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Friday 22 June 2012

Quilter's tips: binding

In my last post, I mentioned a super binding technique that I wanted to show you, which is really rather simple but results in a beautifully flat strip of fabric. Let's assume you want to bind the edges of your quilt in remnants of fabric left over from the quilt top you've spent the last few months lovingly putting together. Start by cutting the remnants into 2" wide strips: how many strips you require depends on the size of your quilt, but it's best to have more than you need than not enough. With right sides together, pin the short end of one strip against the long edge, and into the corner, of another to form an 'L' shape. Draw a diagonal line from the top left corner of the upper strip to the bottom right corner of the lower strip, then sew along this line. Trim the excess fabric to 1/4" seam allowance, then open up the joined strips and gently press–making sure you press the seam towards the darker (or heavier) fabric to avoid any show through. Repeat this process until you have enough strips to bind your quilt. Don't forget to make the top and bottom strips slightly longer so you can tuck in the edges for a neat finish.

Strips ready for sewing and some already sewn and trimmed.
When you've done that, press the strips in half lengthways, then each half in again towards the fold to complete your very own half inch binding. The nifty thing about this binding is, that while made up of many pieces, it is virtually bulk-free since the diagonal seams spread the bulk across a wide surface area. It's a technique I used on my first ever quilt, and, one I'll continue to use for a long time to come.

Strips ready for folding.
The finished binding and a glimpse of my first quilt.

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