Friday, April 16, 2010
Quilt Binding Tutorial
Here is the last part of my baby quilt tutorial.
Binding Techniques that I have used:
- A standard binding technique where you machine stitch the binding to the front of the quilt and then hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt using a blind stitch. This is probably my favorite technique as far as "looks" go but it is also the most time consuming and for a quilt that I machine quilted and that is going to be washed a lot it just seams easier to do a full machine binding. If you choose to use this method there are some good tutorials out there.
- A full machine binding technique where you machine stitch the binding to the back of the quilt and then fold it over and machine stitch the binding to the front of the quilt. Here is one link to a tutorial but if you Google it there are a bunch of different tutorials and you can choose the one that works the best for you.
Tips for Beginners (here are a few of my tips when using this method):
- There are a ton of tutorials out there for how to create binding. For a quilt this small you would need less than 1/2 a yard of fabric.
- I like to use 2.75 inch strips of fabric when I create my binding instead of 2.5 inch strips. The reason being that when you stitch the front of the binding down you can see the stitching on the back of the quilt and I prefer for all my stitching to be below the binding itself on the body of the quilt where the rest of the stitching is. I just think it looks nicer but that is personal preference.
- I always pin my binding to my quilt before I stitch it on because you don't want the seams of your binding to be at a corner or you will have a really hard time getting a nice mitered corner.
- I find the technique used for ending your binding (attaching the beginning and end raw edges together) very confusing. So I cheat when I do my binding by unfolding the end of the binding and cutting it at a 45 degree angle. I then iron under the raw edge across the 45 degree angle and fold the binding in half again. You can then fold this around the beginning edge of your binding to hide the raw edge (making sure it overlaps an inch or two) and you have a nice finished edge. Basically the beginning of your binding will end up sandwiched inside of the two sides of the end of your binding which you have cut at an angle to match the rest of the seams and decrease bulk.
- The third technique is the method that I used for this quilt where you wrap the quilt backing around the raw edges of your quilt to create the binding. The reason that I chose this technique is because it is faster and easier then the other two methods and I think it looks just as nice. It saves a lot of time because you don't have to cut / sewing the binding and you only have to stitch around the quilt once.
- Rotary cutter / Cutting Mat / Clear Ruler / Scissors
- Iron / Ironing Board
- Disappearing Ink Pen / Chalk / Some way to mark your fabric
- Quick Easy Mitred Binding Tool (Optional) - I personally think a clear ruler can be used instead
Binding the Quilt
1) Trim the batting so that it is the same size as your quilt top making sure NOT to cut the backing fabric.
2) Trim the backing fabric so that it is twice as wide as you want your finished binding to be. For this quilt I trimmed the backing to be 1.5 inches wider than my quilt top which gave me a 0.75 inch finished binding. A standard quilt binding is about 1/2 inch thick but it is totally up to you what you want to do.
3) Fold the edge of the backing fabric to the edge of the quilt top (in half) and iron it. Repeat for all four sides.
4) Using the Quick Easy Mitred Binding Tool (or just a regular clear ruler) square up the corner of your quilt top and draw a diagonal line. Then draw two small lines where the diagonal line crosses your iron creases. Repeat for all corners.
5) Fold the corner so that the right sides of the fabric are together and place a pin through the intersecting points that you marked in step 4.
6) Stitch on your marked line from the folded edge of the fabric to the intersection marks (only half of the line should be stitched).
7) Cut off the corner of the triangle.
8) Turn the corner inside out using a tool if necessary. Fold under the raw edges of the fabric at the press lines. You should now have a perfectly mitred corner. Repeat steps 5 - 8 for all corners. Note: Don't worry about the marker lines they will wash out when you wash your quilt if you used disappearing marker.
9) Stitch around the edge of the quilt as close to the binding edge as possible without "falling off" the edge of the binding fabric (be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of your stitches). For this step it would probably be wise to pin the binding down before you stitch but I hate pinning so I just went for it and it turned out fine.
10) Toss your quilt in the washer / dryer for the proper crinkling effect and you're done!