15 March 2010

Practice, Practice

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JudyL's (Patchwork Times) method of machine stitching binding onto a quilt has fascinated me. BUT. I don't ever, ever sew over pins with my Bernina 'cause if you hit one the results are not nice. What to do? I uncovered and dusted off (literally!) the old Singer treadle sewing machine.

I love this machine. It makes such a perfect, beautiful straight stitch. And if I sew over and accidentally hit a pin, the workings of the machine are simple and easy to get to so even I can fix it. There are a few rules of engagement, though, when working with a treadle.
  1. Use a straight legged chair. No office chairs with rollers. That is, unless you just want to roll around and not really sew *smile*.
  2. Wear shoes. Preferably athletic shoes, because the sole sticks just a bit to the treadle.
So here I was, treadling away on the bindings of two different small quilts. On the first one, I put the pins too far apart and pinned from the top side. Not good. I found out that pinning closer together is a key point in this technique, so on the second quilt I pinned about every inch. I also found that if I pinned from the back side the whole thing laid flatter on the machine bed. On the first quilt, there were a lot of places where I veered off the binding on the back which resulted in having to go back in and hand stitch it down in places. On the second quilt, the closer pinning worked and there were fewer 'skips'. But there are still issues with the second quilt.

This is just going to be a matter of practice. Lots of practice.

22 comments:

  1. Hand stitching down binding will always be my favorite quilting step . . . . but I'm hoping to dust off and oil up my treadle machine and piece a little somethin' somethin' on it in the real near future *s*

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  2. Oh reading this makes me want to use my treadle machine which I've never tried. I need to have it cleaned up (serviced, oiled etc) and then put it to use. It's been a nagging wish that I've procrastinated about.
    Off subject, I wanted to add those tabs like you did but am not understanding the process, at all. If I don't figure it out, I may be hounding you for advice like when you helped me in the past.

    Love that Kool Aid dye in another post, that is awesome. Great work!

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  3. I think you are so right about the practice thing. I just have been binding pillows, and tried to do it by machine. By the fourth one...it was looking pretty good! Your treadle machine is gorgeous...mine needs a belt before I can use it.

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  4. Your treadle is gorgeous!!

    I still do binding by hand. I tried doing it by machine but it didn't come out right and I ended up ripping it out and started over.

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  5. Great post....I hadn't considered the pinning from the back but will investigate that on my next project. Thanks for sharing,,, :-)

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  6. Hi, I use clips to get the binding in place about every 1.5 - 2 inches. I stitch slowly and stop before each clip to remove it and it works a treat.
    It took about 4 quilts before I stopped having any bits that missed the binding at the back but now I'm used to it I love it.
    I did a 60x90 quilt the other week and it took about a hour to finish the binding. Great!

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  7. My m.i.l has a treadle machine on stand-by for me...I just need permission from my DH to bring it home!

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  8. Oooooo . . . that type of practice sounds like lots of fun.

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  9. You will get it and it will be perfect ... Your little treadle machine is a beauty out of the past.

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  10. Wow - that machine's decorations is amazing!

    I WANT to want to do binding by machine but it seems time spent pinning (and sticking myself) is better spent hand sewing it down. (Hard to teach an old dog ... )

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  11. This is something I've never even considered, once! You've got my mind working, though... maybe I should try it, I have my grandmother's treadle machine.

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  12. Way to go Paula! I LOVE red eyes. Umm, I have a few. That's all I'm gonna say.

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  13. oh I want to try one of my treadles but I need you to come give me personal lessons!!! ;-)

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  14. Oh that machine is a beauty!

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  15. What a beautiful machine! I love my treadle for the same reasons! So sturdy, yet a very simple machine.

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  16. Sounds promising, I will give it a try sometime. The machine look just like my moms. Thanks for sharing

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  17. Pretty machine. I've heard people use school glue - it washes out afterwards.

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  18. I have not had any success with this technique, but I think it's because I make my bindings too thin and miss too many parts on the back.
    Lucky you to have a treadle machine...and a beautiful one at that!

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  19. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR FRIEND PAULA THE VERY MULTI-TALENTED FRIEND THAT I DIG...
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUUUU!

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  20. my Grandma had a machine like that. I actually sewed on it a couple of times.

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  21. I started sewing on a treadle when I was a teen .... haven't used it since then, but one of these days it would be good to bring it out and see what I can do with it now.

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  22. Those of you who own a treadle, is yours on a hard floor or carpet? I can't get mine to really "follow through" with the foot motions on carpet. The carpet gets in the way.
    I'd love to use mine, it runs beautifully on the hard floor downstairs.

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