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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tips on Tuesdays! -> Binding

Hi!  Welcome back to Tips on Tuesdays!  This week is all about binding. 

 
Please leave a tip in the comments section at the end of the post.  It's like 'take a penny, leave a penny'.  Here are a couple tips I have learned from others.  From Joyce (a fabulous guild member and blog follower) I learned to lay the binding out around the quilt first to make sure that no bulky seams end up right where you will be mitering corners.  Ah ha!  Smart one!

And here's a little pictoral on making those mitered corners.  When your needle is 1/4 inch from the end of the quilt, turn and stitch off at a 45 degree angle like this (thanks again Joyce for that one!):

Then turn the quilt, and fold the binding back and up like this, using the angled stitch-off as your guide:


Then fold it back down so that the raw edge is aligned with the raw edge of the quilt like this:


Now all you do is stitch down that side with a 1/4 inch seam.  Repeat when you get to the next corner.  Mark that stitch off angle if you need, so you know when your needle is 1/4 inch from the bottom edge, like this:


Then when you press the binding back, the perfect mitre just magically appears!  Tada!


Sharon Schambler closes her mitres with a ladder stitch to keep them from popping.  SMART.

quick little ladder stitch, pull and it closes like a zipper!

You can see the entire tutorial for making & attaching perfect binding HERE.  It's loaded with photos at every step.  What do you have to say about binding?  We would love to read about it.  Please share!  Pin away : )


Bloggers can grab a linky or leave their blog address in the comments section.

~Monika : )

46 comments:

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

great pictures, thanks. Do you sew your binding on the back first? or is this just to show the stitching more easily?
I don't have tips, I am not expert at this !!

A.J. Dub. said...

I need serious binding help! Here is my one tip. I didn't have binding clips or even the hair clips that work like them so I used another kind of hair clips. You can see them here:
http://harriethomemakerstrikesagain.blogspot.com/2010/11/orange-nest-baby-quilt-done.html

I need to get a quilt top quilted so I can try that binding technique. I had major troubles with corners and meeting the ends of the binding.

Nancy said...

I bought a whole container of the binding clips, but use just ONE.. I press my binding from the front to the back, but then go one step further and press the binding to the back...then I use the one clip about 6 inches ahead of my needle. Too many clips drive me crazy..

Patti said...

My binding tip is: many patterns tell you to cut your binding on the bias. This isn't really necessary if your quilt edges are straight. (exceptions are things like scalloped edges or you want the print of the fabric - like a stripe to lay on an angle). So cut your bindings on the straight of grain and save yourself some fabric (and money!).

Anonymous said...

Wow Monika! Thank you. Binding is my favorite part of quilting. I looooove it!
I've learned another neat trick since I did the binding demo at guild. This one makes a nice non-bulky corner.
After the binding has been stitched all the way around, snip the fold that was created as in your third picture above, just to the seamline. Turn it back and you'll see where the binding was mitered. Snip out the diagonal stitching which will then expose a small triangle of fabric. Clip this piece off and voila! bulk is gone.
Also when turning the binding to the back, reverse the fold so that front and back are folded in opposite directions. This also gives a flatter finish.
Perhaps you might post pics after you've tried this?
Now I'm off to stitch a binding on a Serendipity quilt :)
Joyce

Brenda T said...

Use hand quilting thread when sewing on the binding. This thread is stronger and pulls through the fabric more easily. Also, question for Monika; how did you resolve the tension issue when free motion quilting on your machine? :)

Brenda T said...

Point of clarification, when hand sewing the binding on to the quilt.

Becky said...

Wow! Great tips! Have I mentioned my hand sewing aversion? I machine stitch my bindings all on. They aren't nearly as pretty, but I get them done, and sometimes that's more important :-). I either sew the binding on the top, wrong sides together, flip it then stitch in the ditch on the top, catching the back as I go... The back doesn't look nice, but the top looks just fine. Or, I stitch on the back side, then flip and do a neater top stitch on the front. The back looks nicer this way, and both sides look pretty good.

Christie, Describe Happy said...

I like how you have done your binding. This is a real area of much needed improvement for me. Is that a 2 inch strip, with the wrong sides together and then sewn on? So, when you flip the binding to the other side the edge is already finished and just needs to be stitched on? Sounds easier than the way I have been doing it!

Bee said...

You do your binding the same way I do mine so I don't have a tip to add but I wanted to say that I love your Tips on Tuesdays!

A.J. Dub. said...

I just use 6 or so clips ahead of where I am stitching. I don't clip all the way around. Too much stuff to deal with.

Jackie said...

Hey, I found a fellow Canadian! I was referred to your blog by the Fiber Nation blog... do you mind if I share this with my guild? That pic where you sew right off on the angle is fantastic. Think I will follow you to!

Peggy said...

I took a Cotton Theory workshop and now I sew my binding to the back of the quilt first and then do a fancy stitch I learned at the workshop and machine sew the binding to the front. I also test my binding on the quilt before I sew to make sure no seams are on the corners.

Kristy said...

What a great tip and tutorial! thanks!

Cynthia Perez said...

Great ideas - thanks for sharing

kathy said...

Thank you for this idea. Found you on Pingerest. Kathy

Deb said...

I always do both sides of my binding with my machine. Love saving time. If I feel like it, then I do hand stitch the last side... sometimes that's on the front... sometimes that's on the back! The more I read about it, the more I find out that MORE and MORE quilters would much rather spend time piecing or appliqueing.... NOT hand-stitching their bindings! Personal preference, I guess!

Mel said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I found this on Pinterest. I appreciate your generosity in sharing your expertise.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip I pinned it for later

Carole said...

Hand sewing the binding is my quiet time after I finish the rest of the quilt. I machine stitch to the front, then press to the back and hand stitch. Love the photos and other comments.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!! I was just trying to figure out the best way to do this!! The one I did the other night didn't turn out this nice!!!

Tip: use foam backed vinyl table cloth material for the inside layer of a traveling baby changing station. Wet protection AND a little cushioning!!

Anonymous said...

If you are making a heirloom quilt you need to cut your binding on the bias.

Anonymous said...

For all you (like me)that have trouble getting a grip on those little tiny needles used for hand quilting, go to your local beauty supply store and buy a bag of finger cots. They are inexpensive, thin so that you can still feel the needle and are the best grippers. I just put one on my index finger of the hand that I use to grab the needle. Also, they come in sizes.

losing my needles said...

One commenter talked about cutting your binding on the grain, which for many cases, is just fine, however, if you are sewing anything that expects to get a lot of use, and wash, especially a baby blanket, it is essential to cut your binding on the bias- it lasts 3 times as long!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing!

thefinderofthings said...

What a great tutorial! I love this. The only question I have is, after you've folded down the fabric and are ready to sew again, where do you place your needle? Do you start at 1/4 inch or can you start at the edge? Could you post a picture?

Anonymous said...

It is much easier to sew your binding to the finished quilt top before attaching the back and batting to quilt it. I also agree it is fine to use binding fabric cut on the grain. Bias binding is necessary only if the edges are curved.

Anonymous said...

If I am making a wall hanging quilt or a quilt that won't need a lot of washing or a quilt that is going in a show I will hand stitch the binding. If I am making a high use quilt, for example one for a child, I will machine stitch the binding so that it is much stronger and less likely to pull apart from the quilt.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip about making a 45 degree angled sewing line at the corner. Mine didn't work out quite as well.

Here's mine:
I don't have binding clips. I use paper clips, works quite well and costs next to nothing.

Anonymous said...

Great tip ... thanks!! My tip is a follow up to another comment that said cutting the binding on the bias is not necessary if your quilt edges are straight. While I agree that in that case the "flexibility" of the bias cut is not necessary, cutting on the bias also positions the threads of the binding fabric so that they run in a criss-cross pattern over the edge of the quilt where the binding folds. This is a high-wear area--often holes first appear in the folded edge of the binding. The criss-cross of threads in a bias-cut binding gives the folded edge extra strength.

Jo said...

Thank you SO much for this neat trick! Gonna try it today & then share with the young girls in our church/homeschool quilting co-op!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great tip. I am new to quilting and binding and have been picking up tips whenever I see them. Easy to see how it comes together and appreciate pics!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you. Your pictures were perfect and now I can finally finish my blankets.
diane

Anonymous said...

When binding I cut it 2 1/2 inches wide, fold/press in half and sew to the front first. Then I stitch in the ditch from the front to grab the binding on the back. I especially do this for baby quilts as I want them to be sturdy and useable for enjoyment. I like the tip about the sewing the angle as I would make the corner like that without the firmness of stitching to hold the fabric.

Patchwork and Play said...

Just found your version of perfect mitred corners! Thank you- its a great idea!

Delia15 said...

Thanks for the great info & the diagonal stitch off. I am learning to quilt, my first, so am not handy with those kinds of tips. I do make baby/kid blankets with different wide bindings & since I machine stitch most everything, I sew the mitered corner fold with a fancy machine stitch. I use a vine-flower stitch for girls & a dog or duck stitch for boys. That stops the kids from pulling the binding apart at the corner or sticking things in there. Occasionally I stitch 1-2 inches of that stitch to each side of the inside corners on the binding for the cute effect.

Amy said...

I dislike sewing the binding on.... I seem to always mess us the corner... But i am going to try this diagonal stitch. Hanks very much.

Crystal said...

I found your tip on Pinterest - thanks so much for sharing your expertise. I love that you stitch off to the edge and then restart on the next side - I'm sure it's easier than the method I tried. I'm trying it on my next project for sure!

Valinda Proffitt said...

Before putting on the binding, zig zag all around the edge of the quilt. This compresses the three layers and makes the final step of binding a breeze.

momtomany said...

Someone made a comment that cutting your binding on the grain saves fabric over cutting on the bias. Not if you make your binding like this:

Measure the perimeter of your quilt and add about 12" or so. Multiply that number by 2.5 (for 2-1/2" binding). Then find the square root of that number (with a calculator if you're not a math-geek like me, lol!) Now cut yourself a square with sides a little bigger than that number (maybe to the next biggest whole number). Cutting a square is easier than cutting long strips?--I think so.

Now, fold your square on the diagonal and cut on the fold so you have two triangles. With right sides facing together, match two of the squares sides so that one triangle is pointing one way and the other is pointing the other. Two points should meet each other and the third point on each triangle should not be touching. That's as good as I can explain it without pictures.

Iron it flat. It should look like a rhombus. Now, following the grain use a quilting ruler (it's see-through) to mark lines across that are 2.5" apart. If there is some left at the top that is less than 2.5" just cut that off.

The next part is a little tricky to explain. You're gonna fold your fabric right sides facing and you must sew the two diagonal bias edges together, but instead of matching the top strip to the top strip and so on, you're going to match the top strip of one side to the second strip down of the other side. Keep in mind that your pencil lines should cross at 1/4" from the edge where the seam you sew will be. Sew the seam. Iron the seam. Now start cutting along your pencil marks. The pencil marks may not have matched up perfectly where you sewed the second seam, but just cut somewhere in the middle as straight as you can. You'll see that you will just be cutting one long bias strip.

This is called continuous bias binding I think. Maybe you could google it with pictures. Hopefully I've explained it well enough.

Good luck! Happy quilting.

Cona Hartwig said...

I've found that if you make a little pocket at the beginning of the binding it makes ending the binding a snap. Leaving a copy of the video I learned this from. Works great! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWh90tXr7g4

Anonymous said...

My binding always looks like a 5 year old did it. I will try this trick it looks really clean and neat.

Joyce Beck said...

If your binding fabric is thin, fragile, slippery, unravelly (well, i think it's a word, so there!) or otherwise badly behaved, iron on some lightest weight interfacing to the whole strip before you start. Makes it so much easier to produce a smooth, even finish.

Lorette said...

The explanation for continuous binding is excellent. I've taught this method in my classes but I have a sample made up for each step.(I guess because I am a visual learner) but I could visualize what she wrote. It's super easy & bias binding will last much longer on a well-used quilt. I sew binding on the same as your tutorial but sewing to the corner is brilliant ! I'll do this from now on ! Found you on Pinterest.

Tammera Wootton said...

That's Genius!!!&= less handstitching.
Thanks bunches

Tamsin Oliver said...

Thanks for the tip on doing that last bit of stitch at 45 degrees will try on current quilt. My tip is i use my safety pins to hold the binding whilst hand sewing. They dont slip off if i hsve to carry it around.

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