Wow! This is the last week for our Jolly Jelly Roll quilt along. But don’t worry – I’ve had so much fun that I will start a brand new do-it-yourself quilt tutorial next week. Start gathering your fat quarters to make Baby Bricks, my next Do-It-Yourself Quilt.
Here are all of the previous bog posts, if you are just now joining us:
Remember, you can click on any picture to enlarge it. Now, onto the binding!
I use the same techniques to attach the binding to all my quilts, whether finishing by hand or machine.
Step 1 – Square Up the Quilt
Use a large square ruler to trim up all four corners of your quilt. The square will help you achieve a nice straight 90 degree corner. Trim up all four of the sides with a longer ruler.
Step 2 – Measure the Quilt Perimeter and Cut Enough Binding Strips
Measure the perimeter of your quilt so you know how many strips to cut. Lay it out on your cutting mat or use a measuring tape. I folded my quilt in half to make it easier to measure. Divide your perimeter by 40 inches (the useable length of one strip).
Round up to the nearest number of strips and cut them 2 1/4″ wide. I cut 5 strips for my quilt.
Step 3 – Make Continuous Binding
This method is called double-fold straight grain binding. Sew all of your strips together to make one continuous piece. Miter the strips by sewing on an angle to distribute the bulk of the seam. If you are using a solid fabric, be sure to sew them all together on the same side!
Trim 1/4 inch seams to the right of your sewing line and press open.
With a small square ruler, cut off one end of your binding on a 45 degree angle. Make sure your binding strips have not been folded or pressed yet. Once the end is cut, then press your binding in half along the entire length, with wrong sides touching and right sides out.
Step 4 – Attaching the Binding to the Quilt
Begin sewing your binding to the quilt with a walking foot, leaving a tail of about 6-8 inches unsewn. Be sure to start on the side of your quilt, not at a corner and sew the binding to the front of the quilt. The folded side of your strips will be to your left. The open sides will be to your right. Use a quarter inch seam allowance and match your thread to your binding fabric.
Rotate the quilt and flip the binding strip up so that it is even with the side of the quilt. Then, flip it back down, forming a “pinch” of fabric at the corner. This will be the fullness that will flip around to the back creating a nice mitered corner on the front.
Repeat this technique for all four corners of the quilt. When you are nearly finished sewing the binding onto the front side, make sure to leave another tail of about 6-8 inches of binding so you can join the beginning and ending binding pieces.
If you have a lot of excess binding, you can trim some off.
Open up both binding ends and nestle your beginning binding piece (the angled cut end) on top of the ending piece so that it is flat and smooth. Mark an angle on the ending piece where the beginning piece rests on it – should be a 45 degree angle. Cut 1/2 inch away from this marked line. This will take into account the seam allowances for both pieces. Make sure your binding is not twisted and that both angled cuts are parallel to each other.
Join the two ends by offsetting them slightly to create little tiny tips at each end. Where my pin is pointing, sew from the crevice of one triangle tip to the other, with 1/4 inch seam. Trim off the triangle tips, and press the seam open. It should be a perfect fit!
Step 5 – Finishing the Binding with Decorative Machine Stitching
Once the binding is sewn to the front, simply fold it over to the back to stitch. I like to use pins with Pinmoor anchors for safety to keep everything in place. Fold over the corners to create a nice miter and pin.
You will notice I am actually stitching by machine from the back side of the quilt. This seems to give me the best results and I can control how wide the stitching is so it shows up nicely on the front.
You can see where I’ve already stitched some of the binding.
On the back, be sure to cover the line of straight stitching that was used to sew on the binding from the front side.
The binding is just as beautiful on the backside as it is on the front. Another finished quilt!