Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Aye, the compass doesn't point north, but we're not trying to find north, are we? –Mr. Gibbs, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

I finished my Drunkard's Path quilt top. I didn't take pictures because I was in a rush to drop it off for quilting. It pretty much looks like this. Only all sewn together. With a couple of borders. Which may or may not work.

The top is made from Kona Solids {don't ask which colors} and coordinates from Marcus Brother's Metro Blue fabric line. It is an old print {2006, reprinted in 2009} but I really love the colors and I think it still looks pretty modern. Ish. I saved the best print for the binding.

Stripey fabrics are meant to be used as bindings. I always do bias-binding {bias is so fancy}, which means that the stripeys come out diagonally. Unless the stripeys are already printed on the diagonal. Which these are. The question is, then, do I do a regular old cut-on-the-grain binding so that the stripeys stay diagonal? Or do I do a bias binding, which would make the stripes come out vertically along on the edge of the quilt? I've seen a lot of cute vertically striped bindings lately.

The cons are these:
On-grain binding:
• Since the binding is cut along the grain, the fold creates more stress in the fabric and after only a few washings the binding starts to turn white along the folded edge. After years of use, the fabric can split open at the fold because the stress is put on a narrow, continuous area of the fabric's weave.
• Piecing seven separate diagonal seams to make a piece of binding long enough to go around the quilt.

Bias Binding:
• I can never get a bias binding to lay perfectly flat and smooth, no matter how carefully I watch my 45° degree angle or how much pressing and pinning I do. It always lies a little puckered.

The pros are these:
On-grain binding:
• Super cute diagonal stripes around the border.

Bias Binding:
• Fast and easy continuous piecing.
• The stress of the fold is distributed diagonally across the weave of the fabric, prolonging the wear of the binding.
• Super cute horizontal stripes around the border.

The quilt is finished and ready for pick-up. I'm excited to see how the quilting came out. I'll either go get it tonight, if Melissa has time, or tomorrow morning. This means it is time to decide how to cut my binding. Suggestions welcome and appreciated!


Paulette said...

First of all, that is a gorgeous quilt top! As far as the binding, I never make a bias binding unless I have to (for curves, etc.), BUT I would say make a bias binding in this case because of the diagonal stripes on the fabric. I think horizontal stripes would look awesome in the binding.

Julie said...

I don't know much about binding, but I think I'd take the longer lasting way even if it doesn't lay perfecly straight. Use the galloping horse method to determine how picky you're going to be. ;0) That's my two cents worth.

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Love the quilt Elizabeth -- it's darling ! No comment on the binding except I think the little stripes running vertically or the stripes running a slight diagonal would be awesome ! Can't wait to see what you decide. Karen

Nicole said...

Can't say I can weigh in on the decision making. I always go for straight grain binding. Love the brown and blue combo!

Gene Black said...

I love bias binding both for the durability and for how it works for me.
I find that I can get bias to lay more smoothly. However, I do a different method of making my bias binding. When I cut it -from a piece of fabric- I have to join all the strips but the ends are already angle cut. so I find it pretty easy.
I get more of a pucker with straight grain binding.

Lane said...

I'm a fan of straight grain binding. But, for this one, to get those stripes to flare outward, I'd do a bias. Good luck! Bias would scare me, but since you're used to it, go for it. I'm inspired and have some stripes I might cut for binding now. Lane

Shay said...

Oh E - that quilt top is absolutely stunning. Seriously! Im in love.

Good luck with your binding- Im a wuss - Ive never done continuous bias binding- so I'd be taking the other option.....

Vicki said...

Cool quilt!

One of my quilts was made back in my Utah days, probably 12 years ago. It has been in continuous use. It has crappy big box fabric store binding (because Utah days=student days), cut on straight grain. The binding edge is not white, nor is it anywhere close to wearing out. I say cut your binding however you want, and don't worry about it wearing out. Especially if you're using high quality quilt shop fabric.:)Anyway if you ever have a quilt binding wear out, you could replace it no big deal, right? ;0)