Binding your quilt takes just a few minutes at your sewing machine, but a little more time afterwards finishing up with handsewing. Even though the handsewing is time consuming, I like it. It’s the only part of the quilt that I can do in the living room, in front of the TV, at night with my husband. By the end of a project I always start to feel a little guilty about all the time I’ve spent in my craft room. And that’s almost it. We’ve covered pretty much every step you would need to complete your quilt top. Below you will find how to attach the binding and, in the next post, a little trick for adding your own tag. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts and these first attempts at quilting over the internet. Thank you for all of the comments you have left along the way. I do want to send a special to Joelle at Jojo’ Gift Shoppe for posting all of my blocks and tutorials, and for all of your kind words of support.
Nikki, In Stitches
Green Tonal: 1/2 yard cut into 5 strips 2 1/4″ x fabric length (approximately 42″) (Be sure to cut off selvedge edges.)
1. At one end of each strip, draw a diagonal line on the back of the fabric. Use the 45 degree line on your ruler as a guide.
2. With right side together, place the ends of two strips perpendicular to each other, sew on the drawn line. Cut away any excess fabric by cutting 1/4″ out from the sewn line.
3. Press your seams open.
4. Continue this process until all 5 of your strips are sewn together into one very long length of fabric. Press the entire piece in half, so now you have that same very long binding strip about 1 1/8″ wide.
5. At the right end of your binding strip, open the fabric. Fold the top right corner down, so that the short edge of the strip aligns perfectly with the bottom, long edge. Press.
6. Fold the binding strip back in half on your already pressed crease. Press again if necessary to keep fabric folded nicely in half.
7. About 10″ from one corner of your quilt, begin pinning your binding, aligning the rough edge of the binding strip with the rough edge of your quilt top. Leave yourself about a 4″ tail that we will use at the end of the binding process to hide the end of the binding strip.
8. Pin your binding strip all the way to the next corner of your quilt. With a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew along the rough edge, stopping 1/4″ from the corner. (You can see I mark my stopping point with a larger, yellow pin.) Back tack a few stitches to lock them in place.
9. At the corner, fold your binding strip so it is perpendicular to itself, and the tail is away from the body of the quilt. (The rough edges of the binding strip should make a continuous edge with the rough edge of your quilt top.) Place a pin just inside the edge of the quilt top to hold the binding in place.
10. Fold the binding strip back over on itself, so it is again running just along the rough edge of your quilt top. Sew along the this edge, being sure to back tack at the start a few stitches, and again, stop 1/4″ before the corner.
11. Repeat 8 through 10 around your quilt until you are back to the side you started on.
12. Place what it is left of your binding strip (the layers should overlap a few inches, so you may need to cut some excess off) inside the tail you started with, being sure that the rough edges are still nicely aligned. (The fold you made in Steps 5 and 6 will mimic the seams of your binding, and make your starting/stopping point invisible.) Sew along the rough edge to completely attach your binding.
13. Cut off excess backing and batting fabric.
14. Turn the folded edge of your binding over to the back of your quilt. Handsew the folded edge to the back, using your stitching line as a guide. (If you don’t have one, now is the time to get a thimble. By the time you get all the around this quilt, your fingertips will thank you!)
15. At the corners, hand stitch to within 1/4″ of the corner. Take a stitch or two in place to secure the binding and make the next step easier.
16. Fold the binding from the next edge over to make a mitered corner, and again, take a few stitches in place.
17. Continue all the way, repeating Steps 15 and 16 at each corner.
For other posts from Nikki, In Stitches related to the Relay Quilt, please see the following: