Sunday, June 6, 2010

Alternative Binding Method

I've been asked about my binding method a couple of times - It's different from Julie's. I couldn't find any tutorials on it in blogland, so I snapped a few pictures while I was *finally* finishing up my Quilt Along quilt. (How terrible is it that I was behind on our own quilt along?! I know some of you guys are still working too!)

I use a double-fold bias tape approach to binding. I think this comes directly from using double-fold bias tape that was prepackaged when I first started. I was a little terrified of making my own binding! Though actually making it is not nearly as difficult as I originally thought, I still stick with the double-fold style.

One benefit to this method is that it uses smaller strips, so less fabric is required. The difference isn't much though - instead of 2.5 inch strips, you're going to cut them at 2". Join your strips as originally shown here. Another major benefit is that is available in pre-made packaging at Joann's! The packaged double fold bias tape is relatively inexpensive - under $2 for 3 yards - and saves oodles of ironing. Most every size of quilt except mini quilts require more than 1 package, so you'll have to join a couple strips together, but it's still much less work than making your own. Only negative? Prepackaged binding only comes in solid colors.

When it comes to folding and ironing your long strip of binding, however, we're going to do a little bit more folding than the original post shows. This part is admittedly a little bit more work! Remember how we created the straps on the Naptime Dress?

A refresher:
Finger press up 1/4 inch, then fold down the top side so your raw edges meet in the middle:

Fold inward so you are left with one skinny 1/4" piece, and press:

And there you have Double Fold Binding!

To attach to the quilt, you're actually going to unfold the whole thing. I know, I'm crazy, right? I just made you fold and press this giant long thing into a teensy weensy strip of binding and now I'm making you undo it. Haha!

Unfold and place your binding right side down onto your quilt top, so the top and binding are right sides together. Line up the edge of your binding with the trimmed edge of your quilt, and set yourself up with a 1/4" foot, or an all-purpose foot with a 1/4" edge. The fold lines still show in your binding, so use the fold line closest to the edge as a guide.

Leave yourself 6-8" of a tail before you start your stitching. All other components of the binding is the same - stitch all the way around, stopping in the corners to fold upwards and back down as shown in the original binding post. The only real part that is different is in how the binding is created as a double-fold instead of one large fold.

Once you've reached the end of your binding and all is fully attached by machine, you'll go ahead and flip around to hand sew. The pre-pressed lines again provide a guide for you - the second line closest to the edge is going to be right on the edge of your quilt, and the remaining raw edge will be tucked under on the other side when you hand sew. Your hand sewing line will be done on the last pre-pressed line.


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