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Quilting: Binding a Quilt

7 years ago1.6K views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

Quilting: Binding a Quilt - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. First step when you are binding is to get one continuous strip of fabric that is long enough to go around the edge of your quilt, so in order to do this, you usually will start with many different strips that you are going to piece together. I like to use two inch strips because I like a thinner binding. The easiest way to piece them together is not like your average patchwork, which would just be to stitch them together like that. You layer them perpendicularly, like this, and then stitch along the diagonal, right here, so you end up with something like this. Then you trim off the excess fabric here and iron it open, so that you have a strip like this and you have more of a slanted seam right here. It is just a cleaner, easier way, and this is less noticeable as a seam once the binding is on there. You do that with however many strips you need until you have one that is continious enough or long enough to go around the edge of your quilt. This is just a little mini-quilt I am demonstrate. If you are working on a larger quilt, I would typically start by pin the edge of the binding so it was lining up with the edge of the quilt, and you stitch along however far from the edge you want. Again, because I like a thinner binding that does not stand out too much, I stitch one-quarter inch from the edge. You could stitch one-half inch; you could even do one inch if you want a really thick binding that shows on the front. It is really up to you. You stitch along one-quarter inch, and the one part that is really tricky is the corners. I have done these first ones so you can see. Let us say you are coming along to this corner. You stop, and it depends on how far you are. In this case, I would stop a quarter inch from the edge of the quilt, so I would stop about right there. If you were stitching one-half inch from the edge, you would stop one-half inch from the edge of the quilt. I can tell on my sewing machine; it marks where one-quarter inch is. You could also go beforehand with a ruler and mark it on there with a little pencil dot. You stop about a quarter inch from the edge, and then this is the part that is a little tricky. You then pull the fabric up like this the binding fabric, so that it is lined up with your quilt, and then fold it back down like this, and then you start stitching again. I should have said, you cut the thread at this point, so you stop that row of stitching, and then you start again one-quarter inch from the top and from the edge and keep stitching again. It gives you corners like this so that later on when you fold it back, you get that neat little fold in the corner. The other tricky part is ending your binding. I usually start adding the binding on the middle of one of the edges of the quilt, and you want to leave some extra binding hanging, so start a few inches in. Then you will stop stitching right here, so that you have some space on the quilt. If it is a larger quilt, you probably want even more space, and you have some extra binding hanging right here. A lady in my guild, Alice Weber Greer, it is her name, taught me this little end trick. I feel as if I should give her credit for that. Basically, you have stopped the stitching here. It is loose, unstitched, for a few inches. You line up the edges like this and fold them over, and then you iron them down so you have a crease that you can see. Then you would cut one strip right along that ironed crease, and the other one, in this case, you would cut two inches from the ironed crease, because the strip of fabric is two inches. If you were working with a three inch strip of fabric, you would cut three inches from the edge. Then you have your two edges (say that we have done that cutting), and they will slightly overlap like this. You fold back into little triangle edges, like this. Then you would iron them down, so again you have these creases that you can use to follow as a line to stitch along. Once you iron them down, you would pin together and stitch the two pieces together along that ironed-down crease. That way, they will be connected in the same way the rest of the strips are connected, in this kind of stitching along a diagonal, so that the end will just blend right in and you will not be able to tell that is where you started and stopped your binding. Once you have done that and you have stitched all of the binding to the quilt, you then sort of turn it around to the back. Some people iron beforehand. I kind of like to go along with an iron, fold this down so that it is line up with the edge of the quilt, fold it over again, and just iron down like this. Then I will go through as I am ironing it down, and pin like this so that it is all secured around. For the corners, you just make a little fold like this. Do that all the way around, and then with a matching thread, just go through and slip stitch this down, so that it is secured along the back. Then you are all set.

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