

    This came at a very timely moment….almost. I just finished a small baby quilt for a friend, but thought about not giving or blessing their baby with it. The binding didn’t look nice. I did exactly what the directions said but when I flipped it over it just was disappointing. I tore it out and redid the whole thing over. That time it worked out a little better but still not pretty. After considering the time I put into the quilt and how I must not let my opinion of it stop me from blessing my friend and her baby. I am working on another little quilt and you can be sure of one thing is that I will try this foot in hopes I get the same results as you do!!! Please!

  47. Terry
    April 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm (7 years ago)

    Sounds like a most wonderful idea. Now to dig thru my drawer and find that little foot. Out of five machines, surely I have one.

  48. Deb Rosol
    April 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm (7 years ago)

    I have tried some different ways of binding my quilts (the few that I have finished 🙂 and the blind hem foot looks like a slick way to do it…I will be trying this soon.
    I like the contemporary colors but just can’t totally get away from piecing blocks but I will keep trying…I love the simplicity and clean lines they have!

  49. Anne
    April 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm (7 years ago)

    I also don’t like to hand sew. I am not a seasoned Quilter,I have only made 3. I made your stipple sea life quilt and was amazed at how easy it was to quilt and put together. will try binding as you described on my next quilt

  50. BevM
    April 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks so much for this tip because I have a quilt just waiting for the binding. I always hand stitch the binding because I like that look but I’m open to try something new. I have a contemporary quilt sitting on my cutting table & I’m just trying to decide how I want the colours positioned. It’s Northern Lights by Jaybird Quilts. Thank you for this opportunity.

  51. Beth R
    April 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm (7 years ago)

    Contemporary quilting leaves all options wide open for creativity – if we can think of it, and figure out a way to do it, then we can use it.

  52. Beverly
    April 10, 2013 at 8:50 pm (7 years ago)

    Thx for tip. I am a traditionalist.

  53. Cathy Plomos
    April 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm (7 years ago)

    I really like the contemporary quilts. How wide of binding do you use for this method of binding with blind hem foot?

  54. Rita
    April 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm (7 years ago)

    What a great tip, will be trying this out with my next wall hanging. The blind hem foot is just lying around doing nothing.Thanks

  55. Christina
    April 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm (7 years ago)

    I have to admit that I haven’t given contemporary quilts a thought. I do lean toward traditional designs, but I think I could easily get excited about them after more exposure and thought.

    I love the binding technique – can’t wait to show it to my friends and try it out for myself.

  56. donna delvecchio
    April 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm (7 years ago)

    since the grands have outgrown grandmother’s heirloom and “cutsey” clothes,I am trying my hand at quilts.Love the contemporary ones as so many of them don’t take as long(I don’t think they do?)Like the binding technique—much faster than hand binding!!!!!

  57. Tris Thompson
    April 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm (7 years ago)

    trying a few as we speak.
    I find them intriguing & quick.
    The perfect place to use all my free motion practice in the negative spaces.
    Also great for Quilt backs for something just a little bit different using basic designs from the front in a simpler manner.
    Voila, a reversible quilt

  58. Mary
    April 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm (7 years ago)

    More of traditional quilter, but like some of the children’s quilts. Depends on how contemporary it is. That may be for the younger generation not this maturing grandma 🙂

  59. Brenda Howard
    April 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm (7 years ago)

    Contemporary is really growing on me. I love the bright clean look and the simplicity but the traditional has it’s intrigue too. I am torn.

  60. Kris
    April 10, 2013 at 10:26 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow, will use that foot!!!!
    The modern quilt is great. You have great ideas!!

  61. Donna G.
    April 10, 2013 at 10:35 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m a traditional kind of gal, but I admit that contemporary quilts intrigue me.

  62. Joanie
    April 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm (7 years ago)

    At first, I didn’t like the contemporary quilts, but I have come to appreciate their simplicity and beauty. The change of opinion came after seeing a quilt done with mens’s ties down one side of the quilt and the remainder of the top was plain white and the quilting looked beautiful on that plain area. I am thinking about making one but, I am not a very good quilter, I can piece, but I don’t quilt very good. I guess I should practice for a while.

  63. Mary w
    April 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm (7 years ago)

    Modern art quilts with a story are my favorites. I never could see traditional quilting – take fabric, cut it up, sew back together? What ! But landscape quilts or appliqué – that I get. And embroidered quilts are the best!

  64. Gail Beam
    April 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm (7 years ago)

    Great tip on the blind hem foot. I have been buying some new feet for my machine and have become addicted to all of the utube videos available on how to use them. I haven’t made any quilts since my grandchildren were little and I cheated by using the fabric quilt panels. I did do machine stitching around the designs on the fabric which gave the quilt a lot of dimension and hand tied embroidery floss in rows across the quilt to keep the quilted top, batting and backing fabric together. I tried piecing a quilt top once, and that was as far as that quilt ever got! lol

  65. Kay
    April 10, 2013 at 11:10 pm (7 years ago)

    Can’t wait to try this technique. I love the modern art quilts as I’ve never been a fan of more traditional forms.

  66. Lynn Heinonen
    April 10, 2013 at 11:29 pm (7 years ago)

    I love the contemporary look, I’m almost finished with the piecing of a large black and white quilt for a wedding present. It’s been fun and simple to make but I was not looking forward to the binding! I’m going to try your method…Thanks

  67. Pam M
    April 11, 2013 at 1:00 am (7 years ago)

    I already have the Geometric designs, but haven’t yet tried them – but I will! I will! I adore your Bubble quilt – hoping a new mum-to-be for whom I will be making a quilt agrees that this is THE quilt for her baby.

  68. Jane Scott
    April 11, 2013 at 1:34 am (7 years ago)

    Haven’t had much luck with binding, will have to try the blind hem foot, wonderful idea. Have yet to make a quilt, that’s one of my ‘someday’ projects. When that someday comes, will definitly be machine quilted.

  69. Martine
    April 11, 2013 at 1:52 am (7 years ago)

    My blind hemming foot looks different (husqvarna) but I have a Edge Joining foot that works great for bindings and I love the speed.

  70. Diane Cockman
    April 11, 2013 at 4:51 am (7 years ago)

    Eileen, I’m so excited about this foot. I saw it and said I have that, now I will give it a try and hope mine comes out as good as yours. Thank you so much for this info on binding. I’m like you, don’t like to hand stitch. Macnine is much better.

  71. Cheryl A
    April 11, 2013 at 4:55 am (7 years ago)

    Love this idea and can’t wait to try it. I find modern quilts intriguing but haven’t tried one. It’s on my to-do list and maybe I’ll actually get to it someday.

  72. Gail sabramsky
    April 11, 2013 at 5:24 am (7 years ago)

    Great tip. The Bernina’s have a number 10 foot which does the same job. I have spent the last 15 days or so asking questions about binding on my blog. http://www.notionnanny.com. I am going to post a tutorial in the next few weeks. I too, HATE that final step in quilting and have the best solution in the world. I barter with friends. Those who love handwork bind my quilts and I do something for them! When I can’t find someone, I sew those bindings down by machine.

    I love the modern quilts, but I am having a hard time getting myself out of the traditional rut!

  73. Chris
    April 11, 2013 at 6:38 am (7 years ago)

    Contemporary quilts look like fun and look like they are a little faster to make. I think I’ll try one (especially since I now can bind it faster. I have one question though. What color thread goes in the bobbin, the binding color?

  74. Pamela Perry
    April 11, 2013 at 6:51 am (7 years ago)

    I have begun using machine embroidery quilt designs when quilting instead of the old fashioned draw the design on the quilt face and trace by free motion quilting. It goes so much faster! I, too, will do whatever I have to NOT to do any hand sewing.

  75. Sandi Hagen
    April 11, 2013 at 7:01 am (7 years ago)

    Love the contemporary quilts! Working on my first one.

  76. Dottie
    April 11, 2013 at 7:04 am (7 years ago)

    The more I see them the more I am getting used to the contemporary quilts. Some are so bland but others are quite colorful and happy. Most of my quilts are for the underprivileged so they get lots of happy colors.

  77. Gayle
    April 11, 2013 at 7:24 am (7 years ago)

    I am a long time hand pieced and quilter. However that usually takes me a year to finish a quilt. So I have purchased a new machine and I am learning all the new techniques. I am a traditional quilter however I have been making some new contemporary quilt style using some of my left over traditional blocks. That has been fun to design and I have had some interesting results

  78. Betsy
    April 11, 2013 at 7:59 am (7 years ago)

    I’ve tried using my machine to speed up the binding process but it never looks as good as sewing by hand. I will definitely try the blind hem foot! As for the contemporary style of quilts, I haven’t made one yet but it’s on my to-do list. I’ve started collecting gray fabrics and hope to start when my UFOs are done. Hmmm, are they ever done?

  79. Ruth Thompson
    April 11, 2013 at 8:00 am (7 years ago)

    I too, hate hand work. I have only bound one quilt by hand of all the ones I have made. The blind hem foot sounds like a great idea for this seldom used foot. I always machine sew my bindings, but they never look that great in the back. I will try this new idea!!

  80. Robbie Damron
    April 11, 2013 at 8:06 am (7 years ago)

    I love most all types of quilts, however applique is my favorite. I like the fact I can take it with me where ever I go. Contemporary styles with applique are very exciting and fun to make.

  81. Patty Sack
    April 11, 2013 at 8:13 am (7 years ago)

    I have always hated the binding part of quilt/wall hanging projects. I’ll have to try your technique and see if I like it better.

  82. Jennifer P
    April 11, 2013 at 8:19 am (7 years ago)

    After spending time at QuiltCon and studying the quilts, I like the freedom it allows the quilter. I have always been a “follow the rules” kinda person and I don’t feel that I can let go that way. I am envious of the open spirits who are able to design with what appears to be “spontaneity”. I know that they actually spend time to design and they look to have so much fun. I’m excited for the younger demographic becoming interested in fiber arts so it won’t die, it’s just evolving.

  83. Bonnie Gray
    April 11, 2013 at 8:21 am (7 years ago)

    This tip sounds like a sure thing! I always seem to have a section that doesn’t get caught in the stitching, will have to give it a try. I like the contemporary quilts, the color combinations are great, seem to really pop!

  84. Katherine Artines
    April 11, 2013 at 8:52 am (7 years ago)

    I used to work with someone who said she never did hand work. I said, “Sure you do. You ‘hand’ it over to someone else to finish!”. Love the modern quilts, Eileen. Go for it, please.

  85. Jane
    April 11, 2013 at 8:59 am (7 years ago)

    I love contemporary everything – though I also like hand everything. I enjoy the sturdiness and quickness that I could complete a small donation quilt with the programmed stippling and other quilt patterns. I would LOVE to own yours – thanks for the chance. I

  86. Fran Wiest
    April 11, 2013 at 9:06 am (7 years ago)

    I love the look of modern quilts, and I am slowly getting into them. My first effort was a single fabric large block quilt with plain sashing and lots of quilting. For my next effort I have cut out a Valori Wells pattern, Wrenly, that features another large block with with pieced, solid color blocks, in the double and triple rows of sashing!

  87. peggy johnson
    April 11, 2013 at 9:23 am (7 years ago)

    I am a traditional style girl. the contemporary style is nice, but so often there is a lot of white space, not practical for children or dusty areas of the country, in my opinion. I’ve been thinking of subbing another light color in it’s place. I plan to try this new binding technique on the quilt I will be finishing very soon. excited to try it!

  88. Patty Happel
    April 11, 2013 at 9:35 am (7 years ago)

    Neat idea. I will try this on the quilt I’m quilting now…nearly finished. It’s been almost a year since I started. This has been a long process. A labor of love for my husband who picked this one out

  89. Debbie J
    April 11, 2013 at 9:44 am (7 years ago)

    I’m with you on the quilting. Have you heard about the ruffled quilts that are becoming so popular? you sew the squares together from the top, with the batting and backing cut to the squares. You quilt it after sewing the squares together. Then you throw it in the washer and dryer and it comes out beautifully ruffled. I haven’t made on yet, but I have one in mind that I want to make. Our youngest grand daughter loves the Wizard of Oz. I bought the embroidery package for the designs and want to make her a ruffled quilt out of that.

    If you want more information on how to do this quilt, just google Or use whichever search engine you prefer, “ruffled quilt how to”. That’s what I did.

    • Debbie J
      April 11, 2013 at 9:46 am (7 years ago)

      One other thing is I got a 1/4-inch piecing foot. That might do good for in the ditch stitching, too. What do you think?

  90. Phyllis
    April 11, 2013 at 9:50 am (7 years ago)

    Love how your binding looks, very professional. Is there a chance of a video….I am a visual learner.

    Thanks, Phyllis

    • Debbie J
      April 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm (7 years ago)

      Phyllis, I’m a visual learner too. A video would be awesome! I have never done a binding on a machine. I just ordered the Wizard of Oz set of designs and am wanting to get one done for my youngest grand daughter. But I have a lot of other projects to get done first. Maybe I can get it done by her birthday, next year. Let’s hope!

  91. Patty Schrock
    April 11, 2013 at 10:14 am (7 years ago)

    I’m not sure the difference between the quilting styles. Perhaps I need a class on that! I have only made one quilt (for my 2 year old grandaughter). I used machine embroidery and quilted each peice by machine as I went. Then put it together and covered the seams with what I call grid lines of material. It looks great but I don’t know what you would call it. I however will try your binding tip! Thanks, Patty

  92. Rosalee
    April 11, 2013 at 10:58 am (7 years ago)

    Very nice, great job! I love contemporary quilts, actually think it allows more creativity! I finish my bindings on the front as well but hadn’t tried that foot yet but certainly will now! Thanks for another great tip!

  93. Michelle H
    April 11, 2013 at 11:06 am (7 years ago)

    What a great tip, I can see several uses for that idea. I haven’t done much quilting, am inspired more by design and color than whether or not it is traditional or contempory

  94. Linda
    April 11, 2013 at 11:06 am (7 years ago)

    I don’t mind stitching the binding by hand when I’m relaxed and have the time. However, I will definitely use this tip on those quick little, projects that I need NOW! You know, there’s always a last minute gift – bibs, taggies, placemats, etc! Thank you very much.

  95. tls
    April 11, 2013 at 11:58 am (7 years ago)

    I’m very new to quilting – so far all I’ve done is the top for a table runner. Next step is to quilt it and then I’ll need to do the binding. For me, a bonus of using your technique will be moving outside my very small box of known and used feet. I’m very excited to experience all the “new to me” aspects: new craft (quilting), new technique (binding), new foot. I love learning and trying new things!

  96. Elaine
    April 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm (7 years ago)

    I love the contemporary quilts. My greatest fear is quilting all the negative space. It would need to be perfect.

  97. Marilyn
    April 11, 2013 at 4:51 pm (7 years ago)

    I think the most contemporary part of my quilting is gluing down the bindings! (Okay, then they’re sewn, either by hand or machine.) Seriously, google Sharon Schambler’s on-line videos and you too will become a believer! You CANNOT stick yourself on the glue!

  98. Judy G
    April 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm (7 years ago)

    I have seen some contemporary quilts that I love and others that I really did not love. However, I can say the same for traditional quilts. I am drawn more toward the color scheme and the quilting stitches used. Personally, I am more inclined to make a traditional quilt with updated fabric choices using either machine- or hand-quilting, depending on the project. I have used my blind hem foot for some bindings, and have hand-sewn others (usually reserving hand-sewn binding for hand-quilted quilts). I always use the blind hem technique for hot pads and oven mitts and have even used it on doll clothes.

  99. Kris Jacobson
    April 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm (7 years ago)

    I love the no rules approach to contemporary quilting. Free sewing is very relaxing. The simplistic designs also look like a lot of fun but I have yet to do one.

  100. Gwen Breece
    April 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm (7 years ago)

    I had wondered if this foot wasn’t the same as some companies are selling as “stitch in the ditch” foot. Looked the same to me. I love the contemporary quilts, especially the ones with straight lines, not fufu designs.

  101. Kathy
    April 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm (7 years ago)

    At our local sewing store, they have several modern quilts displayed. I love the bold colors and the large geometric designs. Some day I would like to give it a try and I agree-hand is a 4 letter word….

  102. Nancy
    April 11, 2013 at 8:43 pm (7 years ago)

    I usually think that I need to hand sew the binding if only to get me out of my sewing room and actually into the family room with my family, then I rethink and return to my sewing room…and with this technique, maybe a compromise is in order – I can machine stitch my binding AND return to the family room with my family – a WIN WIN!!

  103. Vicki B
    April 11, 2013 at 9:06 pm (7 years ago)

    I love contemporary quilting, even though I learned quilting from my grandmother who used a treadle machine!

  104. Linda W
    April 11, 2013 at 9:29 pm (7 years ago)

    I love applique and I’ve seen some beautiful contemporary designs. Hope to try something soon. And, I love your binding technique–definitely going to try that!

  105. Vici Fallin
    April 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm (7 years ago)

    Quilt , quilt, quilts, I love most all( with exception of
    double knit quilts, oh my). Really think some of the contemporary quilts really use the quilting as a stronger part of the design of overall quilt. Surely have enjoyed your blog and your class though have not finished my quilt off Craftsy yet.

  106. Jeanne
    April 12, 2013 at 2:50 am (7 years ago)

    I love the look of contemporary quilts but find the more traditional patterns “safer”. Gotta get that courage up I guess. Would live to win the stipple patterns. Have always wanted to try one.

    • Debbie J
      April 12, 2013 at 9:58 am (7 years ago)

      I know what you mean. I would love to win it too? If I don’t win, the I guess I’ll have to order a set.

  107. Nancy B
    April 12, 2013 at 8:15 am (7 years ago)

    I do like contemporary quilts and feel that the creation is more artwork to be interpreted by the beholder!

  108. Debbie J
    April 12, 2013 at 9:00 am (7 years ago)

    Have you seen the Ruffled quilt. The one where you put the squares with the flannel, batting and backing, and quilt it? Then you sew the squares are sewn together with the edges on the top. You wash it and dry it and it ruffles. I googled Ruffle Quilting and found a site with the instructions, but didn’t bookmark it so of course, I can’t find it. LOL

  109. Angela Brady
    April 12, 2013 at 10:35 am (7 years ago)

    I love the Modern Quilts with black or white background and beautiful colors.

  110. Carmen G
    April 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm (7 years ago)

    I’m a newbie! Machine embroidery for two yrs, and quilting only one, so I’m very open to trying lots of new techniques,and equipment! I finished your quilt from the craftsy class, and LOVE IT! I will definitely try your binding technique, as it has always been a challenge for me! I joined a modern quilt guild,and with your design I had a very unique quilt for the show and tell! Thanks for sharing, Eileen!

  111. Kathie M
    April 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm (7 years ago)

    Quilts are quilts are quilts! I don’t know that I can call the modern quilt movement modern so much as just quilting. If that makes sense. We all cut up perfectly good fabric to put it all back together. A lot of modern quilting makes me think back to some of the crazy quilts I’ve seen over the years.

  112. Alice M
    April 12, 2013 at 1:40 pm (7 years ago)

    I love looking at the modern quilts, haven’t tried one yet. Love your way of binding will have to give it a try!!

  113. Enis
    April 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm (7 years ago)

    Love the tip about using the blind hem foot to attach binding. I’m with you girl! Forget the hand sewing. I don’t have time for that. I do admire those who do hand sew their bindings on, but I just don’t have the time. I do hand sew my quilt labels on though. As far as the contemporary quilts go, I have seen some very cute ones, but I have not tried one myself yet. I do most of my baby quilts using machine embroidery designs and the larger quilts I’ve done were always made with patterned squares. I may try a contemporary quilt sometime just to test my free motion quilting skills — which I will be the first to admit need work.

  114. JD
    April 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm (7 years ago)

    I love the tip with the blind hem foot. I can’t seem to make it work for a blind hem but maybe I can manage a quilt binding. Something new to try.
    Contemporary quilts were made for machine embroidery. I love the modern look and I especially like anything that has an Asian look to it. Thanks for all the great tips. Love this blog.

  115. Denise Spanos
    April 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm (7 years ago)

    Haven’t quilted in quite a while. My embroidery machines seem to take up all my time. Maybe it is time I start to embroider some blocks and see about putting together a quilt for my new nephew.

  116. Karen
    April 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm (7 years ago)

    I am almost ready to bind my first quilt not sure yet if I want to hand stitch or use my edge joining foot. The quilt is traditional blocks with a modern twist.I quilted it with machine embroidery and stitches on my machine now I need to quilt the border.Thanks for the give away.

  117. Paula Roney
    April 13, 2013 at 3:56 am (7 years ago)

    I love contemporay quilts because it allows more creative freedom than traditional quilting. You can use many of lovely large prints that are available today without cutting them into tiny pieces and sewing them back together.

  118. Pam McMahon
    April 13, 2013 at 10:16 am (7 years ago)

    I don’t like binding at all…but now I am going to try the blind hem foot maybe that will help me! LOL!

  119. (Laurine) Joan Elton
    April 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow, I can’t wait to try the blind-hem foot for binding….I have 3 quilts all finished except for this last step! I also want to try the stippling on borders (and/or squares) on another quilt just waiting for the last border. I am thoroughtly enjoying my latest purchase”Machine Embroidered Quilting and Apoplique”, especially the decorative stitching. Thanks soooo much for the informative blogs…wouldn’t miss them! Sincerely, J.

    • Debbie J
      April 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm (7 years ago)

      J, I know what you mean. I want to get a set, and do a colorful squares quilt and just use the quilting stitches on them. Or even white on white.

  120. Debbie J
    April 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm (7 years ago)

    I think what I am going to do when I make my next quilt I’d to be sure that the backing is at least an inch or so larger than the batting and top piece. Then I will use the blind hem foot and use the backing to fold over for the binding. Do you think that would work OK?

  121. Cathy
    April 13, 2013 at 10:52 pm (7 years ago)

    This was the perfect tip for finishing a character quilt for my littlest granddaughter. At 4 mos. I doubt she much cares how the binding is attached! However, when she is a grandmother perhaps she will appreciate your idea. I certainly do. After years of hand stitching and selling quilts at craft fairs I finally quit making them. Too labor intensive. This is my first quilt in 30 years and will be machine made, so every tip helps. Thank you!

  122. Vicky Isliefson
    April 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm (7 years ago)

    I make a quilt occasionally and have bound both by hand and by machine. I use alot of pins witht the machine method. I would be interested to know what width of binding fabric you start with to use the machine method.

    I have not made a “modern” quilt, but I think one with lots of solids or negative space would be a great place to put machine embroidered quilting.

  123. Berenice
    April 15, 2013 at 7:34 am (7 years ago)

    HMMM… Wish I had read this Saturday morning before finishing the quilt for the baby shower on Saturday afternoon. Probably so much easier to bind, and fewer naughty words. Hand sewing is a great thing to do while the embroidery machine is whizzing through another design. Contemporary quilting? Well, I guess it depends on what you want from your design. If you look at some of the quilts from my great grandmother’s time, those ladies made up designs that are standards for today. But give me a free flowing design not locked into 2″ squares! You cannot tell if my seams don’t match!

  124. carol
    April 15, 2013 at 9:02 pm (7 years ago)

    I am just now learning how to piece quilt squares and will need to be joining them together and than backing and binding the outside! Thank you for the lesson on placing the binding neatly by machine. After learing the traditional block methods I am eager to try other quilting methods!!!

  125. Kimeran
    April 16, 2013 at 7:04 am (7 years ago)

    Love contemporary quilts, especially geometric designs in bright contemporary colors. Can’t wait to try your blind hem method on binding. I confess to having a couple of unbound baby quilts!

  126. Marsha
    April 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm (7 years ago)

    I have not embraced the contemporary fabric movement yet. I am a traditional quilter. I have a request for a modern baby quilt so I will make in comtemporary fabric.

  127. beth daniels
    April 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm (7 years ago)

    I have not done a contemporary quilt. But I have been quilting for about two years now. I would like to learn to do contemporary quilting. I always like to do new things and learn the process of doing new quilting work. I am definitely going to try the binding with a blind hem foot next time I do a binding.

  128. Doreen
    April 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm (7 years ago)

    I don’t know what contemporary quilting is but I sure know what you mean about hand sewing. I didn’t mind it so much years ago but I had an instructor that said they never sewed anything by hand and that really stuck with me. So much so that I inadvertently bought a kit that was all by hand both the sewing and embroidering. It sat for years until I recently pulled it out and said there’s got to be a way to do this by machine. I was able to do it all by machine and the little bunny card holders are finally completed

  129. Ginger Sheppard
    April 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm (7 years ago)

    Thanks! I’m a WINNER! Now how do I receive the new Stipple collections? I am so Excited!!


  130. Donna N.
    April 17, 2013 at 8:14 pm (7 years ago)

    You’re too funny! How many years have you worked with Nancy Zieman and she never shared this tip with you? That is where I think I learned it on one of her shows.
    I’ve tried most styles of quilting. Maybe I get bored doing the same thing over and over.

  131. Peggy
    September 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm (6 years ago)

    I love to sit and hand sew binding on. But this is a good idea and I will try it when I don’t have time to hand sew.

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