Welcome to the last post on the mini QAL for the Cutting Corners Quilt pattern! And today, I am going to talk about how to create the binding tape to finish up your quilt sandwich and the different methods you can follow to attach it. Are you ready? Let's start!
PREPARE YOUR QUILT TOP
First, you need to square up the corners of your quilt sandwich at a 90 degree angle (if you can, use a 12 ½'' ruler) and trim the excess on the sides, getting rid of the extra backing and wadding material all around your quilt (the best ruler for this is a 24'' long quilt ruler). Use the floor or a big table, your rotary cutter and cutting mat.
CREATE YOUR BINDING TAPE
To create the bias binding, I suggest you first visit one of the many online calculators you can find online. This one is my favourite. There, you can add the measurements of your quilt, how wide is your fabric and the width of the strips. After introducing these numbers, you get: the total binding length, the number of strips to cut and join together and the yardage of fabric needed.
I usually cut my strips on the crosswise grain (not on the bias) to save fabric and go for a 2 ½'' width to make sure the binding tape covers the raw edge of the quilt completely when folding it towards the backing.
Now, let's sew the strips together! For my medium size Cutting Corners Quilt, I needed to cut 6, 2 ½'' x WOF strips, to achieve an almost 6 yard binding tape and using half a yard of fabric. I used my rotary cutter, my longest ruler and cutting mat.
SEW YOUR BINDING STRIPS
Once finished, I started sewing the strips as follows:
1. Place two strips with right sides together as shown and sew them at a 45 degree angle. You can draw a line with a fabric pen or chalk as a guideline. Then sew on top of the line.
2. Cut the extra fabric leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Press that seam open.
3. Continue adding strips till you reach the needed length, pressing your joining seams open. Then, fold your tape with wrong sides together along the middle and press.
ATTACH YOUR BINDING
4. When you have your binding ready, start by pinning it to the right side of your quilt, with right sides together and raw edges matching. Leave a 5'' tail unsewn at the beginning. Always start in the middle of one of the sides of the quilt. Sew in place that first part of the binding and stop when you reach the first corner, ¼'' from the edge. Backstitch.
5. Remove the quilt from the machine and fold the strip towards the outside of your quilt as shown below. The fold is at a 45 degree angle. Then, pull it back down on itself and pin that side of the quilt. Start sewing again at ¼'' in from the corner. Repeat all around the quilt till you reach your starting point and when reaching a corner, leaving again a 5'' tail unsewn at the end.
6. Now, you have two options:
a. Vertical seam (easier technique): fold back ½'' of the binding inside itself and finger press at any of the ends. Open up your binding and then sandwich the starter tail inside the folded over part. Pin in place and finish sewing that part with your machine. Remove the quilt from your machine. You can now gently press the bias away from the quilt ready to be hand sewn towards the backing (go to step 7).
b. 45 degree seam (more challenging but less bulky):
- Leave at least 8" of space between the two ends. Fold both ends and finger press them a ¼'' apart.
- Open the left piece to the wrong side and place a pin where the creases intersect.
- With the same pin, connect the right side of the right strip where the creases intersect.
- The two strips should have right sides together. Line up the horizontal and vertical creases then pin in place.
- Sew the strips together.
- Trim the excess.
- Pin the binding in place and sew it down.
- Press the binding gently away from the quilt ready for the next step.
7. Now, give your binding a good press towards the outer of your quilt and again towards the backing and pin in place or use clips (my prefered method). Then, with a needle, thread and a bit of pacience, sew the binding covering the raw edge with an invisible stitch to the backing.
Make sure your mitered corners are sharp and nicely folded. Add a little label if you want and you are done! Enjoy your hard work!
Apart from this half hand sewing, half using your sewing machine technique for the binding, you can also use your machine for both. On that case, I usually go for a 2 1/4'' wide binding, so as not to have too much tape at the back. I first sew the binding in the same way as before, on the right side, give it a good press torwards the outer of the quilt, I press it again towards the backing and keep it in place with clips.
Then, I sew the binding again with my machine and again on the right side doing a stitch-in-the-ditch along the perimeter of the quilt and catching the binding folded at the backing's side. When reaching a corner, make sure it is folded properly.
And now, we are truly done! Take care of your quilt by using it, air it, unfold it and fold it in different ways regularly if you are not using it. Wash it from time to time (if pre-washed) or spot clean, once per year. Gentle cycle, cold water and with a mild detergent. You can also use a colour catcher to avoid bleeding.
Thanks for following along and don't forget to get your Cutting Corners Quilt pattern if you haven't already!