Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Binding Tutorial: Part 1 of 2

Binding is the perfect end to any quilt.  Besides from creating a sturdy edge to protect a quilt, binding can add playful, beautiful, used to complement a quilt top or even used to create contrast for an element of surprise.

Did I tell you that the binding part of a quilt is my favorite?? :)

In this HOW-TO guide I'll go share my techniques for binding a quilt.  

 First off let's go over the 2 basic types of binding I usually use to make binding:

(A) Straight-of-Grain binding: Cut from selvage to selvage. 

Some characteristics for straight-of-grain binding that I noticed:
  • Easy to cut since fabrics lies in a straight line when cutting.
  • Super simple to figure out how much fabric you need exactly.
  • I don't feel like I'm 'wasting' any fabric since I don't need to cut in an angle like on the bias binding.
  • Great for certain fabric patterns.  Especially stripes - LOVE striped binding!
  • Use it for only straight edged quilts.  Since it is cut straight on the grain, the binding doesn't bend well to contour curved/round edged quilts. 
  • For long term wear and tear, straight-of grain binding may need to be the secondary choice.  Since the same thread runs the whole length of the binding once its folded, it creates a vulnerable spot where the whole binding would be in jeopardy if that thread breaks.
I use it for all my straight edge quilts and projects.  Even though the last bullet point from above is a concern for some quilters, I haven't found it to be any problem at all.  I have had quilts for many years that have gone through A LOT of use and washings and the straight-of-grain binding has held up quite nicely. Once in a while I do use bias binding on straight-edged quilts but only for design/pattern purposes.

(B) Bias Binding: Cut  at 45% angle to the selvage edges of the fabric.

Some characteristics for Bias binding that I noticed:
  • Creates a very stretchy binding that is great for rounded edges.  This is the only way to attacked quilts that are not straight-edged all around.
  • More traditional approach to binding that is recognized to create the sturdiest binding.  
  • To create long strips to make continuous binding without a lot of seams, you do waste some fabric - the triangle leftover after the first and last cut.  
Once cut, the bias and straight-on-grain binding strips are assembled and applied the same way to the quilt top.  So the steps below applies to BOTH binding cutting techniques.  But do keep in mind that if you are binding for a curved edged quilt, do use the bias binding method so your binding can be stretched along with the curve.  For straight-edge quilts, you decide which cutting method you want :).

OK - on to the actual making of the binding :).  Here's step by step instructions on how to create and attach binding to a quilt:

How much binding do you need?

For now this tutorial will only be straight on grain binding.  I'll update on a later date on the details of bias binding - probably when I create a new quilt with curved edges so I would need the bias binding :).  Other sites details bias binding if you need the info right now like here, here and here.

For straight binding use the following calculations for total length and number of strips needed:

Assembling the strips

1. Lay 2 ends perpendicular of each other, with right sides facing each other. With a marking pen, mark where you need to sew - see picture below:

2. Sew along the marked line and trim along seam with 1/4" allowance:

3. Press seam open and trim off extra fabric:

4. Once all the strips are sewn together and pressed, fold in half with right side facing outward and press. Now your binding is ready to use:

Continue to Binding Tutorial: Part 2 of 2 for instructions on how to attach the binding and hand binding tips...coming soon!

As usual I share all my completed projects with these lovely linking parties :).



Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said...


You really write a mean tutorial. I've learned a lot from you since Creative Juice started.

Thanks so much for linking up today!

Kim @ Cheap Chic Home said...

What a great tutorial. I like your story through photos, too, well done.

Anonymous said...

Just found you at Show and Tell.. thanks for the tutorial.. I have been sewing for years and I am going to follow you to see if you tackle those corners.. they give me a fit! Hope you have some good suggestions up your sleeve.

Anonymous said...

thankyou thankyou thankyou! I now feel a little more confindent I can have a go at quilting. binding has always put me off. Thanks again :)

Euharlee said...

Thanks so much for making this tute! I've made a baby quilt, but have hit a road block with how to finish it off! Now I can book mark your fantastic and detailed tute and plunge forward!

Thanks so much, from a new sewer without a lot of confidence! Look forward to more posts from you!

Euharlee said...

Thanks so much for making this tute! I've made a baby quilt, but have hit a road block with how to finish it off! Now I can book mark your fantastic and detailed tute and plunge forward!

Thanks so much, from a new sewer without a lot of confidence! Look forward to more posts from you!

alison said...

thanks so much for the clear instructions and photos...very helpful indeed...and so happy you shared with fridays unfolded!


stuff and nonsense

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I adore your binding! Thanks so much!

I am currently hosting an auction of vintage and antique linen treasures. Stop by and take a peek.

Have a wonderful weekend.

❀❀❀Ðαωᾔ❀❀❀ said...

Great tut. I love to quilt but the binding is my least favorite part of all. Seeing your beautiful quilts makes me long to start a quilt project. Thanks for showing you beautiful work:)

Amy Gilman and Emily Lee (Sisters of the Wild West) said...

this is usually my least fav part of quilting. thanks for sharing and linking up. i will have to try your tips

Shannon said...

Thank you!! I'm still working on quilting...and have been nervous about the binding! This will help:)

petite hermine said...

This is a great tutorial! Thanks for linking up last week! I hope to see another of your posts this week! :) http://petitehermine.blogspot.com/2011/04/sunday-linky-party-9-goodies.html


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