Well I have finished the quilting part of my Country Charmer Christmas quilt. Yay!
Now it is time for the binding. The binding is what finishes the quilt and keeps everything held together.
There are several ways to do binding. I have opted for the simple way.
I chose a small holiday lights pattern for my binding fabric. It goes nicely with both the front and back of my quilt.
I started by cutting the fabric into 2 1/2 inch strips.
After trimming the selvedge off the ends of each strip, I place the ends of two strips together, right sides (pattern side) together to form a 90 degree angle.
Then I use my chalk pencil to draw a line from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner. This will be a guide as where to sew the strips together.
I like to use my standard sewing foot for this part of the process.
Once the strips are sew together, I trim the excess fabric to the right of the seam and press the seam open.
With all the strips sewn together and pressed, it is time to start sewing it onto the quilt sandwich. I like to use my quarter inch foot so that my binding is straight but a lot of quilters will use their walking foot for this step.
I start pinning the biding strip in the middle of one of the sides, leaving about an 8 inch “tail” unpinned. I end with a pin a 1/4 inch from the corner. Then I sew the strip down all the way down, stopping at the pin a 1/4 inch from the corner. This allows the fabric to turn and make a nice crisp corner.
I then make the turn by folding the fabric back on itself and up. I repeat the sewing process until I get back to the side where I began.
I make sure I have a long enough strip to overlap with the “tail” I left at the beginning. I leave about 8 inches of the end loose.
Here I get out my Fons & Porter Binding Tool. This tool has helped me so much. It eliminates the guess work from finishing off the binding.
First, the strip on the right side of the quilt is set against the edge. Then the Binding Tool is placed on top of the fabric so that the arrow points back towards the strip. The “tail” on the left is placed over the tool.
Since I have used a 2 1/2 inch strip, I measure the “tail” to the 2 1/2 inch mark on the tool. This is where I trim the excess off the tail.
Just as when I was sewing the strips together at the beginning of this process, I again sew the two tail ends together at a 90 degree angle, trim the excess and press the seam open. Finally, I sew down the last bit of the strips.
I like to wait until the binding is sewn down to the top of the quilt before I trim my excess batting and backing. I usually trim to about a quarter of an inch from the quilt so that my finished product has a little bit of “puff” to the binding.
A lot of quilters like to machine quilt the binding down. I prefer to hand sew my binding. I use the wonderful Clover Wonder Clips to hold the binding in place while I sew.
Well that was a long post but that is how I do my binding on my quilts.