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My best machine-sewn binding yet, and how you can do it too!

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

The I, Valentine quilt is complete!

I love that feeling of accomplishment, we did it! Another quilt course and YouTube video series. All the planning, designing, sewing, filming, editing, pattern writing and meeting the weekly deadlines has come to fruition.

I still have to pinch myself that from my home on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia, my daughter Alaura and I create online quilt courses that are enjoyed by people from all around the world.

Thank you so much to everyone that was part of the course, we loved sharing the journey with you and can’t wait to see and share photos of your finished quilts!

For those that don’t know, the video series is called the Quilt As You Go Chronicles, it documents and teaches the making of the I, Valentine quilt. It’s free for everyone to watch and learn on our YouTube Channel, Pattern Poole TV and if you want to make the quilt, the course notes that contain the detailed step by step photo instructions and applique patterns are available to purchase on our website. You can purchase the complete 10-part set here or 1 at a time here. They're PDF so you receive them instantly. The videos will always be available to watch on YouTube so you can work at your own pace and email us anytime if you have questions.

Click below to watch the series.

This is how I finished my quilt and some tips for a neat machine sewn binding.(For those that avoid hand sewing like me).

After I attached the borders, I marked the leaf shape pattern over the seam. Quilting over the seam is quite challenging with a walking foot but if you take your time, it looks great and is so worth it! I decided to try free motion quilting the leaf shape. To do this, I manoeuvred down one side of the leaf shape, crossed the seam and stitched the opposite side of the following leaf. I stopped, repositioned my hands before continuing in the same way. When I reached the bottom, I removed the quilt from the machine and started at the top again to sew the opposite side of the leaves. My quilting is not perfect and there are a few wobbles here and there but as I’ve said before, there is so much to look at in this quilt that no one will notice a wobble here and there.

Okay…. I’ve gone to the dark side and have been using a Pilot Frixion iron off pen to mark my quilting. There’s a lot of controversy about using these pens on Fabric, so if you decide to use them, do so at your own risk as some people have had bad experiences with them, so always test first.

I finished the quilt with a machine sewn binding in the same way as our Island home quilt. Click on the image below to watch the video, the binding starts at 15.34 minutes.

I cut (7) 3” strips across the fabric then joined and pressed the strip in half lengthwise in the usual way.

The binding is sewn onto the front of the quilt with a 3/8” seam allowance. Before folding it over to the back of the quilt, I mark a line that is ½” away from the quilt edge. The binding is then folded over to meet the marked line, which means that it will cover the stitching line by 1/8”.

I normally use my Sewline Glue pen to glue the binding in place but thought I would try Elmer’s School glue, I’ve heard a lot of quilters in the US talk about this glue and I was surprised to find it in Spotlight (Large Australian fabric and sewing store for those that don’t know). It was okay, a bit messy but it did the job, I would recommend ironing it to speed up the drying as sewing through wet glue would be a big no no for your machine. I also applied the glue to the seam allowance, not over the stitching line to avoid sewing over the glue.

I then turned the binding to the front and pinned in the ditch.

Turned to the back again to make sure that the pins have caught in the edge of the binding.

I normally use my open toe foot to stitch in the ditch of the binding seam on the front of the quilt but this time I tried using my walking foot with the stitch in the ditch attachment. I had to move the needle 2 spaces to the left but it worked well, sewing the corners was a bit tricky because it was hard to see at the corners but overall I was happy.

Here’s a closeup of my binding from the front.

Here’s a closeup of the back.

Finally, I couldn’t help myself and I decided to add some free motion quilted scallops around the outer edge of the quilt. To be honest, I started then regretted it but I’d gone too far and unpicking free motion stitching can be a chore, so I kept going. When I’m not enjoying something, I stop and work out a process that will make it manageable, so I rolled up the quilt and held it over my shoulder so that it wasn’t dragging on the table and found that it was much easier.

And that’s it, finished! Here’s what it looks like from the back

(I know that you all love to see the back he he).

The stunning applique shapes are designed by Alaura, Alaura loves to push our design possibilities, I was originally going to blanket stitch the applique by machine, but she encouraged me to add sketchy applique as one of the optional applique techniques. Sketchy applique was my thing many years ago but to be honest, I was quite rusty and I’d lost my confidence with the technique, mainly because when being filmed I was trying to sew perfectly but once I let go of perfection and accepted that the technique is free and sketchy I improved and my movement became much smoother, the more you do, the better you get and you’ve got to start somewhere right?

It's now my favourite technique again and I was so surprised to see how many took on the challenge, including absolute beginners!

Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice helps you to improve and do your best.

To all those that watch, like, comment and subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook or Instagram, purchase our PDF patterns and join our courses, from the bottom of our hearts we appreciate and thank you all for supporting our small Mother and Daughter business.

Monica and Alaura Poole xo

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Monica Poole
Monica Poole
May 28, 2023

Sharing some lovely feedback below, thanks so much Angie, we really appreciate your kind words xxoo

Hello Monica and Alaura,

Oh wow!! What a beautiful project! You should both be very proud of this accomplishment, it was a lot to take on and you did everything so well. I also have to say that I have been watching your videos from the beginning when they first came out during Covid and I want to try it all! You are right, isn’t it amazing how we share information all over the world, if not for your videos I would have never gotten the chance to learn from someone in Australia. Your projects are all beautiful and unique and your teaching m…


Thanks for the binding tip, I can confidently try your idea. Christene

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