Thursday, May 31, 2012

Binding Tutorial

I had a request to do a tutorial on how I put on binding. There are lots of ways to do this. This is the way I do it. If you need to, click on any image in this tutorial to see it larger.

When you start attaching your binding, leave an 8" - 12" tail.

As you approach the corner, stop and fold the binding back on itself at a 45 degree angle, as shown below. (The pin is just used to hold it back so I could take a picture.)

Finger press this really well so that you can see the crease. I put a pin in the crease, 1/4" away from the edge (or whatever width I am using for the seam), just as a guide for myself because it is sometimes hard to see the crease. Don't put it all the way through the quilt or you will scratch your table!

Now sew to the crease, then pivot and sew in the crease to the corner. By using this creasing method, it doesn't matter what seam allowance you are using. You will be stopping the appropriate distance from the corner. In my case, that is 1/4".

Pull the quilt out and cut your threads. It is time to turn it for the next side. To do a mitered corner you need to fold the binding fabric back along the crease, just as before. Notice that I have turned the quilt in preparation for attaching the binding to the next side.

Then fold the binding toward you, with this fold right on the edge of the quilt and the raw edge of your binding lined up even with the next side you will be sewing. (Again, the pin is just to hold everything long enough to snap a picture.)

Now start sewing right at the edge and continue along the next edge.

Do this for all four corners and then stop about 15" - 18" from your starting point. You should have two tails of binding. Take your quilt over to a large surface where you can layout it out to do the next steps necessary to attach the two ends. Notice that the majority of the quilt is hanging down toward my feet in front of me. This is important for my method so that the angle at which the two ends are attached is correct.

I have a small cutting mat that I use for this part. If you don't have a small cutting mat, get one! Or here is a link to my friend Peg's tutorial for how she does this step a different way. I line up one of the horizontal lines on the mat with the edge of the quilt and the end of the binding (the starting end) with one of the vertical lines of the mat.

Paying attention to which of the vertical lines the starting piece was on, I move the starting piece and lay the ending piece of binding over the mat. Make sure that the ending piece of binding is laying flat along the edge of the quilt.

Now, we are going to cut the ending piece off. You want to cut it so that it will overlap the beginning piece the same length as the cut width of your binding strips. For example, I cut my binding 2.25" wide. So I put the 2.25" line on the vertical line that marked the beginning of my binding strip.

Now cut.

The ends should overlap the cut width of the binding strips.

Open up the starting end.

On the wrong side of the fabric, lay your ruler so that the 2.25" lines are on the left edge and the bottom edge of the binding strip. (If you cut your binding a different width, then put those lines on the edges). Mark the top right corner of the binding.

Then draw the diagonal line from the bottom left corner to the mark you made 2.25" in from the top edge. Essentially you are drawing the diagonal line that is showing on the ruler in the photo above. My white marking tool is a sliver of Ivory soap. It shows up well enough for me to see it, but is shy and doesn't photograph well.

Pull your ending bit of binding over. Lay it right side up, with the starting bit that you have marked wrong side up. You are going to sew on your drawn line so it needs to be up so you can see where to sew.

Lay the ending bit of binding right side up in a vertical orientation. Lay the starting bit of binding right side down in a horizontal orientation, as shown below.

Line up the top and left edges and pine on either side of the drawn line.

Take this over to your machine and sew on the drawn line. I start sewing at the bottom left corner, as shown in the photo above. But just sew on the line. The direction you sew is not important.

Clip your threads and bring the whole quilt back over to your work surface. Lay it out to make sure that the binding isn't twisted or wavy.

Once you are sure it is correct, cut a quarter inch away from the sewn line.

Press the seam open.

Then press it back nicely in half. Sew the last bit down to the quilt.

And you are done attaching the binding to the front of the quilt.

I hope this is helpful. I tried to take a picture of every critical step. If you have any questions please ask in the comments. If you are a "no-reply" blogger and would like me to answer your question personally, please be sure that you leave an email address in your comment. Otherwise, I will answer you  with another comment and you'll have to check back here.


West Michigan Quilter said...

Great tutorial. That end part, attaching the two together, always confuses me. thanks for clearing that up. The pictures were helpful.

pegcollins said...

Good tutorial! Pictures ar worth a thousand words! Thanks for mentioning my website. Check out both, do the one that works for YOU!

Mama Pea said...

Very good tutorial, Lynn! I think attaching the two strips is the hardest part, too! :-) (Like Caroll.) It always makes me stop and think. LOL.

Denise in PA said...

Great tutorial, Lynn! I have never seen that sew in the crease to the corner method - I'm going to try that!

Karen said...

Thank you for an excellent tutorial on binding. I had never seen it done quite this way. Your tutorial is very clear and well documented.

goldencomet said...

Thanks so much, Lynn, for the excellent tutorial!! This is the first one I have seen which includes the crease and describes so well the joining of the two ends. I will be referring to it often and adding a link to a couple sites I have.
Thanks again!!