In a Bind
This week, I postponed my Hopscotch activity to make a baby quilt for one of my friends. She said she wanted a simple design with blue and green. Here’s a little peek of how it turned out! And yes, that is yummy minky on the back. I hope she likes it!
Now, when it comes to binding quilts, my favorite method involves stitching it in place by hand. It takes a little more time, but I feel like it always looks flawless! Today, I found myself with limited time to get a binding done, so I decided to top-stitch the binding in place. I thought I would share a few tips since it is a handy thing to know how to do!
To get started, you are going to sew your binding strips together end-to-end. (You can see more detailed instructions about this here.) I ironed the strip in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and have pinned it onto the back of my quilt. Yes, the back! This will give us more control on how the front of the quilt looks. Notice that the raw edges of the binding line up with the raw edge of the quilt, and I have pinned the first few inches in place.
I start stitching the binding to my quilt 3/8″ in from the edge, skipping those first few inches that I’ve pinned. I sew to the end of that side and stop 3/8″ away from the end.
I remove the quilt from under the machine and fold the binding to form a ninety-degree angle.
Next, I fold it back down to run along the next side of the quilt.
Then, I resume stitching down from the top using the 3/8″ seam allowance.
After repeating these steps around the quilt perimeter, I stop when I am about a foot away from the beginning.
I trim the tails to overlap by exactly 2-3/4″.
The next part always takes me a minute or two of wrestling the quilt. I unfold the binding tails and place them right sides together at a bias (I usually have to bunch up the quilt a little to be able to do this). See how they overlap by about 1/8″? I use a ruler to draw a diagonal line as indicated and pin in place.
After I sew along the diagonal line, I trim away the excess.
Next, I fold the binding back in place. It’s an exact fit! Wahoo! I finish stitching the binding to the back.
I’ve turned the quilt over to the front. See the stitching from the other side? We want to cover that by folding the binding up and over.
You could pin the binding in place onto the front, but I find that it is easiest to just fold a little at a time as I stitch. That way, I can keep a close eye on the seam I’m covering.
As I approach the corner, I usually pause a minute to miter the corners and pin in place.
Well? How’d I do? It seems to look okay on the front…
And the back doesn’t look too shabby either!
Though it is a little faster, this is not my preferred method! Am I crazy or what?!
Whatever your opinion, this is a really good thing to know how to do. Not only will it help if you have an encroaching deadline, but there are some projects where it works pretty well! Like the pretend hot pads I made for Olive!