Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Binding Variation

Last week when I shared my completed quilt extension project, I mentioned that I used a new-to-me machine technique on the binding. I made a little sample to share this week to show how I did that. It's not an earthshaking new way, but is a little variation on how machine binding is often done.

I usually attach the binding to the back first and then flip it to the front, covering the original seam line where I sewed it to the back, and then I topstitch on the front, hoping that the stitching will be next to the binding on the back. There are two problems with that. I tend to cut off points of blocks if there are any near the edge on the front, and my stitching is usually wonky on the back, sometimes on the binding and sometimes off. This time, I started wondering why it is important to me to not have the stitching show on the binding on the back when it is obviously showing as topstitching on the front. So I made a little change.

In the following pictures, the front fabric is gray, the backing is black, and the binding is white. I'm using red thread so you can see it. Ordinarily I'd use a thread that matches the back for the first seam (attaching the binding to the quilt) and a thread that matches the binding for the remainder of the work.

This is what I did: On the quilt I just made, I wanted the binding to be about 5/8 inch wide, so I cut my binding 3 1/4 inches wide and pressed it in half. I trimmed my batting and backing so it extended 3/8 inch from the edge of the top. 

I stitched the binding on the FRONT of the quilt the usual way using thread that matched the back. (It's red here so you can see it.)

Here's how it looked on the back. (Red here, but it would be black to blend in with the back.)

I pressed the binding toward the edge of the quilt. Important step!!

Then I flipped the binding to the back, just up to the original stitching line, not over it. I'm showing this extra large so you can see the line. I pressed with my iron. Again, very important to the success of this method. Then I put clips about every 2 1/2 inches to hold it in place.

Finally, I topstitched a scant 1/8 inch away from the seam line on the FRONT of the quilt. Here's how it looked on the front...

...and on the back.

If this was an actual quilt, I would likely have used thread to match the binding for this part. 

So there you have it. The binding has stitching on both the front and the back, and the original stitching line shows up on the back as if it's in the ditch. If you use thread that matches the backing for the original seam you won't see it. 

I like this method because I can be careful about stitching that first seam to keep from cutting points off on the front and I don't have to worry about wonky stitching on the back. I also like the idea of having the binding look the same on the front and the back. I haven't tried this yet with narrower binding, but it seems like it would work fine. Pressing is key, though, I'm sure. 

I'm linking up this post with Late Night Quilter for Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays. (Yeah, I know it's Wednesday, but I did start writing this last night.) 


Bernie Kringel said...

Thanks Janine! Pinning for future reference. :)

Lorna McMahon said...

Ah-ha! That is a clever way to do the binding! I like it. Thanks so much for sharing!

Linda said...

Nice! I like this method.