For every thing, turn, turn, turn….There is much discussion about how best to attach binding.
On my first couple of quilts I stitched the binding to the front of the quilt, turned the binding to the back and then machine stitched from the front, in the ditch, trying to ensure the binding ‘caught’ and was stitched into place on the reverse.
Many quilters attach the binding to the back, then flip and machine sew it down on the front using a decorative stitch. From what I read, this method is popular for quilts that will be frequently laundered, for charity quilts or by those who don’t want to mess round with hand sewing. I haven’t tried that method myself, yet. I think that stems out of wanting to draw the viewer’s attention to the design of the top and not the attachment of the binding. I pick a colour that works and that’s all the attention binding deserves.
Many others use the walking foot to attach the binding to the front of the quilt, then hand sew it down on the reverse. This is my current preferred method.
Machining is certainly quicker than hand sewing but I got frustrated by the amount of unpicking I had to do when my machine sewing line failed to ‘catch’ the binding. Some advocate using glue to help address this issue, but to me that doesn’t sit comfortably with the traditional heart of quilting. It’s a matter of personal preference and my personal preference is machine sewing the binding to the front, flipping it to the reverse and hand sewing it down. That’s what I’ll be doing on my tumbling spools scrap quilt. I use a single strand of thread for the hand sewing, not double as some do.
Before I attach the binding I like to lay it out very roughly, to double check that none of my joins will end up at a corner. A join can really mess up what would otherwise be a tidy mitred corner.