Saturday, February 26, 2011

Binding Tutorial

I have been asked to post a tutorial on how I attach binding on a quilt (I am self taught and this is what works for me).

This method results in a binding where the beginning/end is the same as the other joins in the binding.

I start with 2½" strips of binding fabric (sometimes 2¼" strips for a wall hanging or table runner). I cut the strips across the width of the fabric and join them by piecing them at right angles and stitching on the bias (as shown in picture). Trim the seam to ¼".

Press the seams to one side and press the whole strip in half down the middle.

Thanks to Myra, I now wrap by binding around a ruler when it is all ready -

It is a great way to store the binding until you are ready to attach it (I like to get the binding all ready as soon as I finish a quilt top, while the machine has the right colour thread, and so I don't accidentally use the fabric elsewhere).

I roughly lay out the binding on the quilt to make sure that none of the joins in the binding will be at the corners of the quilt. I put a pin where I want to start sewing the binding - leaving about a 12" tail on the binding before stitching. Back stitch a bit at the beginning.

I sew the binding with a walking foot and a ¼" seam. I move the needle over and use the edge of the foot as a guide. I don't cut the batting and backing before attaching the binding - I find that the layers tend to lay flatter and I have better control over the quilt this way.

When approaching a corner -

stitch to ¼" from the end, stop with the needle in the down position,

turn the quilt,

back stitch to the edge of the quilt, stop with the needle in the down position. Do not cut the threads as this will cause problems later on. No need to remove the quilt from the machine to make the fold, just lift the presser foot up. This works because I haven't trimmed the backing and batting.

The next few steps are hard to explain, just make a neat fold with a 45° angle.

Fold the binding so that the edge of the binding lines up with the edge of the quilt

The opposite side of the binding looks like this, with the folded edge even, there is a 45° angle underneath,

and a fold parallel to the back edge of the quilt.

Keep stitching the binding down all away around the quilt. Stop about 12" from where you started sewing the binding (so there is a gap). Back stitch here also. Remove the quilt from the machine and lay the edge on a flat surface.

Fold one side of the binding up at a 45° angle and the other end of the binding down at a 45° angle.

Leaving a slight gap, finger press the binding (I placed a sheet of paper behind to make it easy to see, but it is laying flat on the quilt), place pins through one layer, on both ends of the binding fabric to mark the fold.

Lift up the binding and unfold, line up the pins. The binding ends are at right angles to each other.

Place pins on the finger pressed lines, making sure the pins are on either side of the center fold, this will eventually be the stitched line.

Refold the binding and lay the binding down on the quilt to make sure that the fabric will be stitched in the right direction and that the binding is the right length. Adjustments can be made to shorten or lengthen the binding at this point.

When you are satisfied with the length, stitch the binding join where the pins are.

Double check to make sure the binding will lay flat and that it is the right length before cutting the ends of the binding. Unpick and redo if necessary - gets better with practice.

Carefully trim the ends of the binding to ¼".

Press the seams to one side and refold the binding and press (not on the quilt but on the ironing board).

Stitch the rest of the binding down. This join is nice and smooth with no extra bulk, and all the joins are identical.

This technique also works on small quilts (mug rugs ...), it is just a bit more fiddly with a smaller gap, I make sure to start just before a corner and end just after a corner.

Trim the backing and batting, leaving a ¼" seam allowance. If the batting is thin, I sometimes leave a slightly larger seam allowance on a large quilt, the batting on this one is wool and thick, so I left ¼".

When I am trimming by the corner, I fold the binding out of the way before carefully trimming so that I don't accidentally cut the edge of the binding.

I hand stitch the binding down on the back of the quilt with a small invisible stitch, using thread that matches the binding. I don't use pins or clips to hold the binding down, I just fold and hold the binding as I stitch.

When you get to the corner, fold the edge over all the way to the end and then

fold the other side over to get a nice, crisp corner.

I take a couple stitches on the edge of the miter (only on the back, not on the front), and continue down the edge.

I hope this all makes sense! Sorry about the fabric for this tutorial, it would have been better to have a contrasting binding, this is just the quilt that I was working on when I was asked to make a tutorial.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!
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