Friday, December 3, 2010

Let's Talk Binding



Hi quilters!  I'm Sandie from crazy'boutquilts and my blog name pretty much tells you all you need to know about me. lol  :-) I made my first quilt 20+ years ago, then sewed mostly clothing while our children were growing up. I got back into quilting approx 8 years ago and haven't looked back. I love quilts! And anything to do with them.;-)  My original  goal was a quilt for every bed, now I'm working on another round. ;-)

I have been binding things like 'crazy' lately and thought you might like to see how I sew my bindings. I know there are a number of ways to do this, but I like to try to do my best all the way to that last stitch, and I think I've hit upon a few tips for you. You've probably seen the little tutorials in magazines for binding and how they fold and tuck the ends together. If you've tried it, you may have been as unimpressed as I was... I did not like the ensuing bump or lump in my binding!  I like it when no one can tell where the binding was joined from where the fabric strips were joined. ;-)

I cut all my bindings, (no matter what I'm binding) the same width, so I can keep the scraps for a future project. When I have enough scrap strips~ or close to enough, I sew them together. Maybe you have a favorite width you cut yours~ please tell me! I'm always curious. :-)  I sew the strips together on the diagonal. Trim off the little triangles. And press the seams open.  I usually make my stitch length smaller for this part.

Strips sewn together
and pressed open
Then I press the strips in half and sew them to my top. ( I baste a little less than a quarter of an inch all the way around my top, so I don't have to worry about creating any puckers with the back.)  I always pin the end and start sewing a quarter inch seam about 6 to 8 inches from that end.  If your machine has a 'needle down' setting, it works great here. Stop sewing 1/4 inch from the end, and sew diagonally thru the corner... I hope you can see that!

sewing the diagonal helps when stitching the binding down
Then lift your needle and presser foot and take the quilt out far enough that you can fold the end of the binding straight up.  Fold it back down so the fold is even with the end of the quilt and start sewing right from the edge. Continue sewing until you get close to your pinned end and stop.  You want to have enough room to work so stopping 4 to 6 inches from that pin works out great.

and it helps when folding up and back ;-)
start again on the edge
Now take your top to your table and smooth the bindings out flat. Make sure you have 2 tails each about 4 or more inches long and over lap them. (I didn't realize this would be so hard to explain!)  Cut the excess so that the overlap is as long as what your binding width is. I cut my binding at 2.25 inches, so you can see my overlap is 2.25 inches.

the overlap
Fold the left side up from the quilt and open it with the right side down. Open the right side binding and place it under the left side with right sides together and on the diagonal.... here is where a photo helps a lot! ;-)

pin the direction you will stitch
Sew the diagonal just like you did when you joined the strips. Trim it out leaving a quarter inch seam allowance and finger press it open. Fold your binding back in half and finish attaching it to your quilt. :-)

I finger press, but you could press it with your iron too
finish stitching down
I usually leave a half inch or more of the batting and backing until I've attached my binding, then I trim it back.  And one more little trick~ to get nice smooth corners when you are sewing down the binding, trim out as much as you can without cutting your binding or quilt. I cut the corner diagonally, and then trim from the sides too.
the polka dot fabric is not attached, I just slipped it behind so you could see the corner better

another finished scrappy binding :-)

I hope I've helped you to get lump-free bindings. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!
Good luck and happy quilting! :-)  I appreciate the time you took to be with me, and thanks Stash Manicure, I enjoyed sharing with you.

37 comments:

  1. Sandie, It looks perfect. Thanks for all of the photos. I always have to pull out my binding sheet at the end to remember how to join those. Cute quilt!~

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  2. What an awesome tutorial! I love the diagonal method, it looks so much easier than the straight seam I always sew,

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  3. This is exactly how I do my bindings. The basting of the quilt edge really aids in a nice even finish - even if I send to a longarmer, I baste the flimsy edge as I do a lot of scrappy borders (mine loves that edge finish). Great tutorial and photos to aid. Yes, I love that red quilt too.

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  4. Awesome tutorial! Beautiful quilting ... just WOW!! Thank you so much for sharing :)

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  5. Oh goody, all those potholders I've made over the years have been great practice for quilt binding as that's how I do the corners too! Love the nice clear pics.

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  6. Great tip about the corners, I will try that next time.... I would love to see a picture of the quilt, it looks wonderful! I love the backing.

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  7. Wow, thank you for this tutorial! I've been reading how to end the binding, not really getting it. Now I now how! It's a great tip about the width and amount of overlap! I'll be sure to try it with my next binding!

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  8. Thanks for this. I was sewing binding on a couple of things yesterday, and feeling very frustrated about the "lumpy, bumpy" bit. I knew there was another way and was going to research it today. You've just saved me the trouble.

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  9. I'm personally very proud of my bindings, but your tutorial is the best one I've read on how to make it. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, I learned something new!

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  10. I also sew my bindings this way. The only difference is that I don't trim the extra from the joint until I am sure that I have sewn in the right direction and that it lies flat. Then I trim it off and finger press the seam open and stitch the rest of the binding down.

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  11. Good Morning Sandie, wow, you are crazy about binding, but who would not be when you get results like that...lol... now tell me, the only area I did not get is sewing on the diagonal???
    not sure what you mean...I know what diagonal means lol. just not sure where to do that?
    I love the idea about not cutting till the binding is done...ok, that will help be greatly...great guest spot..

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  12. just like I do it.
    Karen
    http://karensquilting.com/blog/

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  13. Your binding looks perfect! I hope this helps me in my process! Thanks for taking the time to show me what to do. =)

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  14. Sewing on binding is my LEAST favorite part of quilting. Your bindings look great!

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  15. Great tutorial Sandie, thank you:) Almost the same as I do mine. I cut my strips 2" wide and like you keep the extras in a box to use 'one day'.
    I'm interested that you leave your batting and backing extended while sewing on the binding. How much do you trim back of them once you've sewn on the binding?

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  16. Can't wait to try your method. I love sewing the binding down by hand but I hate sewing it to the quilt. Thanks
    Jo

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  17. ooh, I love bindings too! There's just something fabulous about a completely finished edge. Thanks for a lovely tutorial!

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  18. I normally trim first...I'll give the sew-first version a try next quilt. Thanks for the idea.

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  19. We bind the same technique and same width. We must be sisters! Thanks for a good post.

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  20. Sandie you did a wonderful job with the tutorial...and this is exactly how I do my bindings too. :) I cut them 2 1/4" wide and I think they fit perfectly. Another trick I just learned this month that you might want to try...when I do the hand stitching on the back I pin and sew the four corners first. Then I go back and sew the long straight stretches. I get perfect corners this way and it goes so fast you wouldn't believe it. I actually love doing bindings now! You're a great tutorial maker - you should do more. :) blessings, marlene

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  21. Binding, yep, it will be the death of me but with your step by step tutorial I may just have a chance to live!

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  22. Hey Sandie, great Tute! How wonderful to see a friend guest blogging on one of my daily stops. :) Love the red and white quilt, so pretty.

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  23. Great tutorial! I love it when I see a binding tutorial done the RIGHT way... :)

    Jennifer

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  24. Fabulous tutorial, Sandy! I cut my binding strips 2" and join the ends exactly the same way. I love do bindings on quilts! :-)

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  25. Great Tutorial, that is pretty much how I do mine. Only I machine sew mine on, unless it is a really special piece then I hand sew.

    Good job and love the quilt.

    cathy

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  26. I just learned so many things! I can't wait to finish up the table runner I am working on and try out a fun scrappy binding on it with these tips. Thanks for taking the time to put this together -- you may have just made binding more enjoyable for me!

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  27. I never thought of making my binding the same width all the time so I can do something with the remnants later....I'll start doing that...

    thanks for the pictures...I am a visual learner...

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  28. I do it exactly the same! I cut my strips mostly 2" and then I machine sew the binding to the back.

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  29. Sandy I am with you a hundred percent on all the details, but I use 2.5 inch width for all of mine, and I leave 1/4 inch of batting stick out past the seam edge. I did not ever think of the same width over lap as the binding. So simple! I am adding that to my binding practice. Thanks for sharing. Pam

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  30. scrappy bindings are the best...you can make them up ahead of time and use as needed...

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  31. I like your method, but have found that single bindings are better on smaller items, like doll size quilts, wall hanging and mug rugs. I cut mine at 1 1/4 inches. Also when I do scrappy bindings, I like them straight across, not on the diagonal, it tends to make them look a little more "finished".

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  32. Thank you all for your wonderful comments! I tried to email those of you who had questions and I hope I've helped to answer them. If not, I'd be happy to 'try again'! :-)
    Have a great weekend!

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  33. I always get anxious about getting the edges of the binding lined up right when I sew them together (I don't like lumps or bumps either). Your method looks very logical and simple. I can't wait to try it! Thanks!

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  34. What a great tutorial!!! I love it! I always struggled with finishing the binding! Thanks for the tips!!!

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  35. Oh dear, everyone else understood but me! it looks wonderful but I didn't quite get what you meant about sewing on the diagonal...????? I don't like binding quilts and I use the method of folding over the backing to the front in order to make the binding... which is NOT the most professional way of doing it. I learned from an 80 yr. old lady and that was how she did it. My confusion is not your lack of a good tutorial but my lack of sewing skills.
    Blessings
    Gmama Jane

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  36. Thanks for the tutorial! I do my bindings the same way you do, however I never thought to sew that little itty bit to the corner of the quilt! I'll be sure to try it next time!

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  37. Your tutorial on a difficult to explain subject was good. I do a similar binding technique. I have a difficult scalloped edge to bind that has been waiting for years. I have attempted it many times but I am not satisfied with the result. Can you help or at least direct me to a site that could help. Thanks.

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