Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blindstitching

I can't remember if it was my mother or my grandmother who taught me how to blindstitch. They were both excellent seamstresses. I think it was my mother. This picture is a good one. You can click it to make it even bigger.

The thing I remember my mother telling me, was, "You don't work right on the top edge, you work inside." Yesterday's picture might show it a bit better. You can see that I have gently pulling the edge of the binding towards me very slightly...

(An aside here... I use double fold binding. I cut 3" wide strips, join them at a 45 degree angle, and press it wrong sides together. I line up the raw edges to the raw edge of the back of the quilt and then sew using a 3/8" seam. I miter the corners, and then join the binding ends together at a 45 angle, so you can't see where it starts and where it ends. I have seen this described as "bumpless." Then I simply fold the edge over to the front of the quilt and pin.)

You do your blindstitching just inside the binding. You are working right to left (assuming you are right handed.) Your needle comes out, and then you insert it just to the right of where it came out (a little back stitch), grab a little of the quilt, then go right into the binding, and come out again. Pull your thread snug (but not so tight you see a little pucker), then insert your needle just to the right of where it came out, and do it all over again.

This is partly successful for me because I am not paranoid about making the binding VERY tight or full, but there is a little bit of breathing room. Because this is hand work, it can vary the edge away from straight, so you have to be careful to keep your tension even so the binding gets sewn parallel to the edge of the quilt, and doesn't look like a sawtooth.

To do the mitered corner, Sara, sew one side down, then pivot, grab the other side of the "L", sew a bit of that down, then go back and sew the diagonal line created by the fabric overlap. I probably didn't describe that very well. Will try to get a picture when I reach the corner later tonight.



Thank you all for being so concerned about my arthritis. My problem spot is at the base of my right thumb, where the red arrow is pointing.I got it in my early 40's, and yeah, it really sucks. It's the position, not the pressure, so anything that brings my thumb and forefinger together is going to aggravate it. The hardest thing to hold is a needle.

I use the fattest pens I can find, and generally try to do anything to avoid that position for an extended period of time. It doesn't give me pain, but if I were to do any hand sewing for longer than my allotted 30" or 30 minutes, then my thumb just feels really stiff, and it isn't much good for anything the next day.

So I take it easy, and do lots of stretches to keep my fingers and hand limber. If I overdo it (overdoing it is defined as doing anything long enough until my hand really really hurts), the best thing to do is massage it with ice, and then rest, neither of which is any fun.

9 comments:

Clare said...

You do your binding simlar to the way I do mine, only I use a strip of 2 1/2 inches instead of 3.

Would the Handeze glove help?

Sharon said...

I also have the arthritis issue with my hands. And now the tendonitis in my thumb (at the base of the thumb) makes it impossible to do hand sewing of any kind for a bit. Not that I do much. Can't even use the scissors for now. But it's getting better.

Thanks for the tutorial on how you do your binding. I've not tried on the front before, but why not? It's fun (and educational) to see how others do things!

Jackie said...

Great picture of the blind stitch. That is the stitch that I also use! I love it because you can't see those stitches.

Hilda said...

I can commiserate with you on thumbs. I've had surgery on my left one (CMC arthroplasty) and am having the same done on my right June 1st. I wasn't about to try it on my dominant hand first, in case it didn't turn out well. It's been a year since the first surgery, and I'm happy to say it hurts far less than the right one.

And so I do all my bindings by machine...attach 2" binding to the back of the quilt, and topstitch in front, very close to the folded edge, using invisible thread in the bobbin since I can't hit an exact spot on the back. I save what little hand sewing I can do for embellishments.

Quilt Pixie said...

Thanks for the details of your stitch formation -- its quite a different process than the one I learned for blind stitching... (It involves making the stitch between the quilt and the binding perfectly vertical so the thread you're using "hides" indistinguishably with the threads of the woven fabric & it doesn't have a "backstitch" component. I may have to give your method a try and expereience the difference :-)

pwl said...

Thank you so much for showing how you do your blindstitching. I'm going to give this a try.

Quilting4U said...

I love the selection for the binding! This is gonna be one happy baby!

Tina said...

Thank you so much for sharing that picture and explanation of your bindstitching. It's just a little tweak from what I have been doing, and it makes a big difference. I will share a link from my blog if you don't mind so others can benefit from your great tips!

beewitchinstitchin said...

I have always stitched my binding on with the binding on the top rather than the bottom. I'm going to give your way a try next time, looks like it might be a little easier. I have exactly the same problem with my left thumb, luckily I'm right handed but it sure is a pain! Thanks for sharing...Kathy