Ah Tuesday! Also know as my Monday- but I happen to like my Monday so it’s not a bad thing! Anyway- I want to share this little binding tutorial for you today. I don’t love binding- by this point in the quilt, I’m ready to be finished and the long straight lines are a bit meh to me. However- it’s a very important skill in the quilting process! There are many different methods, this one just happens to be my favorite. So here ya go…
First we need to how much binding material we need for our project.
-Add all 4 sides (so a quilt that is 56×64 would be 56+56+64+64 and then I add an additional 10 inches to that 56+56+64+64+10= 250)
-Divide the total by 40 (most quilting cottons are 42-44 inches wide before you take the selvage off so I just use 40 inches to allow for wiggle room) so 250 divided by 40 is 6.25. That means I should cut 7 strips to bind my quilt.
-I cut my binding strips at 2.5 inches so 7 x 2.5 is 17.5 inches. A half yard is 18 inches, so I’d go with 3/4yd to allow for any cutting errors.
Now we can start making our binding!
Cut your strips 2.5 inches wide. Now lay one strip right side up and another strip right side down lining the two strips up to make a 90 degree angle. Mark from corner to corner, making sure to not mark going into the inside corner. Pin into place.
Now you are going to stitch JUST to the outside of the drawn line.
Now trim the ears off about a ¼ inch from the stitch line.
Once you have joined all your strips and trimmed everything up, press your seam to one side and then press your binding in half lengthwise.
Now we attach! If you are going to machine stitch the binding down to finish it start by attaching the binding to the back of the quilt, if you are going to finish by hand, start by attaching the binding to the front of the quilt.
Start in the middle of one side of your quilt. Leaving a tail that is about 10 inches long or more start pinning your binding with the raw edge matching the raw edge of the quilt. Pin down the side stopping a quarter inch from the corner of the quilt.
Stitch using a ¼ inch seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and the end. Make sure you stop a ¼ inch from the end of the quilt side, back stitch and cut your thread.
Turn your working strip to the right to create a nice little 45 degree fold, finger press the fold, then flip the working strip back to line of with the next side of the quilt. Make sure the 45 degree fold stays in place and that the second fold created matches up with the edge of the quilt that you just finished stitching to.
Continue this process until you turn the last corner and are about to stitch the last side.
When pinning the last side to stitch, make sure to leave a nice gap- 10 or so inches is good, sometimes you won’t have that much space and things will be a bit more challenging. It’s fine, just a little more work. So stitch the binding down to the beginning of the gap, back stitch and cut your thread.
Bring your tails to meet in the middle of the gap, fold them until they are very, very close to touching. I like to leave a pin width between them.
Finger press really well, then use scissors to cut the excess tails about a ¼ inch from the fold. Make sure you don’t cut on the good side of the fold!
Now open up the binding strips to match them right sides together. Make sure to focus on lining up the folds don’t worry so much about the edges since we didn’t cut “exact” ¼ inch seams.
I always, always pin this seam, it’ll move on you every time.
Stitch on the fold lines that you finger pressed into place.
When you finish stitching, open it up and your binding will (or at least it should o_0 ) lay flat!
Stitch this last section down and you’re ready to turn your binding!
Casually wrap your binding over to the other side of your quilt, don’t tug it! You want to RELAX so you don’t distort your edges.
For machine finishing, which I like for utilitarian type quilts- anything that is going to be used and/ or washed a lot- baby and kid quilts, throw quilts, bed quilts. I save the hand finishing for special quilts or heirloom style quilts.
So for machine finishing, bring your binding around to the front of your quilt and starting in the middle of a side again, stitch close the inside edge of the binding. I like to lengthen my stitch length a touch and GO SLOWLY!
When you get within a couple of inched of a corner slow down (even more) and give the binding on the next side a nice little tug to get your 45 degree angle then fold it over. You want a crisp 45 degree angle and you want your points to match! Take your time and don’t rush it! Slowly stitch making sure everything stays put, when your needle lands in the corner , needle down and pivot, start stitching the next side.
Now finish up your binding! The front will look like this…
And the back like this…
Now you’ll notice the stitch line from binding on the back of the quilt- this is not a stitch in the ditch style of binding- match your thread to your backing and this won’t be an issue.
Now for hand finishing- attach the binding in the same fashion except you will attach it to the FRONT of the quilt first and wrap it around to the back to stitch it down.
Again, relax and don’t yank your biding around!
I like to use a thread conditioner or wax for this because your thread will tangle up on you.
Wrap the binding around to the back of the quilt and use tiny stitches, you want them to hide! I like to use a ladder stitch or a slip stitch, they hide really well.
When you get the corner, again you want nice crisp angle and for the points to match up, I like to bring my needle up through the backing into all the binding layers to tack the corner down, I usually do a couple of tacking stitches.
Then I just keep going around until I’m finished!
This is the back of the quilt with hand binding…
And this is the front of the quilt…
And there you go! I hope this helps!