Tuesday 1 November 2011

One Way to Bind a Quilt...

There are heaps of really great binding tutorials out there, but I thought I'd share my method. From the outset I should add I am completely self-taught (via books and blogs) so quilting purists may not agree with my method - but it works for me :) I apologise in advance for a very photo-heavy post!


I like to make cross-grain binding. I generally cut 2 1/2" width of fabric strips (or 2 1/2" strips from left over fabric if I'm making a scrappy binding). To work out how much binding to make add the length of all four sides together and add at least 15" (this will make extra long binding, but I would much prefer too much than too little!) Divide this by 42, and this will give you how many strips of fabric to cut. I always round up here (so if it's 6.4, I'll cut 7 strips).

I then I cut the end of each at a 45 degree angle, using the line on my ruler.

Once all the strips have been trimmed at an angle, I sew them together using approximately 1/4" seam (as long  as they're sewn straight across the overlappy bits it will work regardless of seam size)

Next, I press the seams flat, and then press them open:

You can trim the excess side bits off now.

And then fold the binding over lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press along the length of the binding:


I don't pin my binding to the quilt sandwich - I just match raw edges as I go. I leave a tail of about 10" at the beginning, and do a few back stitches to secure the start of the seam.

Keep sewing along until you get almost to the edge of the quilt - stop 1/4" away from the edge of your quilt top. I do this by sight, but you could measure and mark if you prefer - but if you go a bit close its easy to unpick a stitch or two in the next step. Stop you sewing machine in the needle down position.

then turn the quilt 90 degrees, so the binding is running at a right angle to your foot (the 1/4" mark should also line up with the next edge of the quilt):

Backstitch away from the quilt top (I usually have at least 3" of batting and backing around the quilt top to facilitate this step):

Make sure you've backed far enough off that you can fold the binding up:

And then down so that the top is lined up and the raw edges line up:

Then simply start stitching back onto the quilt top using a 1/4" seam allowance as before. Repeat this for all four corners.

To join the ends of my binding strips, I use the great tutorial by Sarah at Fairy Face Designs. It works perfectly every time.

I machine sew my binding at the back, using the reverse method by Marianne at The Quilting Edge.

Hopefully this makes sense!

Happy stitching,

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