(Day 31 of a 31 Day Series)
Well 30 straight days of blogging out of 31 isn’t bad. Let’s finish up out bindings!
… continued from Part 1
OK so once you have made it through step 10, our next step is to join the binding.
11) We are dealing with the 10-12” gap we left in the binding. Pull the binding taught so that the binding meets in the middle of your “gap.” You’ll want it to be pretty taught if it’s loose you’ll end up with puckers in your binding. Once your binding meets in the middle fold back the tails onto the binding leaving a small gap (about 1/16”.) Finger press hard down the width of the binding. You’ll need to be able to see those creases in the next step. The reason for that little 1/16” gap is that it will account for the stretchiness of the fabric. Just trust me, it’ll turn out perfect in the end.
12) For the this step I always position my quilt as shown (with the raw edges up away from me) so that I don’t end up with a twist in my binding. Every once in a while I still end up with a twist!
Take the tail on your left and open it up with the “right side” of the fabric facing up.
Take the tail on your right and open it up with the “wrong side” of the fabric facing up.
(You can see my creases on the binding with the “wrong side” showing, right by the word “side.”)
13) You can mark your centers where your fold lines, or creases, meet. You can use a pencil. I used a red Frixion pen and marked as lightly as possible.
14) Now you will match the centers with a pin with “right sides” facing each other. Push the pin through the “wrong side” for the tail on the right, and through the “right side” through the tail on the left.
15) Keeping the pin through your center mark you are going to pin the tails in place at so that they are perpendicular to each other (form a cross.) You should have a “t” or “cross” on each of your binding tails, from when you finger pressed, to help you align the tails so that they are perpendicular. Use additional pins to secure in place. Using a quilting ruler, mark a 45° stitching line. This stitching line starts and stops at the corners where my tow tails meet.
Stitch on the marked line. You can back stitch if you like (I don’t bother, but I do use a slightly shortened stitch length.)
Now fold the binding back into place to make sure everything worked out all right. Double check to make sure the binding is not twisted, too long, or too short. It should lay nicely along the edge of the quilt. If something is “off” unpick, and try again. There are times when I’ve had to unpick twice – binding while tired is not a good combination for me!
16) Once you are satisfied that everything looks good trim your tails leaving a 1/4” seam allowance, press (I usually finger press this small section) and sew down the binding over the “gap” that we left. Over lap your stitching by at least a 1/2” (where you previously attached the binding) so that you don’t leave any holes in your binding. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning and end. You should now have binding attached all the way around the back of your quilt.
17) Press your binding up away from the quilt back. (I usually set my seam first.) All the way around the quilt. This will help with the next step so you don’t have to fight the binding very much.
18) Now we are ready to sew the binding to the front of the quilt. You can pick a thread that matches the binding (less visible) or use a contrasting color if you want your stitching to be visible. I used white on the animal quilt (pink is used in this following picture so you could see better.) Start anywhere on your quilt but at least 6-8” away from a corner to make things easier.
Pull the binding over to the front so that it comes over far enough to cover your thread from stitching the binding to the back. Align your needle so that you are sewing close to the loose edge of the binding. You can pin in place if you find it easier (I love these Clover Wonder Clips) I usually just use my fingers and pull the binding into place as I go. Except in the corners, there I use the Wonder Clips to give me an extra hand.
Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning, stitch until you near a corner and stop with your needle down.
19) When you near a corner you will have to get the corner ready for sewing. Start by folding over the side that is “tucked” under first. When you look at the binding from the back you will see that one side of the binding seems to be tuck under the other side.
Then fold the other side over. Folding the sides over in order gives you a better chance of having your corners meet up nicely. Use pins as needed to keep everything in place as you sew. I also like to use my angled tweezers to help everything get under the foot properly. Take your time on the corners. I usually go slow and find that I have to raise and lower my sewing foot to help the layers get under there in the right spot. To turn the corner, stop with your needle down, raise the walking foot, pivot the quilt, lower the walking foot and continue sewing.
20) Continue until you reach your starting point. I usually overlap my stitches by at least a 1/2” before backstitching and cutting my threads. I love ending up with pretty mitered corners. In the picture below you can see that two of my corners where perfect, while two were not. In instances like this I would go back and tack down the area where my stitching went off the binding by hand. 3-5 stitches by hand s far better (for me) than doing the binding by hand. I can finish binding a baby quilt in about an hour (not including making the binding) as opposed to hand stitching the binding in several hours.
I didn’t take a picture of the back of the quilt after binding, but you will end up with a stitch line right next to, or pretty close to the binding. Keep that in mind when you choose a thread.
Do you do your binding by machine or do you prefer to hand stitch it down to the front?
It has been fun having you along for the last 31 days!