Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How I make my binding

I have been working on bindings (among other things) these last several days to try to get a few of my UFO's off my list.   While I was working on them I thought about how I used to always have such trouble trying to get the strips right when mitering them together. 

I don't like to just sew binding strips together with a straight seam end to end because it causes so much bulk when the fabric is folded over and over on itself when attaching it to the quilt.  
I always use an angled seam (like a miter seam) to join the strips so the bulk of the seam is spread over the width of the strip.
I cut my strips 2½" and square up the ends, cutting off the selvages.

Once I have all the strips ready I start telling myself..... 
"Left is RIGHT and Right is WRONG"!
Which translates in my mind that the strip on the left is always RIGHT SIDE UP and the strip on the right is always WRONG SIDE UP.  
So I'll pull a strip and turn it wrong side up and I mark the sewing line on the back.   I love the little Olfa 4.5" square for this but you could use any ruler that will help you mark a 45° line.  I line up the 45° angle along the left side of the strip with the point of the ruler at the top of the strip and draw a line from top/left to bottom/right.  

I then pull the next strip and lay it right side up.  (This becomes my Left strip)  
I'll line them up and carefully pin together like the picture shows.   Then take them to the machine and sew on the line.  

I use needle-down and line the marked point up with the needle to get it under the presser foot.... then sew on the line to join the two strips.

The unsewn strip end now becomes the next "Right" strip.  So I take it and lay it wrong side up and mark the sewing line just as before and continue this until all strips are sewn together and I have enough to bind my quilt.  

Now the seams have to be cut apart and the 'waste' cut off.  I'll just use my scissors and 'eye' the cutoff.  It doesn't have to be precise.   (some people save the little cut off triangles to sew to another color to  make 1½" half-squares.  Sometimes I keep them .... and sometimes I don't.  Depends on the mood I'm in at the time)  ;o) 

Press the seam open.... and flip the strip over and admire the perfectly matched binding strip.  

So there you go..... "Left is RIGHT and Right is WRONG!
and I can now make my binding without twisting the strips the wrong way.  

Thanks for stopping by....Linda


  1. I put my binding strips together like you do, Linda. Nice tutorial.

  2. I always hated joining bindings too. However, there is a wonderful little tool called the CutRite Bind Up from Quilter's Paradise (www.quiltersparadise.com). It cost about $9.95 and it is miraculous. Works like a dream & is easy to use. Don't be fooled-the Fons & Porter one is not the same & is just as complicated as not using one. Barbara at Cat Patches did a tutorial on the CutRite one & I got it & it is wonderful & worth every penny.


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