I have read online many times that quilters chose not to hand stitch down a binding and favor machine binding for quilts that will receive “heavy use”. I am an advocate of doing what is best for you and your quilts, but I have to admit that I have never understood this reasoning or logic.
For the purposes of this post, I photographed a quilt that my husband and I sleep under every night and has been on our bed, used, and washed for over 7 1/2 years.
My husband and I have many quilts that we keep in regular rotation on our bed, and the binding does wear and fray after years of heavy use. But it’s never been due to the finishing technique I selected (in this case you can see on the back of the quilt that I hand stitched the binding down). Instead, the double fold wears and eventually gives way.
So, more than anything, this affirms for me that a double fold binding helps hold things together longer than a single fold binding. I’d suggest making sure you use a double fold binding if a quilt is going to get heavy use, then.
And if you like machine binding: finish your quilts with machine binding! If you like hand binding: go for it! If you want to try a new technique and learn: I think that is awesome.
I just personally have never seen that hand binding as a finishing technique is what gives way on a quilt binding. But that’s just my experience. What about you? What experiences do you have with worn binding if any?