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hutch farm 12-22-2011 08:18 PM

Joining the ends of the binding strip on a 9 inch square potholder - help please
I am making potholders and I always have trouble joining the binding strips (diagonal) . No matter how long I leave the tails on my binding, it is never long enough to sew together. I especially have a hard time sewing diagonally and figuring out which binding tail goes on top and which goes on the bottom. Sewing them right sides together is like a wrestling match. I leave the tails unsewn almost all the way across the bottom of the square (just sewn at the corners), but still it seems like they are always too short. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

EmbQuilt 12-22-2011 08:21 PM

I purchased the Fons and porter binding tool... It's a small squarish thingamajig that has markings to help with it but when I wasn't home and without my tool, I googled the instructions on this and it helped. How wide is your binding?

hutch farm 12-22-2011 08:23 PM

2 1/2 inches, double fold. Is it the wrong size?

Lori S 12-22-2011 08:28 PM

One rule that helps me remember which goes which way ... just say "bottoms up" ! The binding layer thats on the bottom goes up the other ( the top) stays in line with the quilt. For me it always works out the the start of the binding is the one that goes up perpendicular to the quilt.

EmbQuilt 12-22-2011 08:32 PM

There isn't a wrong size. I usually do the 2 1/2. My open space is usually 8" (but can be wider). My left hanging piece is 6". My right flap is 5". I keep a sm sample to help remind me of what to do.

My left piece lays open with right side facing up. Then my right piece is wrong side up with the upper piece laying ontop of the left but forming an upside down L. Hard to describe without a pic.

There are many tutorials showing this with pics. HTH

hutch farm 12-22-2011 08:33 PM

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to write that down so I can remember it :)

hutch farm 12-22-2011 08:42 PM

What if your total square is only 9 inches? How long should your tails be and how much open space do you leave?

Havplenty 12-22-2011 09:43 PM

i make potholders all the time and i am having a bit of fog here trying to understand exactly what you are describing. do your potholders have a hanging loop? are you binding them without leaving a hanging loop and asking how to join the two binding strips together to enclose your squares?

i make my bias binding 2 inches, fold in half, iron, sew a 1/4" seam. i miter the corners. once sewn, i press the seam outward, fold over the potholder, add some glue stick to the binding, iron over the seam and stitch in the ditch.

if you want to join the two tails together i would say you need about a 3" tail left on each end. here is a tute excerpt that i am thinking of. i hope this is what you were asking.

I join the ends together with a diagonal seam:


I like to leave quite a large gap between the start and the end of the stitching, say 12 inches.

You will have two lengthy tails leftover.


Overlap the two tail ends smoothly along the quilt edge.

Trim back the binding tails so that they overlap by the width of the original binding strip plus 1/4 inch

In this case the tails overlap by 2.25 inches plus .25 - a total of 2.5 inches.

Be sure to use a ruler and mark the binding for the correct measurement.


To join the two ends with a diagonal seam unfold the binding.

Place the two ends right sides together, perpendicular to each other.

Allow the ends to overlap by a generous 1/8th of an inch as pictured . Secure strips with a pin.

Mark a diagonal line as shown.

Stitch along the marked line (which can be cumbersome with the entire quilt in tow)

You can now test to see if the binding fits along the quilt edge.


Trim back the excess fabric, leaving a quarter inch seam allowance.

Press open the seam.

Stitch the remaining binding onto the quilt as before.

This method of joining the binding ends works for me each and every time. It leaves a much less bulky seam, and is just like all the other joins in the binding.

EmbQuilt 12-23-2011 02:00 AM

Havplenty - you perfectly described with words and pics what I was trying to say - except I can somehow never handle working with the 3" tails - I struggle so much with that tiny bit to work with.

Spice 12-23-2011 03:57 AM

Overlap ends the width of the binding when it is open. trim to that size. open ends and have left side face up and right side face down as shown by Haveplenty. Sew across. I was told to think waist not crotch to be sure sewing correctly. Since I have used this method my binding have been great.

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