Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Second Look at Binding Thread

I get so many comments from readers that tell me how much they enjoy my "tidbits". (Thank you!). I think I like them more than you because whenever I post them, I get additional suggestions related to that tidbit! (Thank you!). 

Yesterdays tidbit was in regards to using silk thread when doing the binding on a quilt as it glides smoothly and does not knot up. 

In my excitement, I may have posted in haste. I'm not saying that what I said is wrong or bad, but I really hadn't worked with this type of thread to really be able to give it a fair assessment. So let me share with you some of the suggestions I received, and you can make your own decisions on what you'd prefer to use in your own quilts. :) 

A lot of people said they used hand quilting thread to bind their quilts. I guess you can find it coated to help prevent the tangling. I don't know why I never thought of using hand quilting thread, since essentially, that is exactly what you are doing. I am going to have to give that a try too. I know that the thread is thicker than normal piecing thread so that would lead me to believe it would last longer. 

Julia had said that she had used silk thread and in a year or so the thread snapped. *gasp*. I'm a bit worried about that happening. I did a test.....I took my 100% cotton thread that I piece with (and used to bind with) and pulled it to see how much uumpfff it took to break it. Then did the same thing with the silk. To me, there wasn't a difference. If there was, it was unnoticeable to me. This made me feel a little better. 

Someone else also suggested to use a product called Thread Heaven. This product is supposed to condition your thread for ease of use AND it is supposed to lengthen the lifetime of the finished work. I'm totally getting some of this!! Once I receive it and have a chance to use it, I will do a review here. Thank you Diane for suggesting this!

Then....Sequana said she used straw needles. Who'd a thunk it?! Not I! She even shared a tutorial she found for her binding and now she loves doing binding! Check out the tutorial she shared HERE.  I am a bit worried after reading the tutorial because it speaks of using regular cotton thread for piecing and if you use it for binding, it should be doubled up. I've never done that. I hope my bindings don't start coming off.  (o_O)

So I've decided I need to change my ways.

I think I am going to try two things. No, three. I am going to get some hand quilting thread and I am going to pull out my straw needles and give that a go. I am also going to get some of that Thread Heaven and use that, perhaps even on my hand quilting thread. Can't hurt.

Even though I loved using the silk thread, I'm not sure its my best option unless I double it up. I say that because it's the same weight as the thread I used for piecing. 

So I apologize for being so quick to post on the silk thread and I hope that this post will help you make a better informed decision on how to bind your own quilts so they last forever! :D 

I also haven't shown any sneak peeks lately..... I know how you all love to be teased. :) 

Have you seen this line? Sweet Divinity by The Quilted Fish for Riley Blake?! 
Well, I've been playing with it...I can't show you much right now...but soon. I promise. :) 

Is it ironic that it is waiting for binding to be tacked down? LOL

I tried a new quilting technique as well. The lines are spaced about 2" apart in a cross hatch design. I can't wait to see it washed and all smooshed up!!! 

Much Love!!!


  1. I have the thread heaven and don't have to use it with the hand quilting thread. I tried using it with the Aurifil and it didn't seem to help any. I don't double my thread either...I can't imagine the tangles I would get with Aurifil doubled.....
    Now I'm gonna go check out that tutorial..always open to new ways..

  2. I do double my thread on my binding. I always use cotton - as cotton is very strong. I like to use YLI cotton thread for my binding - it is also great for machine quilting. I have not used straw needles (milliners) for attaching a binding...they seem very long for the binding. But I do love them for hand applique.

  3. I'll no opinion one way or another regarding thread for binding.
    The idea of using silk thread sounds interesting since silk is usually quite a strong fiber.
    Thread Heaven does keep twisting to a minimum and does glide through the fabric.
    Double thread? Haven't done that but do attaching binding with very small stitches. And, if one places a know ever several inches the job of re-sewing is reduced to just that section of stitching.
    Love hearing every one's opinion on this subject.


  4. Sorry if this is a silly question, but what is a straw needle?

  5. Thanks for all the extra tips! I do double my thread (cotton or poly) for binding since I use Oh Fransson's tutorial.

    BTW, I think you want to do a giveaway with any Sweet Divity scraps you have left. Are my Jedi mind tricks working? Are you convinced yet? :)

  6. I always use hand quilting thread when I sew on binding. You only have to use one strand and it does not tangle. (at least I have never had it tangle on me and I use 1 1/2yds at a time) I use it because it is sturdy and will last the lifetime of the quilt hopefully. Not at all like regular piecing thread.

    My mom uses beeswax to run her thread through when she quilts and puts the binding on. It makes the thread in her words glide through the fabric and not tangle. I have never used it myself but that is only my preference. Mom loves it.

    Hope this helps you out some. I don't know about the silk thread as I have never used it and probably will only use hand quilting thread. I have used it for over 25yrs and I love it.

  7. I use both straw needles and thread heaven. Sometimes it gets a little tangled up but a quick rub on thread heaven seems to help a whole bunch. I personally enjoy hand binding. It is something I can just space out and relax while doing. For the person who asked what straw needles are this is the brand I use Luckly they carry them at my LQS.

  8. I love thread heaven. That fabric is adorable. Riley Blake is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies.

  9. Very interesting, I am going to give the silk thread a try. I double my threads for binding and they do twist a bit so maybe the silk will help. I love the tidbits too!

  10. Totally dig the cross-hatch look! Can't wait to see the finished product :)

  11. Thanks for your tidbits :) I've always use hand quilting thread, simply because when I took my fisrt quilting class, she told me to. So I just thought we were supposed to, lol.
    Lovin' that fabric line, very cheery!

  12. Always use cotton thread and Thread heaven but one a single strand. Now I'm worrying that the bindings won't be strong enough although I've never had one come apart.

  13. yummy! 'sweet divinity' is on my wish list for a while now...looking forward to your reveal!

  14. I always use hand quilting thread, but never thought to double it up. I don't have any real problem with tangling and my bindings seem to be staying on just fine, almost feel like I'm doing something wrong.

  15. we're all different and we all like different things, personally I'm a hand quilting thread binding kinda girl, I like the strngth of it for an area that could get a lot of stress. But that's just me! Each to thier own, and we should all try alternatives once in a while, we may even like them bettter! Who knew!

  16. Thanks for the post. I think I'll stick with the hand quilting thread then. I've never had any problems with it besides the boring colors but ideally it isn't seen.

    Can you tell me the name of your straw needles? I've tried and can't buy them anywhere within an hour's drive so I'm thinking I'll need to order some online. I hear they are the best to use for applique.

  17. I use hand quilting thread with an invisible ladder stitch - I found the tutotiral on *turning*turning* and you can google it (or I keep it in my sidebar as a link b/c I love it so much).

    The ladder stitch changed my life!

  18. I've heard of Thread Heaven and look forward to your review! Thank you for all of your little tidbits.

  19. I read you post about using the silk thread and thought you had some very valid points. However, that being said, I think the silk thread you used would be perfect for using for binding. The person that commented on the silk thread breaking probably used the super fine continuous filament thread such as YLI 50 or 100 the silk you used is a spun silk and should be much stronger. It would be just as strong as the cotton or even stronger. I think if the silk works for you USE IT as there are more than one way to do the same task. It is all about trying different techniques and sticking to the one that works for you.

  20. Oooo I cant wait to see this those fabrics are simply beautiful.


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Happy Quilting!

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