Thursday, 7 March 2013

Single binding tutorial

How do I attach the binding???
This is the question presented to me almost daily. It is a good question, because a well made binding is the icing on the quilt, whereas a poorly made binding can let the whole quilt down...
There are an abundance of binding tutorials available over the Internet, so this is just my humble addition to the pool.  It's a method that works well for me and I hope it will help you as well.

Q: How do I cut the binding?
A: Straight cut across the width of the bolt or bias; it's a personal preference - I use both depending on the fabric pattern and on the look I want to achieve. When cutting on a fold, be extra careful that the ruler is aligned on the fold - the fabric strips should be straight.

For a single binding, cut 1.25" strips (3.2cm): for small projects
For a double binding, cut 2 3/8" strips (6cm): for cot and bed quilts.

Join the strips together to a long binding.
A diagonal seam is the ideal way of joining, as it reduces bulk.
Stitch and then trim the seam allowances and press open.
Remember - where the fabrics meet, stitch from corner to corner - this is important!

This is the way to join the seams if you are working with stripes or squares, as they are more difficult to match.
I like to leave wider seam allowances and trim the corners off - there will be some bulk, but if the seam allowance is wider it will be more evenly distributed and not so obvious in just one place on the finished binding.

Lay the binding against the edge of the quilt. Make sure that the quilt really is under there, as a hollow binding is no good. Start stitching in the middle of one of the sides - leave a tail at least 5" long and use a 1/4" seam allowance.
Use a longer 3-3.5mm stitch length. Use a walking foot if you have one - I didn't use one here, as this was a very small project, but it really really helps!
Before you come to a corner, flip the binding strip over to the right  matching the corner and finger press.

Bring the strip back down and draw a pencil line on the crease.
Stitch exactly to the crease line and stop!  Take a few back stitches to secure the seam.
Cut threads and take out from the machine.

Stop stitching 1/4" before you come to the end - a method of marking the corner is explained above.

Turn your work so that the you are looking at the next seam ready to go under the presser foot.
Flip the binding up.
Turn the binding back down folding it exactly at the edge of the previous seam.
Hold onto the fold, so that it stays in place.

Take a few back stitches to secure the corner.
Stitch and repeat the process before and when you come to the next corner.

When you have a short way to the end (in this case 6", but if this was a larger quilt, I would say about 20"), stop stitching.  Take the quilt from the machine and pin the binding in place.
Where the bindings meet, put them together opposite each other and finger press the ends under.
Draw a pencil line on the wrong side of these crease lines.

Remove pins. Stitch binding ends together matching the pencil lines.
Trim seam allowance and press open. 

 Go back to where you stopped stitching and continue to the end finishing the corner as explained before.
(There are two joins in this picture, as I didn't have a long enough fabric strip to hand!)

From the front, press the binding outwards.
This step is often neglected, but it does make a difference and stitching onto the back will be easier.

Turn the binding under and now the neat front corners are emerging.

Turn the seam allowance under and start stitching from the middle of one of the sides.
Hand stitch using a blind stitch.
For a double binding there is no need to turn anything under, as the there would be a fold to stitch on.

This shows the corner on the back.
Bring the needle from under the corner to the top and take a few tiny stitches to secure the corner in place.
(Sorry, the yellow piece seems to be a stray thread, so pls ignore it!)

Fold the seam allowance under and continue stitching.

Front side - neat!

Back side - also neat - yay!


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