Thursday, September 20, 2007


I was sitting here today, stitching bindings onto new quilts, and pondering. That kind of task provides lots of time for thinking, doesn't it...

Anyway, I was thinking about what I'd need to do to get ready for the class I'm teaching tomorrow at the amazing Alden Lane Nursery as part of the Quilting in the Garden weekend. Which if you've never been, and are anyplace near the San Francisco bay area you really should go...anyhoo, I'm teaching the "Autumn" banner from my book and one of the things I like to do in any quilting class is to show people a cool way to finish off bindings.

So I figured I'd show any of you quilters out there in the blog-world who maybe haven't seen it. I wish I knew who came up with it (it sure wasn't me) so I could thank her. Because this method is so nifty that she deserves the dessert of her choice from over at Holly's blog.

OK, here we go.

Stitch the binding onto the top of the quilt as you normally would. Start and end with a fairly long tail. Leave at least 6" of the quilt top unstitched--and actually, the more you leave unstitched, the easier it is to manage later.

Line up the right hand binding strip along the edge of the quilt top. Fold back the end of the binding the same amount as the width you cut your binding. In my case, I make my binding 2 1/4" wide, so I fold back 2 1/4". Mark that measurement.

Take the left hand binding strip and line it up along the quilt top and cut it off so that it ends just a smidge away from the fold you made on the other strip--an 1/8" or so.

Unfold the right hand binding strip and cut on the line you marked previously.

Because you'll be stitching a seam with right sides together, take the left hand strip, open it up, and turn it so that the right side is facing up.

Open up the right side of the binding and lay it across the left side, keeping the right sides together, as shown. Using an erasable fabric marker, draw a line from corner to corner and pin in place. Stitch along the marked line and trim off the excess fabric leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.

Refold the binding and stitch the remaining portion in place along the quilt top. The binding should now fit perfectly! And no one will be able to tell where you started and stopped.

The next step, if you're insanely lucky like I am, is to give the quilt to Pam and she'll do the hand stitching!


Blogger yellowfarmhouse said...

That's the way I do my bindings also, but I always have a hard time trying to get the angels right when I go to sew them together and half the time I do it wrong, LOL. thanks for sharing


7:26 PM  
Blogger Angelina said...

As soon as I'm done canning I'm going to have to try this. I find bindings somewhat difficult. It seems that this might work for bias binding on aprons and things too. Worth a try anyway.

10:42 PM  
Blogger PamKittyMorning said...

I can never do this method. So I do it the old fashioned way, the end result is exactly the same, it just involves measuring and marking.

I don't even mind the hand sewing. Its my new zen ways! SEe you tomorrow!

12:05 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

This is exactly the way I finish off my binding ends. Works every time. Great tutorial, Elizabeth.
And, I love to sit and handsew bindings.

6:18 AM  
Blogger from little acorns said...

I love your fabrics! . . . very vintage-y (which = love!!!). Also your binding fabrics has been a favorite of mine for years. . . I used it once & now Im hoarding the rest! I just like seeing it still in my stash. . .
HAve a great weekend! Im so looking forward to seeing you at Market!
xo, - Bren

7:22 AM  
Anonymous happy zombie said...

What a wonderful tutorial E! I do my bindings the exact same way. BUT... I don't measure. I use a piece of my cut binding (unfolded) as my cutting guide. This eliminates the need for me to think - because I do bindings in 2.25, 2.5 and 1.5 (for scallops).

And because I don't mark my angles and just pin (and take a deep breath with I sew), I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS used to screw it up at the second to last photo/step, I now say (yes... out-loud), "the mountains are kissing". It works every time, and especially helpful if I do a solid binding.

What a great tutorial E!!!! And that quilt is BEAUTIFUL!

8:31 AM  
Blogger mar said...

One more little tip, don't trim it until you've checked to see if it will lay right! Been there.... Goodie QIF!!! See you there!

10:26 AM  
Blogger Vivian Love said...

Great tutorial and pictures. Looks do-able. I pay a friend to do all my bindings...not time to sit! Thanks for the post. I enjoy your blog.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Ila said...

Thank you for posting this! I'd seen it once before, and couldn't locate it when I went back for it.

On my wish list: take one of your classes...

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Heidi Kaisand said...

This is the only way to do binding! If you want to see a video of this method, go to Click on videos and find the binding segment! Your pictures were well done.


4:35 AM  
Blogger Thimbleanna said...

Love your photos -- especially the second to last one. Half the time when I do my bindings, I screw up the last step -- I end up with a twist in the binding. So, one day I did a hand drawn version of your photo and stuck it to my bulletin board to remind me how to do it. I still screw it up! Maybe I'll have to hang your picture up and see if that will work! LOL.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Peggy Siemer said...

I had been shown this method and loved it some time ago but your pictorial tutorial are awesome. I will pass it on in my quilt guild for those newer quilters who may not have seen this method. My daughter, Jen Duncan, forwarded me a link to your site and said I would love it.

4:04 PM  
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