Wednesday, October 29, 2008

a binding tutorial

This tutorial is for how to make continuous crossgrain binding.
It is how I bind the majority of my quilts.

Part I-How to make the binding strip.
First, measure your quilt. The quilt that I am binding is 57" x 73".
Add 57 + 57 + 73 + 73 + 12" (to account for miters and seams) = 272".

Divide that by 40" (a conservative estimate of the usable with of the fabric)= 6.8.
Round up to the nearest whole number, which is 7.
This is the number of binding strips needed.
I cut the strips 2.25" wide.
If you wish, you can cut them 2.5" instead.

For this quilt I am making scrappy binding. Since I am using various lengths of several fabrics, I will make sure that once they are all joined together they total at least 272".

Trim the ends of each strip at a 90 degree angle.
This is a very important step for accuracy.

Place two fabric strips right sides together making a 90 degree angle.

Press down the corner and iron.

Fold fabric back into place. See the crease? That will be your seam line guide.
Sew on the crease, back stitching at the beginning and the end of the seams.

Trim corners leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.
Iron seam, pressing the fabric to one side.

Connect all your strips in the same manner.
Iron in half lengthwise.

And your binding strip is done.

Part II-Attaching the binding to the quilt.

Before I start sewing my binding to the quilt, I like to lay it out and do a test run to make certain that the seams don't end up on the corners of the quilt, as this makes the mitering of the corners very difficult. I like to start laying out the binding about a quarter of the way down the quilt on the right hand side. (see sketch below.)

this seam is about 6" from the corner...

and this one is 4" from the corner...
which is about as close as you want to be...just in case things shift a bit when you are sewing.
pin the beginning of the binding strip to the quilt, and then place a pin about 10" after that.
using the second pin as your starting point, sew (with a walking foot) the binding strip to the quilt using a 1/4" seam allowance.

when you are nearing the corner

stop and place a pin 1/4" from the bottom of the quilt.

continue sewing until you reach the pin

leave the needle down, and pivot your quilt 90 degrees

back stitch to the edge of the quilt and remove from the machine
it should look like this
take the binding strip and flip it up
and fold it down onto itself again

start 1/4" from the top and continue attaching the binding

it should look like this
repeat for all sides of the quilt
when you get to about 8" from the starting pin, stop and back stitch
remove the quilt from the machine
(edited to add, if you would like to miter the two ends, see update below)
measure the binding so it overlaps by 1/2" and cut

open the binding
pin, right sides together

and sew together with a 1/4" seam allowance

finger press the seam open
line up the binding to the quilt edge
(you can pin here, if desired)

and sew the seam, joining up where you first started

then I like to trim my edges with pinking shears, near the edge of the fabric

edited to add:
here is an easy way to join the final two ends of the binding strips using a mitered joint:
when you get to about 8" from the starting pin, backstitch and take the quilt out of the machine.
measure an overlap equal to the width of your binding. if the binding strips are cut at 2.25", measure the overlap to 2.25".
mark it and cut the piece to length.
open up both tail ends
fold the left strip as shown in the photo. finger press the fold line.
pin the ends together as shown.
optional: use a water soluble marking pen to draw the 45 degree angle.
while the pins are still in place, you can test the seam to make sure that everything is pinned correctly and that nothing is twisted.
sew on the line/fold.
trim off the triangles leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.
finger press the seam open
fold the binding strip in half once again, pin in place.
sew the binding strip in place. trim off edges. Proceed to part III.
Part III-Hand stitching the binding
hide your knot in the seam
flip the quilt over and tack the binding down (I'll let the photo explain.)

when you get to the corner

miter it as neatly as possible

make a few extra stitches in the corner
and continue stitching.
If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them in the comments.


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LindaB said...

I have been quilting for several years now and have done several bindings. I saw your binding tutorial and decided to try it your way. I learned a few things that I was not doing before. I finished a binding using your tutorial just today, and it went together so much smoother than in the past. Now I have much more confidence in the bindings. Thank you so much for this tutorial and also I love your blog.

Second Chance Tan said...

I just used this fab tutorial for my first ever mini quilt - thanks so much x

Otava said...

I've never done binding before, and your tutorial gave the confidence to try! So, together, me and my oooold Singer managed a binding on my first ever totally-done-by-me quilt. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

JenC said...

Thank you so much for your wonderfully clear tutorial. I am not a quilter but have just successfully bound the edge of a selvedge strip pot mitt using your method.


Ellison Lane sent me over to learn binding because I suck at it, but I think you have fixed my problem for the mitered corner.. thank you

Unknown said...

Thank you for taking the time and doing this tutorial.

Snoozie said...

Thanks for this. Very helpful!

rimmerc said...

Hi thank you so much for the binding tutorials,to me it was like finding a gold nugget, I have seen many and was still confused until now. At last after 8 months I can finally finish my 1st attempt at a cot quilt. All the very best to you.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this wonderfully detailed tutorial! I've refered to it soooo many times in my last few quilts :-) Really helpful!

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