yeah, I know - my Tuesday tutorial lost its way and wondered off all the way into Thursday! :)
Not really, it's just that I got a short rendezvous with stomach bug these past two days and haven't scheduled the post in time...
But all is well now (almost!) and I decided it is better late than never, right?
We will still stick to some of the basics in quilting, and today will be BINDING!
Why binding - well, I am currently doing lots of it (many finishes these days, but more about that later), so it is a good opportunity for lots of photos, but even more importantly - in my classes I so very often have students who struggle with that step, don't like it or are frustrated with it...so let's tackle binding!
1. Strips of fabric for binding - I cut my strips for binding to be either 2 1/2" wide or sometimes 2 1/4" wide (if I am tight with fabric or want really tight, skinny binding).
- Number of strips should be so that you have enough for the entire perimeter of quilt + 10-12" extra (if you divide that perimeter with 40, you will get number of strips to cut! Example: if perimeter is 220", 220/40 is 5 and some extra - so 6 strips to cut!)
Here are my 4 strips for the wall quilt I am binding:
2. Joining all strips into one continuous binding strip:
- I like to join my strips with an angled seam. So instead of just joining two short ends of the strips with 1/4" seam, I do this:
- put two strips right sides together but with 90 degree angle (here, existing selvages were just offset!)
As I sew the first seam like this, I just continue to "chain-piece" the rest of them (take the free end of the strip, place the next strip, pin and sew! Yes, most of the time you don't even need that line drawn... :) ) So here they are, all chain-pieced together:
After you clip them apart, cut the extra fabric off, leaving just a 1/4" seam allowance. Start with cutting that selvage (if you have any)
Let's sew it on the quilt!
Well, before starting that, you need to make a decision if you are doing this binding by machine ENTIRELY, or will you slip-stitch it on the back by hand. Sewing the binding onto the quilt by machine first and then slip-stitching it on the back is a classic way of doing the binding - and I do love to do that most of the time - but sometimes either time-constraint or the durability of the future quilt call for ALL MACHINE binding, so that is what we will do here.
So what is the difference at this point you may ask?
If I am going to slip-stitch binding by hand, I will stitch my binding strip on the FRONT of the quilt (and then slip-stitch on the back),
So let's start!
- start stitching your binding somewhere in the middle of one side, leave initial about 6-8" of the binding strip FREE (UN-stitched) - here I am holding the "free" end and will start stitching where the pin is:
1. Lift the presser-foot and needle, slide the quilt to the left just a little bit (but no need to cut the threads!) and turn the quilt to begin stitching the next side:
Start stitching again, from the very edge:
Once you came around to the side of the quilt you started on, fold at the corner, continue stitching and then stop stitching the binding about 10-12" away from where you started:
Now is the time to join the two ends of the binding strip!
There are multiple ways to do this, but I find this one that I will show you to be very easy and most importantly - the place where you join the beginning and the end of biding will not be any different than any other seam you have on the binding (seams you did to join all the strips together) - that is what I like!
Basically, you will repeat the SAME step you did when you were joining all binding strips into one long binding, really! The only difference now is that your whole quilt is attached to it, so that is why you need that 10'12" gap, to make it a bit easier.
Here is what to do:
1. Lay down your START part of the binding (one you left loose at the beginning) and if it goes further than about half-way of the gap, cut it so that it is coming to about half-way:
1. Take both ends of the binding and open up the folded fabric
Before I start stitching Round #2, I go to the four corners of my binding and just "clip-off" corners - only slightly and NOT into the stitching of course! - just to reduce the bulk a bit and make those mitered binding corners come out nicely.
1. Start again somewhere in the middle, and LOCK-IN your starting stitch (no back stitching here, since it will not look nice - remember, this is the FRONT of your quilt!). I do the locking just by going to 0 stitch length, take 2-3 stitches in place and that does the job. Switch back to normal stitch length and go:
1. Once you are about 2" away from the corner stop with the needle down and straighten the folded binding as shown in the photo below (notice again the nice 45 degree folded end!):
Now, with the needle down pivot the quilt and continue stitching the next side of the binding