Thursday, August 27, 2009

Binding tips

Here is Bishop's Close Meditations complete with real binding now. The colors keep changing on me - this photo was taken in the late afternoon sun, and as the quilt sits next to the computer, it looks correct. It's just one of those chameleon combination of colors that the digital camera can't decide what to do with. The binding is 1/2 inch wide, single fold and butted. I applied it in a way I don't usually do, so I thought I'd share the process.

Normally I steam the quilt top and square it up (trim off the excess) before applying the binding. But I had some concerns that led me to use a method where the trimming comes after the binding is applied. Since it is not quilted heavily at the edges, I was worried about the edges stretching out of shape after trimming. I was also very concerned that the binding be exactly even with and equally spaced away from those vertical seams. and itself a perfect even width. Because of the size (16 x 12), it was easy to lay the quilt on a cutting mat, line up the vertical seams with the grid on the mat, and lay down a ruler to guide placement of the side binding strips (cut at 2-1/8" wide and the exact length of the finished measurement). I used a walking foot to make sure nothing shifted while stitching, and inserted the bar guide in order to sew a perfect 1/2 inch seam.

Before adding the top and bottom binding strips, the excess quilt top along the sides has to be trimmed away. I lined the 1/2 inch mark on the ruler along the stitching line and trimmed with the rotary cutter. Press the binding away from the quilt top and measure the width to the raw edges of the binding. Cut your top and bottom bindings to this measurement.

Lining up the quilt withe grid on the mat once more, I placed the ruler in the proper place and lined the edge of the binding along it as before. Sew the seams and trim as for the sides. Press away from the quilt top.

Before turning the binding over the edge of the quilt to the back, trim away the top seam allowance at the corners to reduce bulk.

Now line up the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the quilt top. Press.

Roll the binding over the quilt edge to the back and pin. The folded edge of the binding should just cover the stitching where it was attached. There's no mitering at the corners, just fold over one side, then the other on top of it. Hand stitch in place, being sure to whip stitch the corners closed.


Chris said...

Thanks for taking the time to outline all of your methods so thoroughly! Really nice quilt, too. PS, happy birthday!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Thanks & thanks, Chris!