Come Sew With Me ~ Straight Binding Tutorial

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Jenice

 

Straight Cut Binding 101~

 1. Straight cut binding is cut 'on grain' and usually from selvage to selvage.  This binding is used for quilts that have ALL straight edges and NO curves (see Bias Binding (to come) for curves).  Cut your strips, 2" to 2 1/2" by the width of your fabric.  

 2. Place (2) strips right sides together as shown (note the selvages extend and will be trimmed away later).  Draw a line and then stitch on that line.  Repeat until all strips are sewn together.  Tools I like to use for marking are top to bottom ~ Regular pencil, U.S. General white chalk pencil, SewLine marker or Hera marker.


 3. Trim away the excess 'triangle' from the sewn seam leaving 1/4" seam allowance. Press these seams open.

 4. Create the 'end pocket'.  Thinking ahead ~ when you sew your binding onto your quilt, you will have a start and finish point.  There are many ways to do this, I am sharing the easiest method and unless I am making a quilt to enter into a show, this is the way I sew my bindings.  So, first fold down and press a corner as shown in the photo.  This is where you  will start and finish your binding. 

 5. Press the entire length of binding in half with wrong sides together.

 6. Trim away the excess triangle from the 'end pocket' made, leave 1/4" seam allowance as shown.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 7.  Sew it on ~ Some use pins, I do not.  Start ~10" from any corner, but never-ever at a corner.  Begin sewing ~2" from the start/end pocket prepared and lay the binding with raw edges aligned with the raw edge of the quilt. I always use my walking foot to sew on my binding, so if you have one, this is a great time to use it, if not, no worries, you can still sew your binding on. Seam allowance is still 1/4".  Stitch through all layers and sew the binding to a few inches from the first corner.

 

 8. "Miter those corners"  This is where many quilters find their biggest challenge.  Practice practice practice is the key.  As you come ~2" from the corner 'stop' and set  up your miter.  First manipulate the binding to smoothly go around the corner by creating a 'dogear' (this excess fold of fabric is what allows the binding to be able to efficiently wrap around that corner).  See how the triangle 'stands' and the 'point bottom' is snuggled into the corner. Also notice that all the raw edges are neat, aligned and straight.  Now lay the 'dogear flap' down toward you and feel for the fold of the triangle underneath.  This is important because you are going to now sew right up to that fold and backstitch.  It may be helpful to slip a pin right at the fold as a reminder to stop stitching there and to then backstitch. Clip threads and carefully turn quilt to complete the miter on the other side of the corner (it is ok to place a few pins to hold everything in place).


  


 
 9.  Now fold the 'dogear' away from you, find that fold and again start stitching just at the fold, take a few stitches and then backstitch... congrats - you just mitered a corner :) Continue sewing on to the next corner and repeat!

 

 

  10.  Almost done ~ remember the end pocket that you made way back in step 4, well now you get to use it.  As you approach the top of the pocket, pin it down so it stays put because you are going to cover it with the binding.  Cut the excess binding tail leaving just enough to totally tuck into the pocket.  

 

 

  11. Tuck the tail into the pocket.  Once everything is tucked in flat and smooth, continue to sew the remainder of the binding and finish by overlapping the stitching by  ~1/2". Congratulations, you have just sewn on your binding.

 12.  Before wrapping the binding to the back and hand stitching it down, I always snip out the corners - just a bit - this will allow for your corners to miter very crisply.  I use a Sharp needle, quilting weight thread (single thread) the color of the binding and a few pins (5 actually) to hold in place, I move the pins forward as I sew.  I use a blind stitch and my stitches are ~1/4" long.  Work with the mitered corners on the back, they should be as pretty on the back as the front. Okay ~ ready set ~ sew :)  

Watch for future tutorials:  Bias Binding, Scallop Binding, Piped Binding, Sewing Binding down by machine and by hand.  Contact me via the connect page if you have any questions or suggestions.  Happy Sewing!