Saturday, February 7, 2009

Straight Grain Binding

Binding widths vary but when I cut strips 2-1/2" I use the June Tailor Shape Cut Plus. The rotary cutter cuts through the open slots in the ruler to cut strips accurately and quickly. For the king size quilt I'm binding, I cut 10 strips which requires 3/4 yds. of fabric.

Trim off both ends of the selvedges. On an ironing surface, lay one strip right side up, another right side down.

Fold the top corner down to create a diagonal fold so the right side is showing; press.

Lay the pressed corner back and pin, making sure the folded line matches up at each point on the fabric underneath.

Pin in place. The folded line will be clearly visible. Continue the process of joining strips, paying attention to the direction of the print on the fabric. Here I made sure all the red circles pointed down, rather than being up on top. Just turn a strip around to keep the direction the same.

Load your machine with 100% cotton 50/3 thread (Presencia) and a microtex sharp machine needle (I used an Organ titanium tip 75/11). Use a normal or slightly shorter stitch length--this is sewing on the bias. Sew directly on the fold, taking care whilst going over the pins. Chain piece each pinned section.

Take the chain gang and clip the threads between each section. Remove the pins and trim each seam to 1/4" using a rotary cutter and an acrylic ruler. Press the seams open, then fold lengthwise with right sides out and press.

The binding is now double-folded and 1-1/4" wide. Use the walking foot to sew the binding to the quilt edge. Lay the raw edge of the binding (about 10" from the beginning) to the raw edge of the quilt (begin 1/4" distance in from a corner) and sew with a 3/8" seamline.

Check the seamline by folding the binding to the back and make sure the edge will cover the stitches. You may need to readjust your seamline. The binding should fill into the fold so if it's too loose, take a deeper seamline; if it's too tight and rolls, use a smaller seamline.

There are a couple more steps to handling corners and joining the beginning and end of the binding strips which I did not photograph. I'll include those and the instructions in my next post.

Copyright ©2009, Sharon Baggs

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