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My favorite binding tool isn’t made for binding.
In fact, my favorite binding tool is more of a seamstress tool, really. I’m not even sure what it is called. It’s a ruler and a gauge. There are several reasons I keep this tool right next to my machine at all times.
Firstly, most of these types of tools have a marker that slides across the measurements. It’s snug enough that when you set it at, say 1/4 inch, it stays. The extended points above and below the ruler aid in measuring seam allowances.
Since it is important for finer quilt bindings to have the back and front of the binding to be equal size, this marker helps “gauge” the size you need your seam allowance to be.
Additionally, the market can assist you to know when to stop stitching at the corner. Just match the marker to your seam allowance!
Thin, straight edge.
Secondly, these rulers/gauges are very thin. In addition the top has a nice straight edge. Together, this makes for a great corner folding tool for your binding application. Furthermore, thicker rulers add bulk to the folded binding. This can cause looseness in the binding corner fold.
I recall my early years of quilting when I’d refer to my Happy Endings book each time I came to that part of the quilt-making process. Making a quilt took me so long that I’d forget how to do binding by the time I came around to it again! Even though I understood the technique, there would be so much time in between bindings, that I couldn’t remember how to do it.
The test of time.
While trying to get the end my stitching to the exact size of my seam allowance, I’d use this familiar tool which I’d inherited from my mother-in-law and mostly used by her in garment construction. One brand calls it a “Rule ‘n Gauge”. In addition to providing a precise measurement, I use the straight edge of this little tool to give me a perfectly square fold for my binding corners. While any straight edge will do, this favorite binding tool is readily available and has that has passed the test of time.
The tradition stands.
In conclusion, after making more than 50 quilt patterns (that use both beautiful sides of fabric), I no long have to look up how to attach quilt binding! I use the Rule ‘n Gauge each and every time!