You’ve spent weeks making the perfect quilt but now it’s time for the worst part – binding. Many quilters consider it a tedious but necessary evil. Here are some suggestions for making the binding process a little easier:
- Continuous Strip Binding – Continuous strip binding is the most common method of binding and has the advantage of providing two layers of fabric to protect the edge of your quilt. The binding is usually machine sewn to the front of the quilt and hand stitched to the back. You can save tons of time by machine sewing the binding on the back, but this can sometimes have the unwanted side effect of showing a machine stitching line on the front that is not so straight. This problem is easily solved by machine sewing the binding the back first, then finish by folding the binding to the front and machine stitching on the front. This way, you can see what you are doing on the front and neatly machine stitch the perfect distance from the edge of the binding.
- Self-Binding – Self-binding is significantly less time consuming than the traditional continuous strip binding and it’s a great way to show off a really pretty backing fabric. With self-binding, the backing fabric also doubles as the quilt’s binding. Simply cut the backing fabric a couple of inches larger than the quilt. Press the fabric once towards the quilt, matching the cut edge of the binding to the edge of the quilt, then press again over the front of the quilt and top stitch. The disadvantage is your binding will only be one layer thick. If your quilt is going to receive a lot of wear and tear, you might want to endure the continuous strip binding.
- Pillowcase Method – You can avoid binding all together with this method! Simply cut your backing the same size as the quilt, sew together with right sides facing, leaving an opening large enough for turning right side out. Blind stitch the opening closed and finish by tying. You won’t be able to quilt the layers by traditional means because the quilt could get really scrunched up and distorted but think of the time you’ll save!
Whichever method you chose, the sooner your binding is done, the sooner you can start your next quilt!