Monday, 23 April 2012

Mitred Corner - Quilt Binding Tutorial

Adding binding to a project is something I rather enjoy.  Not only reserved for quilts, I've also been finding it pretty useful when making pillows.  It makes putting a pillow together a doddle, is quick and easy to do, and is a whole lot less fiddly than messing about with piping.

After talking to a few quilters, including some who have been sewing for years, I've realised that not everyone knows how to sew a mitred binding.  It's dead simple, and easy to master.   If you haven't attempted it before, do give it a bash.  You'll be adding binding to everything in no time!

Many quilting patterns say to cut binding in 2.5 inch wide strips.  I find that 2 inches is ample for any quilt, and looks neater.  With the recent pillows I've been making, I've reduced it to 1 3/4 inches - giving just enough fabric to turn over and stitch down.

Anyways...... lets get on with the info.......

Start off by cutting enough strips to go around the outside edge of your quilt.  Remember to add a couple of extras to allow for joining/corners.  There is no need to cut the fabric on the bias.  I cut straight across the width of the fabric.

To join the strips together, pin one strip at right angles to the other with right sides together.  Sew across the diagonal.

 Trim the corner off to leave a neat edge (no need to use pinking shears, twas the first thing grabbed on my desk).

Continue joining on strips until you have one continuous length large enough to go around the binding, plus plenty spare.  I tend to chain piece all mine together to save thread, but if you do this, do take care that you have remembered to turn the last piece over to the right side before adding another.  I ALWAYS forget to do this at least once each time.  

Next press the joining seams to one side, and then carefully press the whole strip in half - wrong sides together, and you are ready to start attaching to your quilt.

With the raw edges of the fabric next to the edge of your quilt, begin to sew your binding strip using a quarter of an inch seam.  You will be sewing onto the right side of your work.  Before you start to stich, turn over the edge of the binding towards your seam at 45 degrees and finger press. (sorry - forgot to do this before I took the photo).  Pin in place, and begin your stitching just after the fold.

Continue sewing until you reach a quarter inch from the corner.  Secure your stitching and remove from machine.   If you're not confident about judging a quarter inch, mark lightly with a pencil, as you do need to be accurate at this stage.

Next  fold the strip up and away from you so that it is in-line with the right edge of your quilt.  Finger press, and then fold back down.  It will be neatly squared, and you will have a triangle of fabric in the middle.  Ensuring the fold is turned to the left, pin in place.

 Begin to sew the next side, again starting your stitch a quarter inch in from the edge.  If you haven't done this before, you are probably thinking it looks rubbish at this point.  Don't panic, as long as your stitching is even, and you have folded your binding with care, it will work like a dream.  (You may even find this so simple you can be blase and not use pins after a while!)

Continue the same process at the remaining corners.  When you are nearly back to the beginning, you just need to take a little care to ensure the join will be neat.  Allow the binding to overlap a little behind the fold you create at the start.  Pin, and sew neatly in place. 

Now it's time to fold the binding over and secure on the back of your quilt. 

As you fold your binding over, the corners on the front of your quilt should look like this.  All neatly mitred like magic!

Nows the time for a touch of hand stitching.  It doesn't take too long, as it's only a quick slip-stitch in place.  (I have been known to cheat whole-sale at this point and machine in place.  This is a totally slap-your-hands option, and I am a lazy trollope of a seamstress for doing so - just thought I'd let you know it's possible.  If you machine carefully, it will still look neat on the front - and no-one who's not a seasoned quilter will ever notice.  Ideal for quick makes and things which need to survive multiple washes - not heirloom pieces!). 

The back of your quilt at the corners should look like this.....

The fold that was included when sewing down, means that there will be enough to fold to make a mitred edge.  Fold carefully, finger press and pin into place.

All that's left to do is to slip stich in place, taking care your stitches don't go through to the right side of your work.  At the corners, ensure you add a few stitches to secure the fold.  The binding will easily hide the machine seams underneath.

I do hope this has made some sense, and doesn't read like double dutch!  At least the photos may be useful.

Happy Sewing

Coming up in the next blog-post ......

"Don't get Shirty"

Two projects to make using the other half's old shirts. 
(1 currently finished - 1getting there).

1 comment:

Oh - go on! It's so lovely to receive messages, and I really do appreciate it.

I always do my best to reply to messages - both here on the blog and personally (as long as I can see an email address)