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Thread: Binding Question

  1. #1
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    Binding Question

    Those of you who know me are probably jumping up and down with glee...."She finished a quilt!" Yes, I did, except now I have a binding question:

    1) I have read that I should leave 1/4" of batting and backing around the quilt, then bind.
    2) I have read to cut the bat and back flush with the top, then bind.
    3) I have read that I should stitch around the perimeter of the quilt (didn't say if there was 1/4" left or not), then bind.

    I have cut my binding to 2 1/2" and pressed strip in half. Will be sewing by machine to front, mitered corners, then turned to the back and hand sewed.

    Help....which is correct?

    Since I never finish quilts (I am Queen of the Quilt Tops!), I have these fairly basic questions. Thanks in advance for your answers.
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

  2. #2
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    Hi Anita...and congrats on finishing your quilt! You Rock! you have asked a question that will get a different question from every quilter you ask. We all cut our binding to what works for us. I would suggest sewing your binding to the quilt , then trim (maybe just a part of a side) to 1/2 an inch. See if your binding will cover that amount and the seam line. The aim is a binding that covers the seam and is totally filled with batting. If this is too fat/won't cover the seam line/ too bulky/you don't like what it looks like, you can trim down a bit more till you are happy. Then trim the whole quilt. I hope this makes sense. You will get lots of ideas...and they will all work, but pick what works for You! (I usually sew my binding on while the quilt is still on my frame...and I cut mine at 2 inches...I think I am lonely over here at the 2 inches!) I hope this helps.


    PS my DS and his family live in Methuen Mass...right on the NH border! I will wave next time I visit...
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-21-2018 at 10:20 AM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Regarding question #1, there is no need to cut batting and binding 1/4" larger than the top. That would be difficult to do!

    Regarding question #2, I cut all the layers together. Sometimes that means trimming a bit of the top off too. As much as possible, I want my quilts to be square, and that means making sure the corners are squared.

    Regarding question #3, it depends.

    The reason for sewing around the perimeter before attaching binding is to make sure that all 3 layers are captured before you apply the binding. If you do this, I would advise using a long stitch. That way, if you inadvertently get a tucker or puck, or get an edge folded under, it will be easy to unsew that part and re-sew. It can be difficult to sew like this inside a small 1/4" seam, but the reason to do it is so that you can correct any issues (such as excess fabric at the edge) before you sew the binding on. Since you have already cut and pressed the binding, I assume you are planning on a 1/4" seam for the binding.

    After years of struggling with bindings, I finally developed my own method that is faster and excludes the "oops" I used to get every time I did it. I will not describe it here because of where you are now. It would just be confusing. Next time you need to bind a quilt, though, I would recommend posting before you do any trimming or cutting of the binding, as I think you would find some tips that would make the process easier.

    Edit: I just realized that you have not cut your top yet. One of my tricks is to *draw* the cutting line on the quilt sandwich using a ruler and Sharpie marker. This becomes a "virtual" edge. When sewing the binding on, I line it up with that virtual edge. I cut the sandwich after sewing the binding on. This way I don't have to deal with sewing near the edges where stretching and folding is more likely to occur. When cutting with this method, you *must* not cut any of the binding fabric at the corners, as doing so will result in a hole in your binding.

    This approach also makes basting around the edges easy, as you do not have to stay within a narrow 1/4" seam allowance to do it; you can baste anywhere to the right of the "virtual" marked cutting line.
    Last edited by Prism99; 05-01-2018 at 09:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Whichever method you use, the binding should be filled with batting and fabric to the fold. This makes the binding stronger.

    On miniature size quilts, I use a single thickness and cut it 1 1/4" wide. Then it finishes 1/4" wide.

    On small to medium size quilts I use 2 1/2" wide binding, folded in half. I place it 1/8" from the cut edge of the quilt and stitch it 3/8" from the cut edge. On the back I glue it down to fully cover the stitching line. Then stitch in the ditch from the front on the machine.

  5. #5
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    What I do:

    When I layer the quilt I make sure that everything is as "square" as it can be - then I pin the layers together.

    After it is quilted, I trim the batting and backing even with the top - so that the three edges are even.

    Then I sew the three layers together about 1/8 of an inch from the edge with a longish stitch (about 6 per inch) so that I only have to deal with "one" layer when I apply the binding.

    I use bias binding - and I baste the edges of it together so that it stays "nice" and one layer does not creep ahead of the other - also so that when I apply it to the quilt, then I only have to fret about keeping "two" layers even.

    I cut a wider binding than most - but that is not relevant - i do a few "test runs" of about six inches using a longish stitch to see if the batting folds over to where I want it to - it's easy to remove a "basting stitch length sewing"

    When coming to the corners - I learned this the hard way -

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/tutori...e-t289669.html

  6. #6
    Senior Member Donnamarie's Avatar
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    OK, this is the way I bind my quilts. Firstly, I square up the quilt (all three layers). I have never sewn across the perimeter of the quilt unless on the bias, I would then do it so it would not stretch. I then cut a 2 1/2" binding, press in half, and my sew line will be at 1/3 of the binding. The second third will be pressed up, and the last third comes down the other side, that way my binding is nice and full. I also sew the binding on the bottom first and fold over to the top and stitch it by machine (the opposite if hand sewing). Good luck, I'm sure everyone has their own opinion but I have been quilting for nearly 37 years and have done it that way with great results.
    Donnamarie

  7. #7
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I am the lone one who prefers not to sew around the edge of the quilt before adding binding. I tried it on a baby quilt recently and the last border wasn't as flat as I would have liked. I just pin and watch to make sure the extra backing doesn't get caught. I also like wider binding so mine is usually 3". I sew to the front and SITD on the front after folding the binding to the back unless I'm using a flange binding, which I usually forget to do. My edges are trimmed evenly after FMQ, before attaching the binding.

  8. #8
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    soccertxi: you were correct; everyone has their own style of binding a quilt! I did learn a lot and will attempt to tackle the binding either tonight or tomorrow. This is now what I plan: baste around perimeter of quilt, cut all layers flush, add binding to front, stitch with machine, fold to back, stitch by hand.

    Just so all of you know...I am not new to quilting by any means. I have been piecing tops (and the occasional finished quilt) for at least 25 years! I just hate, hate, hate, sandwiching, quilting (I have a very small throated DSM and 2 Featherweights-which I have never tried to quilt on, only piece) and binding my quilts. I must say, I make very nice tops! LOL This is why I have numerous PhD's (projects half done) in my family! To be honest, I've never gotten the knack of binding, for some reason, I just would put the binding on and stitch both sides through the top with the seam showing. Looked awful, but I could never wrap my mind around how to do a binding correctly. I know, I know...for some reason, lately, the proper technique has clicked.

    Thanks again everyone!

    soccertxi: I am not far from Methuen, about an hour by car. I am more towards the central Mass. border. I promise, I'll wave back when you are up visiting!
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I sew around the outside edge of a quilt. Then I trim all layers even. I sew binding (cut WOF) on the back, fold to front and top stitch all the way around. I reinforce stitches at the corners. I have been quilting 53 years.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member AudreyB's Avatar
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    The binding should be full and an even width on the top and bottom of the quilt. Using a 2-1/2" binding and the 1/4" foot leaves a 1/4" binding on the front and a 3/8" binding on the back.

    I have found that if I use the standard sewing foot, instead of the 1/4" foot, then when I wrap the binding over, it is full and is the same on both the top and bottom. This works with my standard foot and has worked for many of my students. Not all standard feet are the same so, if you try this, you may need to make a minor adjustment.
    AudreyB
    Those who sleep under quilts are covered with love.

  11. #11
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    The snap on foot I use on my Brother machines. I honestly could not do my method of binding without this foot. http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/282395589935

    I'm a reverse binder. I, also, use a smaller seam than a lot of quilters, a 2.0 seam when I am piecing or sewing on the binding. The normal seam most quilters & piecers use is 2.5 which is too loose for me. I find that it comes unsewn at the edges of blocks. I, also, don't use pieced final borders very often. If there are a lot of seams on the edge of the quilt, then I always sew that 1/8" seam to keep the edges together and that is before quilting. Consider it as a basting stitch. I do use my normal 2.0 stitch length.

    I quilt on a long arm Edge to Edge and frequently run a small (1/4") around the edge while on the quilting frame. I square up my quilt after the quilting, which means some or all of that 1/4" basting stitch will likely be cut away. Because I know I am going to lose some of my borders, I will cut them about 1/2~1" wider to compensate for the loss. I then measure the squared quilt and cut my binding 2 1/2" on the bias for the outside quilt measurement plus about 12 inches. Sew your joining binding seams at a 45 degree angle, not straight across. I iron my joining seams open. I like the bias for that little bit of stretchy. When I sew WOF of fabric binding, I always end up with a tuck somewhere in the seam and that drives me crazy! Then I fold the 2 1.2" binding in half. I do not iron. Start in the middle of a side and sew on the back of the quilt using a 1/4" inch seam, making sure that I keep both edges of the binding even with the outside edge of the quilt. I stretch the binding just a little bit. Not enough that it tries to ruffle, but enough that it lays down snug against the quilt. If the outside starts pulling up and becomes smaller than the quilt itself, you are snugging it down too much.

    Before you start the binding process, practice how to do a corner properly, there are many YouTube videos on how to get that proper mitered corner. On the second part of the corner, I have to use a starter fabric so I can use it to help pull the quilt through the machine. My machine will just sit there and chew the corner if I don't help it. Pull is probably the wrong word. Too much pulling will get your machine out of time and you will have to visit the tech. I sew very slowly and help the feed dogs pull at the same speed they are trying to pull the quilt through for the stitching.

    After joining the two ends and sewing that last part of the binding down, then I fold the binding over to the front. This is where the fun part starts....I roll the binding to the front, keeping the fold even and position the leading edge of the binding just slightly (1/8") past the first seam I sewed. Then I take out the slack in the binding at the edge of the quilt, by rolling it to the back, which puts my stitch line on both the front & back at 1/8" from the edge of the binding and leaves the binding full and not sloppy at the edge. I use the original Clover clips which have the measurement on them and make every effort to keep the edges even with the outside edge snug against the quilt edge and sew on this 1/8" line.

    For the corners, I work them by folding one of them to the right and one to the left. This is the only place I use pins. The Clover Clips are too bulky. It doesn't matter which side is which, just that they don't get folded the same way and create a lot of bulk. You will likely have to hand sew the folds in the corner. I cheat and sew up the 45 degree angle and them back down. If your thread matches the binding, you will never notice it. I do use a 50 weight Aurifil or a 50 weight Connecting Thread's all cotton thread.

    If done properly, both the front and the back will have the seams about 1/8" from the edge, which is the smaller edge of the generic 1/4" foot measurement. No other seams will show. One day I will take pictures while I am doing the binding and it will be much more clear. The things I like about my method, is no handwork and there are two seams which add strength, and it looks professionally done.
    Last edited by Barb in Louisiana; 05-03-2018 at 07:54 AM.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  12. #12
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    After your quilt is quilted, it has several inches of extra batt and backing on all sides, correct? If the top is square, that is the edge you use to sew on your binding. No matter how wide the binding is, that is the edge you use. That way you won't cut off points. I will trim a little of the batt and back at this point just to get excess out of my way. Leaving about an inch would work fine.
    After the binding is sewn on, the batt and back need to be trimmed. The measurement starts at the sewing line you used to sew on the binding. With a 2 1/2 inch binding I usually cut at 3/8 of an inch. That leaves just enough to fill the binding. I you made a 3 inch binding, you might need 3/4 inch from the sewing line. You will have to try it out, and don't forget to allow for the thickness of the batt.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveToQuilt View Post
    1) I have read that I should leave 1/4" of batting and backing around the quilt, then bind.
    I'm guessing that this would be so that the binding doesn't cover up the edges of the top (essentially cutting off 1/4" of the design). I wouldn't do it that way myself, because I'd worry that my binding wouldn't be exactly 1/4" in the front and then I'd have some of the batting showing. I cut all three layers flush.

    I also usually stitch around the perimeter to hold the top/batting/back together, which makes it easier for me. The exact seam allowance doesn't matter, but you want it to be covered up by the binding, so less than 1/4". If it doesn't get covered up you can remove it after binding or use thread that blends in and pretend it's part of the quilting!

    You might want to practice on a scrap sandwich. Bindings are tricky.

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