Putting the binding on quilts is the one task I least like in quilt making. So many of my friends say it is their favorite step,that it is relaxing, and it means they are almost done. To me it is a major wrestling match with the quilt.
My sewing machines are all set-ON-the-table types, not set-IN-the table. The one machine with a walking foot is a little Janome Jem Gold. As a machine, it works fine, but I do have to help the quilt along. Quilts tend to get caught on the base of the machine or on the edge of the table and suddenly the seam is skewed. I have tried setting extra tables and or ironing boards next to the machine table to support the weight of the quilts, but I still have to pull and push, and shift to keep everything straight. The bigger the quilt, the more difficult it is.
Not only are the quilts likely to be unruly, the binding strips also get in the way, especially if they are left loose and long. I have found that I can control them by accordion folding them and tying them with a strip of selvedge or skinny fabric. I then pull out what I need and pin it to the quilt. When one side is pinned, I tighten the ties and the unsewn binding stays put in the accordian fold as I sew.
I just got the wedding quilt back from the quilter. Marilyn did a fantastic job. I'll show you soon. That quilt is huge. 96 x 99 inches! I decided I had to get the binding on now or it may be ages before I get it done, just because the job is so massive. I took a deep breath. With my husband's help, I rolled up the quilt and slung it over my shoulder. All rolled up and being fed to the machine from a higher level than the table made it quite manageable. I sewed up one side, unrolled the quilt, turned and pinned the binding , re-rolled the quilt (again with help) , slung it over my shoulder and sewed the next side, etc. It looked like and felt like an enormous python, heavy and awkward. But, it was worth the trouble. I got the job done with only one skewed spot which was easily fixed. Here I am... wrestling the python.
Next comes the part that literally puts me to sleep. ( I finish the binding by hand.) I start yawning hard about 1/3 of the way down one side. Then my eyes start watering.... zzzzz. I need a visit from the quiltmaker's elves.
As soon as I finish this onerous task, I'll be taking close up photos of the quilting and will post for you to see; after I catch a few zzzzzs!