Drum roll, please. I am preparing to write my first ever rootie-tootie tutorial...No Snit Binding! I'm not certain I know anything new on the subject. I will share what I know, though. Here it is...My thimble-ful of knowledge on how to bind an edge using your machine.
Before we start, here are some tidbits of truth:
- I am using a Bernina Activa 240.
- I use my walking foot whenever I put binding on with my machine.
- I eat at least one Snicker bar before I attempt this manuever. Just kidding, I actually eat two! Just kidding, again.
- Heather Bailey's website has a most excellent tutorial on a continuous binding with mitered corners. You can find it here. I did not include any information on how to do these two things in my tutorial. (Warning: Heather's tutorial is a different method of binding. It is finished by hand. I direct you to this tutorial because the mitered corner and continuous binding instructions rock.)
- The machine settings I am using work with one layer of batting similar in weight to Warm and Natural cotton batting.
- This tutorial assumes you know how to cut binding strips and attach them together to make a strip long enough for your project. Again, Heather's tutorial has this information if you need it.
- Finally, this will not make you happy, but, as with all things, practice makes perfect (or almost perfect). I think I had to make five or six sets of potholders before I was completely content with the results. I know, I know, that's not what you want to hear. The good new is that you don't have to figure out the settings on your machine. Hopefully, I have done that for you. Maybe you will only have to make a few projects to master snit-free binding. My fingers are crossed for you!
Ok, girlfriends. Hold on tight. Here we go...
STEP 1: Stitch around the unfinished edge of your project using a skinny 1/4" seam.
STEP 2: Cut a two-inch binding strip long enough to go around your project. Iron the strip in half with wrong sides of fabric facing each other. Open the strip and iron one side of the binding strip up to the crease you just created in the center of your binding (see photo below for a picture of a finished strip).
Step 3: Adjust your machine's needle position 3 button pushes to the right. (I told you that my methods are wonky and not real technical. LOL!) As best as I can tell, each button push moves the needle 1/32 of an inch. I moved my needle 3/32", or a skinny 1/8". I hope those measurements help those of you who are not sewing on a Bernina.
FYI---If your batting is a thicker weight, move your needle all the way over to the right. If you are not using any batting, or the batting is really thin, move the needle only one or two punches to the right.
Step 4: On the BACK side of the project, line up the raw, unfolded edge of the binding strip with the unfinished edge of the project. Leaving the needle three button pushes to the right, stitch the binding strip to your project as if you were creating a 1/2" seam. Here is where Heather's tutorial on mitered corners and continous binding comes in handy.
Step 5: Bring the folded edge of the binding to the front of the project. Pin the folded edge of the binding a teeny, tiny smidge over the seam line you just created so that you can no longer see the seam. Pin, pin, and pin again. I am not typically a pinning kind of girl. In fact, I hate to pin. But in this case, you need to pin, pin, pin. Was I clear? Pin it up, girlfriend (or guyfriend)!
Step 6: Put your project in your machine so the folded edge of the binding lines up with the inside of the left toe of your walking foot (see photo below). Adjust your needle postition so that the needle is just inside the edge of the fold on the binding you just pinned down. The position on my machine is two button pushes (1/16") left of center. This needle position is easy to figure out by sight.
Step 8: Stitch around your project. Keep the folded edge of the binding lined up with the inside edge of the left toe of your walking foot.
Step 9: Tada! You are done. Machine binding. No snit. You gotta love it!
Good luck, friends. I know there are other, and possibly easier, ways to do this. Hopefully, though, this tutorial will save at least one of you from the temptation to throw your scissors at your machine and say naughty words in your head or perhaps out loud (gasp!). If you have questions, I would be happy to answer them.