A lot of times, quilters have a strictly love or hate relationship with quilt binding. For the large majority, it’s the latter. Unless your natural gift is folding small bits of fabric in half and managing large quilt sandwiches, you might not enjoy that last step of finishing a quilt. However, for those of you who are pro- quilt binding, it has probably taken you years to get where you are, and you’re dying to dispense some of your knowledge to other quilters. Well, now’s your time! But before you comment, read some of quilt binding techniques and tips below and find out if some of them might be useful to you.
Binding Tip #1: Binding Clips
If you don’t like using pins when hand stitching binding for quilts, try using plastic coated paper clips. They are easy to slip on, and the thread will not get caught on them. Wonder Clips also hold on tight making the quilt binding process much easier to work with.
Binding Tip #2: Wrangling Binding
I like to wrap the finished binding around a tube that I have saved from kitchen plastic wrap (it’s heavier than a toilet tissue or paper towel tube). Then I put the tube inside an empty tissue box so I can roll it out through the box’s top opening. That way the binding stays wrapped around the tube and it dispenses easily through the slit as I sew it onto the quilt.
Binding Tip #3: No Tangle Binding
To keep binding neat and clean while applying, I use a clean plastic jar such as a recycled peanut butter jar, mayonnaise jar, etc. Cut a 1″ hole in the top of the lid and sand any rough spots around the cut hole. Loosely place the binding in the jar, replace the lid and pull the binding through. Make sure that you have your starting end of the quilt binding coming through the hole.
Binding Tip #4: Ironing Board
If I am binding a quilt that is heavy or too warm to keep on my lap, I drop my ironing board down and put it over my lap. I then put the quilt on the ironing board to support it while I stitch the binding.
Binding Tip #5: Quilt Label
I use a unique method to make labels. I program all the label information into my sewing machine, and before adding binding to a quilt, I stitch the writing on the back half of the binding strip with a strip of tear-away stabilizer underneath. After the binding is sewn on, the writing appears on the back edge.
Binding Tip #6: Easy Folded Binding
When making folded binding, I always have a hard time keeping it from slipping off the ironing board as I press it. To solve this problem, I pin a small strip of cloth to the pointed end of the board, leaving enough space for the flat, unpressed width of the binding to pass through. On the other end of the board, I pin another small strip of cloth, leaving enough space for the folded part of the binding to pass through. I can press the binding while the fabric strips hold it all in place until I reach the end.
Binding Tip #7: Save Your Binding
Cut your binding at the same time you are making a quilt top. Store the binding with the quilt or in a special “binding bin” so the fabric doesn’t get used for some other quilt project before you are ready to bind the quilt.
Random Binding Fun:
Just for fun, when you choose your next scrap quilt pattern, bind the scrap quilt with a binding made from random lengths of several fabrics used in the top. Use Fons & Porter’s Binding Tool to make binding a breeze.
There you have it, tips for quilt binding for every quilter, beginner or advanced. To learn more about finishing a quilt, watch the free quilting video tutorial, Sew Easy: Learn how to Bind a Quilt. If you have some wisdom of your own, you may dispense it now. Leave a comment!