>> Saturday, May 26, 2007
New note! I have a new website full of sewing and embroidery video tutorials - including a VIDEO VERSION of this tutorial on How to Bind a Quilt. Check it out!
Now back to my original post. . .
The subject of this month's Whiplash is miniature quilts and I really wanted to make one, but I've been on the road for work for three weeks this month and there's no way I can get even a mini quilt finished. So I decided instead to post a tutorial about how to bind a quilt - something I've been meaning to do forever. So here it is. . . How to Bind a Quilt.
First you need to cut your binding strip. Cut it 2 1/4" wide and long enough to go all the way around the quilt plus several inches to a foot. I usually go for an extra foot - you don't want to get all the way around and come up an inch short. Really. I've been there and done that and I never want to go there again. You'll probably need to join shorter strips together to get a strip that's long enough. Here's how.
Lay your strips at right angles to each other and stitch across the diagonal so that when you open it up it runs straight. Press the seam open and trim off the excess seam allowance. Your goal here is to minimize bulk. I used two different fabrics here so you could see the seams, but it's fun to use a variety of fabrics sometimes.
After you have constructed one long strip, fold it in half so that the pretty side is showing on both sides of the strip. Press it that way. Fold down one corner and press that too. You're making the starting point here.Now trim the excess seam allowance off the folded point so you have a clean, folded edge and not too much extra fabric.
Fold your binding strip back in half and press it all really well.
Lay it along the edge of your quilt so that all of the raw edges (edge of quilt and both raw edges of the binding strips) are lined up. Start stitching a few inches in from the leading point of your binding strip - using a 1/4" seam allowance - and stop when you get exactly 1/4" from the edge.Backstitch and take the quilt out of the machine. Fold your binding straight back so you have a diagonal fold.
Hold that diagonal fold in place and fold your strip back down so that the back fold lines up with the back edge of your quilt.
Line your raw edges back up again and start stitching from the back edge of the quilt.
Stitch until you are 1/4" from the next edge and repeat for all the corners.
When you get back to your starting place, tuck the end of your binding strip into the "finished" starting edge of your binding strip. This is why you didn't start stitching that binding down right from the start - you need that first few inches free for tucking and folding. Trim away as much excess fabric as you can and continue stitching down the binding strip until you meet your starting stitches. Backstitch and you're almost done.I like to wait until I get my binding on before I trim away the excess batting and backing. Do that now using a straight edge and rotary cutter. Trim it right to your raw edges but be careful not to cut through the folded parts of your binding at the corners.
Now you have some hand-sewing to do. Put in a movie and enjoy it. Start in the middle of a side - not at a corner. Turn the folded edge of your binding strip to the back and stitch it down with small stitches. Don't take your needle all the way through the front - you don't want stitches showing on the front side. Just take it through the backing and batting.
When you turn those corners right-side-out they will make perfect mitered corners. If those corners are loose at all you can tack in a couple of stitches, but it's usually not necessary. I do usually take a few stitches into the bit where the start and end of the binding overlap.
Sign the back and you're done.