Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to Bind a Quilt (Double Fold, Mitered)

Quilting is one of my great loves.  I started making quilts in junior high/high school and from there its become an obsession. In fact, I was so used to quilting that I really struggled taking clothing construction classes in college because I wasn't familiar with sewing things that had shape. Over the years I've bound quilts in a few different ways.  For a long time I used a single fold log cabin method, and its still a good way to bind if you are in a hurry. Today I'm going to show you one of my favorites: a double fold, mitered binding.
  • Step 1: To start out, you will need to use a rotary cutter to cut the strips of binding material.  Normally I cut my strips at 2 1/2" x WOF (width of fabric). I have also used 2" strips before and they work well too.  To determine the number of strips to cut, measure the length and width of your quilt and times by two. Take that number and divide by 42 (normal fabric is 42" wide). The number you get will be the number of strips to cut.  Always round this number up.  For my lap sized quilt I used 7 strips. If doing math isn't for you, you can always approximate by cutting a strip and laying it out by your quilt and rough measuring how many it will take.
  • Step 2: After you have cut all of your strips, sew them RST (right sides together), end to end to make one long strip. Press all of the seams open.  Then press the strip in half, WST (wrong sides together).
  • Step 3: Starting in the middle of one of the sides of the quilt, pin the binding to the front side, lining up raw edges.  Starting from the beginning of your binding, measure 6 inches down and begin sewing.  We are leaving a tail that will be used later when we merge the binding strip together.
  • Step 4: When you come to the first corner, stop approximately 1/2" from the edge.  Fold the binding up to make a 45 degree angle (see picture below).
  • Step 5: Keeping the 45 degree fold in place, fold the binding back down along the next edge of the quilt.  Start sewing from the top of the fold.  Repeat steps 4 & 5 on remaining corners.

  • Step 6: When you get back around to where you started, stop stitching roughly 6 inches before the beginning of your binding.  This is the beginning of the binding tail that we left, not the beginning of your stitching. Take the remaining binding and bring it up to where the beginning of the binding is.  Fold it back and measure the width of your binding, starting at the fold.  I measured back 2 1/2" and then cut.
Step 7: This is the step that I think is the trickiest.  In fact, when I first learned to bind this way, it took me several tries to get it right. Take your two binding tails and pin them RST as shown below. They are pinned to each other at a 90 degree angle.  So the end of the binding tail on the left is pinned to the side of the binding tail on the right, and underneath, the end of the binding tail on the right is pinned to the side of the binding tail on the left.  Whew, I hope that made sense! Then mark a diagonal line from corner to corner.
Step 8: Sew along your marked line, then trim a 1/4" seam allowance.  Turn right side out and finish sewing binding to quilt.

    This is what your binding will look like once turned right side out.
Step 9: Fold binding over to back side and hand stitch in place.  You could also sew the binding in place with your machine, but I prefer to hand stitch it. Enjoy your newly bound quilt!

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