Making Miles of Binding


I found a 100% cotton, dark blue, twin size, fitted sheet at my local Value Village for $4.  I cut off the elastic, washed, dried, starched, then ironed it flat. I now had a ~64”x72” piece of fabric.  I carefully folded it in half lengthwise and ironed the fold.  It was still wider than my 24” ruler, so I again carefully folded and ironed it.

I then cut 3” strips to yield a 3/8” finished binding.  I ironed the folds out of the strips and stacked ‘em right side up.

I used a ruler to see the line of the needle. binding30

  • I marked it with tape on my kenmore binding15 binding41

and a sharpie on my bernina. 

I used my walking foot and the guide to sew the strips together. I simply kept the angles in the two opposing corners on the guide.

binding7  I set the stack of strips on my lap  right side up.

I put the first 2 strips right sides together at about a 90 degree angle.  I lined up the 2 opposite outside corners with the marked line and stitched, keeping it lined up.   I put  strip 2’s unsewn end face up and put strip 3 face down repeating the process of sewing the 2 strips together.  I continued in this fashion until the strips were sewn together, being careful to not get the binding twisted.  I snipped them apart and fed the now really long strip into a basket, checking as I went to be sure my seams all ended up on one side. They did. Yay!

binding39 As I fed the strip into another basket, with a rotary cutter and no ruler, I carefully cut off excess seam allowance.binding31binding24 

I then fed the strip back onto the first basket, ironing the seam allowance open as I went.

binding33 binding11 binding19

I ended up with about 1300 inches – slightly more than 100 feet. 


Sewing Machine Acquisition

We went to Fenton, MO today.  There is a feed store where we can get  50 pounds of sunflower seeds for $18.  The birds are happy now.  While there, we stopped in the local thrift store, Value Village.  For $21 I got a 1974 Kenmore 158.14301 sewing machine. It was bone dry. I oiled it up.  BrianSews’ Oil it up! is a good link for oiling vintage machines. kenmore 158.143016
Quilting example 14301 At left is a sample of quilting done on the new machine.  A few tension issues, but overall, good.  This machine is 3 years younger than my other 158.  It is a little different, but a lot is interchangeable.  It came with the table, which is larger than what I had been using. What a lucky find!

Review: bobbin washers, needles, and gloves

A few weeks ago I bought a package of Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers™, a pair of Machingers™ Quilting Gloves, and a package of easy threading needles.

The bobbin washers have improved my stitch quality and the machine seems to run better with it.  Since putting one in my free motion machine (a kenmore from the 1970s), I have sewn thru 5 full bobbins with no problems whatsoever.  They are little Teflon washers that sit between the bobbin case and the bobbin.  They may seem expensive, but they are worth it.

The quilting gloves have greatly improved my control when free motion quilting.  The gloves make moving the quilt around much easier.  I thought I would loath wearing gloves, but they are comfortable and I was able to thread my machine while wearing them.

The needles are to sew in my starts and stops on the quilts.  These needles have a groove at the thread end thru which the thread snaps and is threaded. Works great. Now I can sew my ends in neatly.

All 3 of the products performed as expected or better and I highly recommend these items to improve your own quilting.

Daily Needle 12/4/09

On the last Wednesday of the month our local Value Village Thrift Stores have a half off everything sale.  It is usually very crowded at all 4 locations, but luck does happen.  September’s sale gave me the best find – an old Bernina 830 Record sewing machine.  Priced at $8.95, it was a true find, but I got it for $4.50!

When I got home with it, I cleaned and oiled it and could barely wait to see if it works.  YES! The stitches are much prettier than my Kenmore’s.  The belt needs adjustment, so I finally took it to a professional today.  He’s to call tomorrow.  I haven’t used it much, but I have used it and what a nice machine.  Reminds me of a volvo 240. It’s 50 lbs. of portability. Lugging that thing was hard, because a clasp on the carrying case is broken.

The day I got it I checked ebay for accessories, as mine only had one presser foot.  An auction ending the next day for a set of 7 feet in the original bernina accessory box was happening.  Got into a little bidding war, and the stress made me nuts, but i got it for 95 bucks.

So, for a total of about 130 dollars, I have a second machine I can dedicate to piecing and have my Kenmore (i have about 100 dollars invested in the Kenmore as well.) dedicated to free motion quilting.  This took about a year and a half to do.

Eventually, I will have my sewing machine page reflect all the machines I have.  I have a total of 6, 5 of which work.  Some are packed away and the non-working one is in my garage.  I am happy to have a reliable quilting machine and a second machine for piecing.

Sewing Machines

Here are my 2 main sewing machines. I have more, but that will eventually go on my sewing machine page
I learned how to make a table in this and i am learning how to adjust the sizing. It isn’t pagemaker, but it was easier than i thought it would be to create this

Animated Stitch

how a sewing machine takes a stitch here