Almost every quilter is going to create binding for quilt projects, unless they pay someone else to do it. The thought may have crossed your mind at some point. But, as always, Fons & Porter is here to help and so are our loyal quilting friends.
Below are 9 great quilt binding tips submitted to Fons & Porter by quilters like you! See if there’s anything here that makes you go, “Well, that makes sense! Why didn’t I think of that?”
Sometimes I need to change the width of my binding depending on the thickness of the batting and fabric in a quilt. I make sample bindings so I can audition them to find which size I need before cutting binding for the quilt. The widths are marked on the samples. ~ Alice Miller Marcellus, MI
This is a fun way to finish flannel quilts for children. Cut straight binding strips 2″ or 2½” wide. Sew to the back of one side of the quilt with right sides together. Turn binding to the front and stitch through all the layers, covering the binding stitching line (I use a serpentine stitch). Clip the binding to make fringe and repeat for remaining sides. ~ Elaine Pelton Sandpoint, ID
Tip #3 – Binding Aid
After I cut and press my binding, I lay it flat, and fold it into 8″ – 12″ increments in a back and forth motion. Then I slip a large rubber band on each end. When I sew the binding on the quilt, I can release as much binding as I need.
When it came time to bind a quilt I was making for a friend, and I realized I didn’t have any matching fabric left, I used a ready-made binding. I used a decorative machine stitch and variegated thread in coordinating colors to customize the binding. It’s a fun way to use different stitches.
Tip #5 – Binding Roll
Make your binding strip as usual. Rather than pressing the long strip in half to form the double binding, fold it and wind it jellyroll style (not tight, but tight enough for a compact roll). Place a pin at the end to secure the roll and set aside until you are ready to bind the quilt. Before you start to sew the binding on the quilt, drop the roll (intact) into a Ziploc sandwich bag. Take the pin out and unwind about 6-8 inches (enough to reach the outside of the bag) and zip the bag up to the binding strip. Holding the end, let the bag drop to the floor beside your feet . As you sew the binding will unroll by itself inside the bag – not all over your work table or getting tangled up on the floor. This eliminates pressing, as well as tangling, therefore saving time.
For beautifully curved and flat bias strips, steam press approximate curves before applying. I use metal bias bars to prepare my strips, but this method works with any type of bias.
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.
Tip #8 – Binding Dispenser
When I make my binding for a quilt, I wrap it around a tube that I have saved from kitchen plastic wrap (it is heavier than a toilet tissue or paper towel tube). Then I put the tube inside an empty Kleenex tissue box so that I can roll it out through the slit. That way the binding stays wrapped around the tube and it dispenses easily through the slit as I sew it onto the quilt.
Do you have any quilt binding tips that you’d like to share? Share them in the comments and then submit your quilting tips to Fons & Porter!