Thursday, March 25, 2010

Binding Tutorial

Earlier this week I got an email from a fellow blogger friend. She asked if I would do a post on how I bound my other Simple Baby Blanket. I of course was happy to. I want to up front say that I have only been binding blankets and quilts for about 2 years now. I have done it 2 different ways. One, my original way, was learned through YouTube videos. It is where you turn the corners and is probably what you seen done most of the time. The second way, the way my mother taught me this last year (and comes from a quilting book) is how I am going to show you now. I don't know if it is exactly how it says in the book because pretty much I watched my mother do it and then she showed me how and then I came home and tried it myself. So, who knows if this is even correct. But, long story short, it is how I do it most of the time now. Because it is easier. And faster. And well, that is what I need in my life right now. I am just saying. So, fellow really good quilters, please do not get mad at me if you do not think this is correct. But, it is working for me. (I am also going to sew down my binding by machine and not hand. I do it both ways, but with these baby quilts I always sew down with a machine.

1. First lay out your fabric with right sides facing outward (so wrong sides will be touching each other inside.) Make sure they are nice and smoothly spread out. When I quilt a large quilt you will tape it down and then safety pin it all over with quilting safety pins. But, with this small blanket I did not do that.
2. & 3. Cutting binding: Cut strips 2 3/4 inches wide by the length of each side of the quilt. Sometimes one side of the quilt will be too long for the sizes of your fabric length. If this is case (as it was for 2 sides of my blanket) then I will show you how to sew two or more strips together to make it long enough.
4. 2 or more strips sewn together for binding: Take 2 of your 2 3/4 inch strips and lay them like you see in picture 4. (bottom right side)

1. You are now going to sew at a diagonal across like you see in the first picture (top left side).
2. Cut off access fabric.
3. Turn over. Open up. Iron down the seem open.
4. Now take each of your binding strips (all 4 for the quilt. 2 will be the length of 2 sides and the other 2 are going to be the length of the sides plus the extra from the binding being added to two sides. So basically 2 of them needs to have a at least an extra 4 inches on them. You will learn why later. ) Fold them in half like you see in the 4th picture (bottom right side). The ride side of the fabric should be sticking outward. Iron them in half all the way down.

1. Now, you are going to pin on one of your binding strips along the quilt.
2. The raw edge should be along the edge and the folded part should be on the inside of the quilt.
3. Do it to 2 sides opposite of each other like you see in picture 3 (bottom left side.)
4. Now, sew down both of these binding strips at about a 1/4 of an inch seem.

1. Once you have done that you are going to open up the seem and iron it down flat. The folded over edge will now be the edge of your quilt. Do, that to both sides that you sewed down.
2. Now take your last 2 binding strips and lay them onto the quilt and pin them down. Note that you are going to have this binding go over the other binding that is already sewn down. (Look at picture 2 on the top right.)
3. Sew down these two strips also.
4. Then open them up and iron them down flat too. All four sides of the quilt should have the folded edge on the outside.

1. It should look like the top left side picture with all the 4 bindings sewn down.
2., 3., &4. Now it is a little more complicated and hard to explain. Look at all 3 pictures to get it. You are going to fold down the binding to the back side just past where the stitching is from sewing the binding onto the front. It needs to go past that or it will not get stitched down. So, this is very important. Then you will pin it in the front to hold it down. (Because you will be sewing it from the front.)

Now here is my disclaimer. I am going to sew this binding down with machine. You could also whip stitch it down from the back by hand. Both work. The whip stitching does take a lot longer. But, it is also cleaner and you do not see the stitch. You WILL see the stitch with machine. You decide. But, I am showing how to do it by machine.

1. & 2. Both the top pictures show you more on how to pin the binding on the front.
3. & 4. The last two pictures are showing you how to turn the corners down. You will fold in the raw edge one first. Then, take the folded edge and turn that down second. When you machine sew the binding down the corners will only be partly sewn down. You will need to come back later and whip stitch the whole corner down.

1. & 2. You are going to want to pin down those corners pretty good.
3. & 4. This is what your quilt should look like after you have pinned the whole thing. And yes, it will take you a little while. This little blanket went quicker, but a large quilt can definitely take some good time. You might want to sit down and watch TV or a movie or listen to some good music.

1. Now, you are ready to sew down the binding. You want to line up your needle right to the edge of the binding. As close as you can with out sewing on the binding. Go slow. Real slow. Especially at first, but really through the whole thing. You need to pull and try to make sure the back binding is staying over the other stitching otherwise it will not be sewn down.
2. The front should look like this when you are done.
3. The back should look like this. If for some reason parts of the binding do not get sewn down, then after you are all done go back and pull and resew them down.
4. The finished product! It always feels so good when you are done.
Hopefully, this has helped some of you with binding. Remember, this is just how I do it. There are other ways out there. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email me. I will try to answer them.


Letti said...

Corners have always been hard for me. I learned that when I made all of those burp cloths. Thanks for the tutorial.

Kevin, Holly, Kari and Bryce said...

Fantastic, detailed tutorial. appreciate the user-friendly language. I'm excited to give this a try!

Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something said...

absolutely adorable blanket! great job with the tutorial, too! I dropped in from Blue Cricket. Hope to see you back at my place soon! until later...

kirstin & jordan said...

So helpful! I've never made a baby blanket, but you make me want to try it out...
We have a friday fun finds party- we'd love it if you'd link up!

radiolover52 said...

This was extremely helpful, thank you so much for sharing!! :)

Denise said...

fabric blocks are a favorite baby gift of mine to give. so easy to make. i buy some jingly bells to put inside. as easy project for the beginner sewer.

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