Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Foolproof Method for Joining Your Binding

I have noticed that there are a multitude of posts around bindings on the net and the different ways of joining the ends. Of late, I also have come across a number of tools that are on the market to make this job easier.

I thought that I share a method that I found in Darlene Zimmerman's book "The Quilter's Edge" (a brilliant book going through all sorts of borders, bindings and finishing touches). I have used this for some time now after struggling for years with the same issue and can confidently recommend this as absolutely perfect...works every time without fail - except the one time when I cut off the wrong end :) Needless to say, never made that mistake again!

Well, in order to show this, I actually bound one of my "wild"  FMQ practice pieces from last year. Bonus...this has been lying around for a year collecting dust. For this little piece (19 5/8"square), I chose a 1/4" width for the binding, choosing a gold print to highlight the inlining I did on the feathers. Now, with a 1/4" width, the backing and batting was trimmed to the edge of the quilt top before I attached the binding. Had I chosen a wider finished width I would have left the cutting of the backing and batting until after I attached the binding to fill in the binding.
If you wondered about what width you should cut the strips, here are the most commonly used widths for bindings and the widths of the strips that you need to cut:

Finished width of binding
Size to cut binding strip
2 1/2”

  • Attach your binding as per usual, i.e. beginning halfway along one side of the quilt and leaving a tail of approximately 8-10", align the raw edges of the binding and the quilt top, then sew it around the quilt top with a 1/4" seam, mitring the corners as you go. Leave enough space as you approach the beginning of the binding so that you can comfortably join them up under your machine, leaving again a 8-10" tail at the end of the binding.
Leave a 8-10" tail at the beginning and end of the binding
    • Bring the tail that you left at the beginning and the end of the binding towards each other, fold over, grease, and leave a 1/4" space between them ( I just eyeball this space as the binding has some give in it anyway).
    Fold over, leaving a 1/4" space
    • Cut the left binding tail off where you made the grease.
    Cut the left side off at the grease mark
    • Take the piece from the binding that you have just cut off the left side, open it, and place it over the right folded binding at a right angle.
    Lay the cut off piece on to right side at right angle and mark

    Cut the folded over section at the mark
    • Make a mark and cut the folded over section of the binding at this point (this will be the measurement of the width of your binding, in my example 2")

    • Open the binding strips and join them as shown in the photo with a 45 degree seam. Trim the seam to 1/4", press open, then fold the binding back in half lengthwise and voila, you have a perfect fit.
    Join the binding

    Perfect fit!
    This works beautifully and makes for a perfect join. Another tip: I use a short stitch length (2.0 on my Pfaff machine) to join the ends which makes the join pretty much invisible.

    Yah, finished (almost!) another UFO. Just need to stitch the binding to the back. This will go on one of the walls if I can find a free one. (this looks better in real life...somehow the gold shiny fabric just would not photograph right)

    Hope that you find this useful.Linking up to Freemotion by the River



    1. I love that method of joining binding and use it all the time! Thanks for sharing the tutorial Karin. Your great photos make it sew easy to follow. Your quilting on this piece is just breathtaking, by the way!

    2. An invisible join in the binding, fantastic. I will give this a try, thank you for the detailed description. The quilting is really beautiful.

    3. I use the same method! It took me a few tries at first but I've got figured out now. Beautiful quilt you're binding! Gorgeous quilting!

    4. That is a great method for joining binding! Your quilting is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
      Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

    5. Danke für diese großartige Anleitung! Probiere ich heute gleich aus


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