I’ve made a couple of quilts as Christmas presents over the last couple of years and am working on one right now! I thought it might be nice to share my process for binding (edging) the quilt as I know I did a fair bit of head scratching when attempting my first.
This is a tutorial for ‘double folded binding.’ I find this the most professional and durable finish for my quilts and is a method I have learnt by trial and error! You are aiming for one long continuous piece of binding that is large enough to go around the whole edge of the quilt. To find out how long it needs to be simply measure all 4 edges of the quilt and add another 0.5m’s. Firstly, you need to decide whether you are using all one fabric, or a mixture. I like the eclectic look of a mix, but lay pieces around the edge to get an idea what it might look like. You also might want to mix up the lengths of your pieces too. If you are using all one fabric, make life easy for yourself and just cut along the width of your fabric and then you’ll only need to seam a couple of times to get your desired length.
Cut your fabrics 9cm wide and to your chosen lengths.
Seam all of your pieces together using a 1cm seam allowance. Press your seams to one side.
You should have one long strip. Now press the strip in half right sides facing out. Note that one end has to have the raw edge turned in.
Put the raw edge of the binding against the raw edge of the quilt, I usually start around the middle of my longest edge. You must leave a ‘tail’ of about 10cm’s. Pin the binding all the way to the corner and then mark 1.5cm’s away from the corner either with a pin or some chalk.
Leaving your ‘tail’ alone, stitch with a 1.5cm seam allowance and stop at your marker. Remember to back stitch here and trim your threads ends. IMPORTANT! Depending on what wadding you are using you may want to decrease this seam allowance to just shy of 1.5 or even 1cm, you need to make sure when you turn the folded edge to the back of the quilt your stitch line is covered. Do a small line of stitching, turn and check before continuing!
You now want to pull your binding strip over the top of the piece you’ve just stitched down so it forms a perfect right angle and the diagonal goes right into the corner of the quilt.
Fold it back on itself. If you have done this correctly you will be left with a flapping triangle – then pin this down.
Starting from the very top, stitch a 1.5cm seam allowance all the way until you reach the other corner – you repeat all the above steps for each corner. Do pin your binding for each side, or just go straight into machine stitching, depending how confident you feel.
When you have finished the 4th corner you will meet back at the start, you need to lay the binding inside the piece with the turned in edge and keep on stitching until you meet the very first stitch you did.
Once completed simply pop out each corner – it will look like the below photo. The back of the binding needs to be hand stitched down. Turn the folded edge to the back of your quilt, either hold in place whilst sewing or use pins and be careful to get the corners as neat as the front! Use a thread colour that will blend, and I usually double up my thread for strength. I find this video is the easiest to follow for a blind stitching reminder!