22 Aug 2012
Secretly, sewing the binding is my favorite part of quilting. I think it’s because it’s hand sewing and I get to enjoy the beauty of my finished quilt. I find myself oohing and ahhing many times during this step.
Laura taught me how to make and sew my binding. Then, since I moved away I had to consult a quilting book once, but now I’ve finally got it down. I thought I’d share my process. It’s very easy and has a nice finished look. I will do a separate post on how to sew together straight grain binding and continuous bias binding. I like a slightly thinner binding so I cut my binding 2 1/4 inches wide and fold it in half.
1. I usually start by attaching the binding towards the middle of a side. You don’t want to start attaching the binding too close to the corner. Pin the bidning to the top side of the quilt, leaving several inches of binding free at the end.
2. Continue to pin the binding down until you get to the corner. Put the last pin in 1/4 inch from the end of your quilt.
3. Sew the binding to the quilt, with a 1/4 inch seam. Stop 1/4 inch from the end (where your last pin was placed).
4. Fold the binding down so the edge of the binding matches up to the edge of your quilt (see picture). Pin.
5. Fold binding back up, being sure to line up the edge with the edge of your quilt. Pin.
6. Pin binding along entire edge of quilt (to 1/4 inch from the next corner). Then sew from the edge all the way to the next corner, again stopping 1/4 inch from the corner.
7. Repeat this same process for each corner. Eventually you will get back to where you started. Stop sewing several inches from the opening.
8. This next step is important to be able to sew the binding together without any bubbles/bumps. Overlap your pieces by the width of your binding and cut them (I make my binding 2-1/4 inches wide, so I overlap the two pieces of binding by 2-1/4 inches).
9. I think this is the trickiest step. This is the one I most often screw up. Mark a diagonal line on the left edge of the binding. Put the two pieces of binding right sides together at a 90 degree angle. Sew along the diagonal line.
10. Trim to 1/4 inch (check to make sure you’ve sewn them together correctly before trimming, please!)
11. Iron seam open.
12. Now the binding should lay nicely against your quilt. Sew together.
I use binding clips (they look like hair clips!) to fold the binding over to the back side to hand sew. I like them better than pins because they aren’t pokey.
Look how wonderful the corners turn out when you fold the binding to the back? Isn’t it beautiful?
Here is the binding tacked down on the back side. Gorgeous!
If you use my binding tutorial to attach your binding and find any of the steps confusing, please let me know so I can clarify!