|Home School Quilting
Sewing seeds of creativity!
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Now that we have finished quilting our project it’s time to
tackle the binding. The quilt needs to be squared up first. You
will need a large area to work on. The first large quilt I
squared I use my mother's kitchen floor. Of course I washed
the floor before I put my quilt down on it and my mother was
very happy. I have also used my deck. Anywhere you can find
a large space or tables to use such as a church or fire hall will
work. I use my longest rotary rulers and largest square ruler
(remember to use your cutting mat and slide it along with the
ruler to prevent damaging the surface you are working on). I
check the border measurements and determine the width that
will work all around. I square the corners first, adjusting to the
determined width, then the space between the corners. If one
side is really off and you have to trim a lot it’s ok to have 2
sides narrower than the other 2 as long as they are opposite of
each other (e.g. sides narrower than top and bottom). Some
quilters do not cut but mark the cutting line and trim the
excess after the binding has been applied. Or you can mark
then stitch the line and trim to ¼ inch and then apply the
I cut my binding 2 ¼ inches you can cut it wider or narrower
depending on the project and your preference. To cut bias
binding you will need a large cutting surface and a ruler with a
45 degree angle. A yard of material 40 inches wide is usually
enough for a bed size quilt but to be sure always get more.
There are charts and gadgets you can use to get the exact
amounts but to be safe always plan on a little more. Cut 18
inches (1/2 yard) cross wise of fabric. Open it up so that the
selvages are left and right. Place the 45 degree line on the top
edge of the fabric and cut off the corner. Now take your ruler
and start cutting strips from that first cut. When you get to the
middle of the fabric the ruler will be too short so be very
careful as you cut then slide it down to the bottom and finish
cutting the strip. There are specialty rulers to make this
process easier. Or use straight binding and cut strips across
the width of the fabric. The benefit of bias binding is that it
wears better and the quilt will have a longer life.
Sew the strips together, fold in half and press. Place the
binding on the right side of the quilt and match the raw edge
of the binding and quilt, leave a 10 to 12 inch tail. Start
stitching a ¼ inch seam allowance in the middle of a long side
of the quilt. Stop stitching ¼” from the corner and back stitch.
Lift the presser foot and pull the quilt a little toward you. Take
the binding and place it to the right so that it extends from the
next side to be sewn creating a diagonal fold. Fold it back over
its self and line up the edges of the binding and quilt. Be sure
that the second fold is even with the cut edge of the quilt.
Turn the quilt and start stitching from the edge. Repeat for the
other 3 corners. Stop about 12 inches from where you started
sewing and back stitch. Trim the binding leaving a 10 to 12
inch tail. On the right tail trim the end to a 45 degree angle.
To connect the tails open them up and place the right one on
top of the left keeping the top edge even with the quilt edge.
Draw a line on the left tail using the right as a guide. Be sure
that both tails are flat and all edges are even. Mark a second
line on the left tail ½ inch away from the first and toward its
end. This is equal to your ¼ seam allowances for both sides.
Now this is important…trim the left tail on that second line, the
one closest to the end. Now match ends right sides together
and stitch a ¼ inch seam. Fold in half and press. Your binding
should now be even with the edge of your quilt. Finish
stitching the binding to the quilt. Fold the binding toward the
back and blind stitch in place.
If you have any questions e-mail me at: