Well, the time has come! We are to our final step in making our quilt! I hope you have learned something new and have enjoyed the journey!
Step 1: Lay the binding strip on top of the quilt, aligning the raw edges of the strip to the raw edges of the quilt.
*Note: Begin this strip about 1/3rd of the way down one side of your quilt top.
Step 2: Leave approximately a 6 inch tail of your strip unsewn when you are about to begin. Using a 3/8″ seam allowance (or the width of my walking foot) begin stitching the binding to the quilt. Begin sewing and backstitch.
**Note: I used a 3/8″ seam allowance because it was easy to line up the fabric with my walking foot. Another common measurement for binding is using a 1/4″ seam allowance. I use a 1/4″ seam allowance when my cut strip widths are 2 1/4″ inches wide. Whatever seam allowance you decide, be sure to remember it because it will be important as you come to Step 3.
Step 3: As you get closer to the corner, stop sewing 3/8″ from the end. (If you are using a 1/4″ seam allowance, stop sewing 1/4″ from the end.) Backstitch.
Step 4: Lift needle and foot and remove the quilt from the machine. Lift your binding up and over itself so that the raw edges are in line with the raw edge of the quilt.
Step 5: Fold your strip back down (over itself) so the there is a fold still along the top edge, and the raw edges of the strip and the quilt are matching again.
Step 6: Begin sewing 3/8″ away from the corner (or 1/4″ if you are using that seam allowance). Backstitch. Some quilters may start sewing right from the edge. Both methods will work.
Step 7: Continue this method for all four corners of your quilt.
Step 8: When you get towards the end of your binding, stop sewing approximately 8 inches from the end of your strip.
Step 9: This part can be a little tricky and there are several ways you can do this. One way is to simply overlap your ends. My friend and co-worker, Lorie, made a great tutorial on this. Before she even starts sewing on her binding, she folds the short (starting) end of the binding 1/2″. Then when it comes time to finish, here is what she recommends: When you reach the end of the binding, stop stitching and cut it 1” beyond the starting point of the binding. The raw end should be on top.
Complete stitching to the end and backstitch.
Simple enough, right? Absolutely! Here’s another way — You can bring your strips out and unfold. Sew at that 45 degree angle like you did when you were attaching the strips together in the first place. Trim and press open seam. Adjust to fit the quilt exactly. I cut the excess so that I had approximately a 3 inch overlap. Then when I sewed the strips together, it fit back onto my quilt nicely.
Step 12: The binding on the back should be brought over enough to cover the stitching line. With needle and thread, stitch down the binding to the back of the quilt using a blind hem stitch. I’ll work on that part tomorrow and post a photo when I’m done. I’ve also seen this step completed by using a clear thread for the top, a coordinating bobbin thread, and sewing with the “stitch in the ditch” method. This works and is faster, but I think hand stitching is not only relaxing, but a bit more precise, too. Either way works great as I’ve done it both ways. It’s just a preference, but I will say that I prefer stitching it with needle and thread.
Again, enjoy the time spent making this. In fact, I’m renting a movie tomorrow and will stitch the back while watching. Am I the only one that can’t sit still through a movie?