Monday, May 28, 2012

Binding Apps and Rippling Trouble

Well today I finished quilting my "Stairway to Cat Heaven" quilt, and it was time to start on the binding.  (more quilt photos once I can get some outside shots in the sun)

I wanted to use the leftover fabric from my border on the binding, but wasn't sure I had enough.  I decided this was the perfect time to try out some of my quilting apps.

Here's a shot of all of the sewing/fabric apps on my ipod.  I recently downloaded all of these and haven't tested any besides the Joann app (which lets me save virtual coupons because I always forget to bring the paper ones to the store with me!)

To calculate the fabric needed for the binding, I used the Robert Kaufman "QuiltCalc" app.
Here is the binding data entry screen.  It is one of many things the app will calculate for you.  If you scroll down it explains how it is doing the calculations.

 Here is the results screen.  It calculates cutting on the grain and bias cutting for your binding.  I realized I had entered the data wrong and for "width" I had just assumed the short side but it really wanted the width of the bolt, which for this fabric was something like 48".  Once I fixed that, I was happy to see that my piece of fabric was large enough and I  knew exactly how many strips to cut!

In conclusion, the QuiltCalc app gets a thumbs up from me.  I haven't tried the other apps yet but I don't think any of them do binding calculations.

Now I have the binding all sewn down and it's time to hand stitch it onto the back.  However, I always have problems on every quilt I do with rippling on the binding, whether I pin it down before I stitch or not!  It's very frustrating so I thought I would see if anyone had tips on this before I get too far on stitching down the binding for this quilt.

Here are some shots of the worst rippled binding I have.
See the criss cross indents on the binding?

This is a vertical shot looking down upon the edge of the binding.  This is an extreme example, on this quilt it's so bad it almost looks intentional, but I always get some slight areas of rippling on every binding.
I would love any suggestions or ideas!


  1. Hi Heather, Just doing some blog surfing and came across your blog! I recommend reading Bonnie Hunter's "BINDING TIPS" on her web page - I use her method for all of my binding. I always use a walking foot to attach the binding after I have stitched the three layers of the quilt together first, squaring up the corners and making sure my sides are straight. I don't pin my binding to the quilt. I choose my starting point (leaving a long tail so it's easier to finish up at the end) and then just lay the binding along the edge for about 3 - 4 inches and just stitch that bit then I lay the next 3 - 4 inches and continue along like that. This way you don't "stretch" your binding - you just lay it where it belongs. A walking foot makes a big difference! There is also a wonderful book by Mimi Dietrich called Borders and Bindings - I use it constantly! I'm not sure if it's still in print but if you ever find one... buy it! I hope this is helpful!
    Cheers, Helen

    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I always have to look up instructions whenever I attach a binding, so the resources you suggested will be very helpful. I'm definitely going to snoop around for a copy of the Borders and Bindings book.

      I also never even thought that the rippling could come from when I was machine stitching the binding onto the quilt, I always assumed it was something I was doing wrong when hand stitching the back of the binding down, but your comments about the walking foot make a lot more sense. I went ahead and attached this one with my walking foot so let's hope it doesn't have any puckering problems.