It is easier to bind completely on the machine...but it's still a little tricky. It is tricky to stitch in the ditch on the top of the quilt and catch the binding on the reverse side in exactly the right place, i.e., actually catch the binding and catch it at the same distance from the edge of the folded-over binding. There was only one tiny spot where my stitching didn't catch--yay!--but there were a couple long stretches...inches and inches...where I had not sewed the hem on the front at exactly 0.5 inch (I like this better than 0.25), so on the reverse the binding was wider. I did try to counteract this when I pinned the binding down, but I wasn't perfect...apparently.
I did find it a lot easier to press the binding after I had sewed it on to the first side, then fold and press it on the other side before stitching. I guess it wouldn't have helped any with the hand-stitching finish but it was 100% required with the machine binding. Stitching in the ditch and expecting to catch the binding in the right place would have been madness without pressing.
I enjoyed hand-stitching the quilt. I did it at night while watching Columbo episodes with my husband. It took 2 nights and about 6 hours I would say. Yikes that's a lot of TV. Actually, the first night he went to bed after 1 episode and I stayed up sewing and watching I don't know, Home Town probably.
Here is the front of my husband's quilt.
My First Quilts...Final Thoughts
Aside from needing to be more precise with the machine-bound binding, the one disappointing discovery I made about my technique has to do with the overlapping of seams from the pieced stars. I tried not to overlap but there are a lot of intersections and it was too much for my brain to figure out on my own. I should have really studied some YouTube videos and got the principle down or followed some pattern that explained that bit. After quilting and pressing there are some very hard corners, quite noticeable and not at all nice. Scott says "it's on the front, not the side against your skin, so it shouldn't matter." I hope that is so. I hope they will soften with washings.
At any rate, I had a blast making these. To think a few years ago I couldn't picture myself being able to take the time to piece a quilt top together. It's not bad at all.