• The Finishing Touch

    by ShellyQ

    I use a double fold straight cut binding for most of my projects, usually the only time I cut binding on the bias is when binding a curved edge. Straight cut binding has less give, forms a neater finish and is more economical with your fabric. As I'm real tight with my stash, this is a big bonus for me.

    We have currently been making table runners on the board. My table runner has two different shaped angles to bind so I thought this would be a good opportunity to get a few pics to show you how I do my binding. To work out how many strips you need to cut to bind your article measure the perimeter of the article you wish to bind. Mine is 99 1/4", don't ask me where the 1/4" came from lol. Then measure the width of your prewashed binding fabric, minus selvages. Mine is 43".

    Divide perimeter measurement by width of fabric, this will give you the number of cuts you need.99 1/4 divided by 43 equals 2.3 (1dp). So I would need to make 3 cuts to get enough binding to go around my runner, this gives me some excess, but I will use some of that on the joins and corners. It is better to have some excess to trim off than have to try and add little bits cause you don't have enough and much better for the sate of mind too lol.

    For a 1/4" finished binding I cut my strips at 2" But if you like a little more wriggle room you may prefer to cut your strips at 2 1/2", it makes no difference to the instructions, just means you'll have a little more binding on the back of your quilt.

    To Minimize Elbows in the Strips

    Fold fabric in half lengthwise, matching selvages as best you can. Fabric is often out of plumb so you will probably find that the cut edge of your fabric doesn't match up.

    Place ruler on fabric so that one of the vertical marks on it lines up with the fold. This will make your cut square at the fold and eliminate elbows. Allow enough fabric below your first cut to accommodate the width of your binding at the narrowest place on fabric.

    Make cut, cut the rest of the strips you require for binding, square up at fold every 3 - 4 cuts.
    Trim your first strip cut to the required width.
    Look No Elbows

    Making the Binding

    I like to join my strips with a miter join, this helps to distribute the bulk of the seam evenly and is very tidy. Place your ruler over the strip so that the 45 degrees mark is aligned with the edge of the strip and the corner of the ruler is aligned with the corner of the strip.
    Using a suitable maker mark along the edge of the ruler as shown. Do this on one end of each strip.
    Place the marked end over the unmarked end of the next strip, right sides together as shown.
    Sew along the marked lines to join all your strips.
    Trim away excess to leave a 1/4" seam allowance.
    Open out binding and press seam allowance to one side.

    Fold one end of binding over at a 90 degree angle to form point. Press.

    Trim away excess as shown to create a turned under seam allowance.
    Fold Biding in half, wrong sides together and press.

    Attaching the Binding

    On the top of your quilt mark the 1/4" seam allowances at all corners, using a suitable marker (not permanent).
    Start your binding on a nice straight part. Roughly pin binding all the way around quilt to check that none of your binding joins lands at a corner, this can make your corner too bulky and is worth spending the time to do as it can save quite a bit of future difficulty. You may have to adjust the placement of your binding to avoid joins at corners.
    To make a neat tidy finish join first of all open out binding and stitch don only a single layer of the binding for about 4 - 5" using a 1/4" (All seams are 1/4" unless otherwise stated) seam.
    Remove from machine ( no need for any backstitching), cut threads and fold binding closed so it is double thickness.
    Start sewing just before the end of your previous stitching and through all layers. In such a way that your binding has an opening at the start, as pictured.
    Continue attaching binding until you reach the 1/4" mark at your first corner, back stitch to anchor and remove from machine.
    This is an obtuse angle (greater than 90 degrees). Don't be thrown by this, the method for binding any outward angle is the same as an ordinary corner. The angle of the fold is the only difference. For the first fold, fold binding back in such a way that it becomes an extension of the next side you are going to stitch, as shown.
    2nd Fold: Fold binding back over itself so that it meets the edge of your next side. This will give you a little tuck in the binding at the corner. Place a little mark where you can feel the underneath fold in the binding and start stitching again at this mark. Stitch forward and back a little to anchor, being careful not to catch underneath fold in the stitching. Continue to next corner.

    This corner is a right angle (90 degrees) With this method you can bind any outward angle neatly. I have covered the acute angle (less than 90 degrees) on a previous post on the board, here is the link.
    First fold.
    Second Fold. Continue to attach binding, folding it around the corners as previously shown until you have got all the way around, back to your join.
    Before you reach the join, hold the tail of the binding over it and place a mark on the tail just before it meets the start of the stitching that is through all the layers.
    Open out and fold binding at a 90 degrees angle, starting at the mark you just placed on it. Finger press so you can use fold as a trimming guide.
    Trim away excess binding on this 90 fold.
    Tuck the tail of the binding inside the opening at the start. Fold opening closed and stitch through all the layers.
    Your finished join, very tidy

    Hand Stitching the Binding

    On the outside of your binding sew the overlapped edge of the join down using the appliqué or blind stitch.
    Fold binding to back of quilt, pin in small sections and sew down using the appliqué stitch.
    When you get to a corner, fold binding so that it forms a neat little fold that looks mitered.
    Bring needle up into corner of fold and anchor fold with a few stitches. Continue to Blind or appliqué rest of binding.
    Finished Obtuse angle, back and front.
    Finished Right angle, back and front.

    Finished quilt, back.

    Finished quilt, front.

    This article was submitted by ShellyQ.
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