Sunday, April 22, 2012

Finishing the ends on quilt bindings

Greetings all,

I just returned from a fabulous few days of quilting.  As a quilt teacher, I can never just sit quietly when I have an opportunity to help a fellow quilter.  I saw someone struggling with joining the end of their binding strips and offered to share with the group an easier way to join the end of their binding strips.

I would like to share with you the steps to do this:

Step 1:    Sorry this picture is sideways.  I am a quilter; not a computer techie! 

When starting your binding, leave an approximately 6 inch tail unsewn.  Sew all the way around the quilt until you are approximately 6 inches from the starting end of the binding.  Stop sewing at this point.

Step 2:  Measure from the END of your starting strip.  This is where the pin is in this picture.  The formula for your measurement:

the width of your binding plus 1/2 inch = where you will cut the end of your binding strip.  In the picture, Flo's binding was three inches wide when she cut it.  She added 1/2 inch so she is cutting off the end of her binding strip at 3 1/2 inches.

Step 3:  Lay the end of the binding strip flat. Overlap the starting tail of your binding at right angles on the top of your ending strip.  Leave 1/4" overlap on both binding strips end.  This is exactly the same as when you are sewing your binding strips together end to end.

Step 4:  Sew from the outside edge of the binding corner where the two strips overlap to the inside corner where the binding strips overlap.  You may eyeball this or you may draw a line to sew on.

Step 5:  Cut your thread and TEST to be sure your binding is the proper size and that you sewed the right corners.  Your binding should now fit perfectly with the edge of your quilt.  After you have tested this, trim off the corners of your binding strips and press the seam open just like you would when you join your binding strips end to end.

Pin the approximately 12" space where your binding in not sewn to your quilt.  Sew this with the same seam allowance you have used when sewing on you binding.

You now have the perfect beginning and ending seam on your binding.

Thanks to Phyllis for taking the pictures and encouraging we to write this tutorial.  Thanks to Flo for being our model!

Happy Quilting.  Barb

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