Sunday, November 8, 2009

Easy Binding Tutorial

I remember standing in a quilt store a couple of years ago and a customer asked them to cut her some binding for her quilt. The lady cut about 8 strips of fabric, 3 x width of fabric. I let out a gasp at the same time as another lady standing next to me. We looked at each other with wide, surprised eyes. She said "I've never seen binding straight cut....I always do mine on the bias!" I agreed completely. Then a few months later I tried straight binding and have done it ever since. It's easier all the way around...easier to cut, sew one and it lays flat and pretty on the quilt. Here's a little tutorial on binding.
I am in love with my 3-inch ruler. It is my binding tool. Cut as many 3-inch strips the width of fabric as you will need for the outside. I allow extra to join the strips. For example. If I am doing a 45 x45 inch quilt I would cut 5 strips of fabric.

Then on the both ends of the strips mark diagonal line with a 6 x6 ruler. I think this is a 45 degree angle. You don't have to mark all of them....if I have 5 strips I mark 3 of them. Then join them together in one long piece.

It makes a nice diagonal steam that lays better than a straight seam. Trim excess fabric about 1/4 inch from the drawn line. Press open the seams, then fold the binding in half and iron.
Sew the binding on your quilt. I cut off all excess binding/fabric on the quilt before I start. You have a nice, clean edge to work with. Start with an end that has a diagonal mark on it, you will need that marking to join the edges at the end. Leave a tail of 5-6 inches free at the start so you have room to join the edges.

Sew binding on.

At the corner stop about 1/2 inch from the corner edge, lift pressor foot and needle out of fabric and turn quilt.

While needle is still out of fabric fold corner up like picture.
Then fold strip back down straight along edge of quilt. I gently tug the fabric to the left a little ti get excess fold out of the way.. Then put presser foot down and start sewing down this side of the quilt.

It make a nice corner every time.
When you get to where the two edges of the binding almost meet, quit sewing about 5-6 inches before the edge of the first piece of binding. You will have about 10-12 inches of combined length of quilt without binding on it.
Now the easy, easy way to join the edges. Lay this part of the quilt flat on the sewing table. Lay the right side down flat on quilt. Lay the left side down and where it meets the right fold back on top of itself.
Next take you 3 inch ruler and on the left side mark a line 3 inches from the fold. (**Note this line is the width of your strip. If you cut 2-1/2 inch wide strips mark you line 2-1/2 inches,etc.)

Next, you cut a smidge to the right of the line, I'd say about 1/8 inch, making it a little less than 3 inches. For some reason this makes the fabric fit much better on your quilt. Little trick I learned after a few bindings.
Join the two edges. I pin them good and then sew on your previously marked line.

Trim seam 1/4 inch, finger press seam, and then you are ready to sew the rest of the binding in place. You have to stretch just a bit when sewing on.
It fits perfectly, is easy, and makes and pretty binding.


Myra said...

Great tutorial Carrie! Well done! Posting a tutorial is time consuming hey!?!

I usually do 2+1/2" bias binding, perhaps I should try straight bias some time. How wide is your seam when sewing on the binding?

Recently I learned a new way of connecting the binding when you come to the end... there are so many options... 8-)

Happy stitchings!

Micki said...

Great tutorial, and I have always strangely enough enjoyed putting on binding.

Lavada said...

Your mom taught me about continuous bias binding, which I've always used. Now you are trying to teach an old dog new tricks? Okay, I'll give it a try. I've just finished a hot pink and black baby quilt for my nephew's upcoming baby. (colors their request) I'll let you know how it goes.