Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Making your own binding

I just dread this part of quilting...BINDING.  I like to make my own because you can make it out of some really cute coordinating fabric, there are not too many choices with the premades.  But I did some research and I think this will be my new favorite tool.  I could never get the fabric fold perfectly straight as I ironed (which i don't like either).  But...  The Clover Bias 1-Inch Tape Maker, 1 EA or Clover bias tape maker for making 2 inch (50mm) bias should take care of this problem.  Why didn't I think of this.  Here is a crash course on making your own binding that I found  here.

Binding is the narrow "ribbon" of fabric used to finish off the edge of quilts and on some apparel (necklines, etc.). You can make your own binding from fabric, or you can buy ready-made binding. Michael Miller just came out with some great cotton binding from their pindot and checked fabrics. If you use ready-made binding, you can skip down to Step 6 and just start sewing it on.
Step 1Step 1:
Cut your fabric at a 45 degree angle, using you cutting mat or a ruler as a guide. You can cut binding straight (not on the bias) if you prefer (because of the fabric pattern, for instance). The disadvantage is that straight cut binding will not take curves as well as bias cut binding.
Binding 1Binding 2
Step 2Step 2:
The binding width you wish to create will determine your strip width. To create a 1" binding (1/2" per side), you would cut a stripe 2" wide. The Clover bias tape tool recommended 1 7/8", so that's what I cut.
Step 3Step 3:
Place your strips right sides together and offset a bit to compensate for the seam allowance. Then stitch together and press open.
Step 4Step 4:
Now you can feed your bias strip into the Clover Bias 1-Inch Tape Maker, 1 EA. (Which is awesome, if I say so myself.) Use the point of a seam ripper to pull it through the tool. Pull out about 1 1/2" to 2" to start.
Step 5Step 5:
Now iron the folded strip as you pull the tape maker down the strip. When you come to the seams, the tool tends to want to fold the seam allowances backward. I just stop ironing at the seams, pull them out of the tool, position the seam allowances how I want them and continue pressing. Voila! You now have binding in any pattern/color/weight/texture you want!
Step 6Step 6:
Select a spot on your quilt or project to start binding. (Make sure you have trimmed the layers of quilt. You want the back, batting and top to meet at the edges.) Begin about 8" into your strip, so you'll have some slack to sew to the end at the finish. Just stitch just inside that fold, keeping the edge of the tape even with the edge of your quilt.
Step 7Step 7:
When you've gone all the way around your quilt, trim one end of the binding and mark the location where it meets the other end. Then add a seam allowance, clip the marked piece and sew the binding strips, right sides together.
Step 8Step 8:
I then folded and pinned my binding in place. I'm allergic to hand sewing, so I topstitched it on the machine. (Though a handstitched binding looks spectacular.) I stitched mine from the front side, which makes the front look nice, but I don't think the back side looks so great. Unfortunately, I can't find any tutorials on the web that address this. Next time, I'll try sewing from the back side and see if it improves the look.
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