I love binding quilts. I find doing a binding by hand so relaxing. The anticipation of a finished quilt makes me feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.
I know not everyone is excited about binding as I am. Hopefully these tips and tricks will get you a little closer to a finish. Who knows you may learn to love it like I do. A scrappy binding is a fun finish. It’s also a great way to use up a few scraps. Here is my method.
First I cut strips. I like to vary my strips. These strips vary in width from 4 1/2″ to 6 1/2″. They are about 22″ long. This will give you enough binding for a twin size quilt. Then I arrange them in a pleasing manner and sew them together.
Then I use my ruler to cut my strips at a 45 degree angle. Then I take the bottom piece of my 45^ cut bring it over the top of my top piece until the two long edges line up and make a continuation of my strips of fabric. Sew these together. It will form a trapezoid. Is that clear as mud? Then I line up the bias side on my mat along one of the inch lines, this makes sure I keep things straight. Then I start cutting my strips. I like to make mine 2 1/4″ Continue cutting your strips across your trapezoid. Moving the fabric as needed making sure you keep it straight. I just stack my strips on top of each other so I can sew them back together in the same order I cut them. Take these strips to your sewing machine.
Place the bottom of your top strip on the top of your next strip with right sides together. Off set the points by 1/4″ as shown. And sew. (did you notice I had to pice my orange strip) Continue this process through your pile of strips. Press seams. Next fold in half and iron the length of your strip.Then fold your bias binding accordion style and secure with rubber band. Folding it this way verses rolling it keeps it from twisting when you are applying it to your quilt.
Once my binding is made I like this method for applying it to my quilt. It is so satisfying when I sew those ends together and pull it back to stitch the last little bit. Everything fits so nicely! YEA!
I do love the relaxing rhythm of hand stitch a binding. I don’t always have the time to enjoy this luxury so I often machine bind my quilts. This method meets with many of my binding snob friends expectations. It gives a nice clean finish. With no stitching showing on the front to the quilt. It gets lost as you stitch in the ditch.
I hope these tips get you a little closer to loving that final step of quilt. And help you check off a few more UFO’s.