Thursday, June 23, 2011

Binding your quilt

Different prints can add visual interest to a quilt edge. Look for evenly spaced dots, small scale prints, horizontal or diagonal stripes. Audition 1/2' strips across the width of the fabric along your finished quilt top so you know what it will look like before you cut into it!
There's nothing like the feeling of finally finishing your quilt with a good binding! It feels lovely and completes your quilt.

A binding can add visual interest to a quilt, it can also help frame your quilt top. Experiment with using fabric scraps from your quilt, stripes and spots also look great. Sometimes a solid colour binding can hold a busy design together.

I like to use a double binding cut across the width of the fabric as it lasts longer, quilt edges can get a lot of wear and tear if used daily. Bias binding is more often used for scalloped or pointy edges as they are thinner and follow curves more readily.

I also like my bindings to be narrow and plump so I cut them 2.5" wide. That gives me enough to include the 1/2" edge and wadding snuggly. You may prefer a flatter, wider binding, you'll need to experiment to work out your preferences.

Remember to join strips on the diagonal so the seams aren't too bulky!

To work out how much binding you need measure around the outside of your quilt. You will need an extra 10" or so to be on the safe side. There are so many excellent tutorials available showing you how to bind your finished quilt!

This one shows you how to attach the binding by machine and then hand stitch to finish. This is my preference as your stitches will not show through to the quilt front.
If you really can't face 4 metres of hand stitching you will need to practice this machine stitching technique before you attempt it on your quilt. Make sure your top thread matches the binding and your bottom thread matches your quilt backing fabric if you are machine stitching. This technique would only suit bindings made from a continuous colour or you would have to change the top thread often.

Once your binding is finished many quilters like to label their quilts. More about that next time!

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