Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a safe and fun time over the last few days. We had a pretty low-key holiday, starting with a birthday party for a niece on New Year’s Eve. We stayed up to watch the ball drop, but I have to admit that was East-Coast time (and we live in the central time zone). We spent New Year’s Day as we always do, eating New Year’s pancakes. I have no idea now many families have this tradition, but both my family and Joel’s both celebrate with lots of pancakes. My family has been known to have contests to see who can eat the most pancakes. The record is well over a dozen. Joel’s family goes for a different kind of competition, always involving some sort of cards, preferably Rook. Either way, it’s just an excuse to hang out a little longer and enjoy more food!
With the dawning of a new year, a lot of bloggers are reflecting on the past year. I have to confess that my mind is __________ blank, so I think I will skip the reflection and share something quilting related. After all, I assume most of you come here to learn something about quilting anyways. I would like to share some hints about binding, as I assume you will learn more from that and hopefully it will be something that helps you improve your quilting in the new year.
I get lots of e-mails and questions about how to bind corners. I’ve already talked about how to binding inside corners here, so today I’m going to show you how to bind odd-angled outside corners. By that, I mean anything greater than a 90-degree angle. I’m going to demonstrate on this topper that I just finished machine quilting.
Here’s the pattern front, which gives you a better idea of the shape of quilt we will be binding (see the lower right corner).
As you can see, there are a total of eight 135-degree corners on this topper/tree skirt.
Here’s a close up of one of those corners.
Step 1. I start by drawing my stitching line, about 1/4″ away from the raw edge of the quilt. Pay close attention to where those two lines intersect at the corner.
Step 2. Start sewing towards the corner. Stop right at the point where the two lines intersect and back stitch. (that point is hidden under my binding in this picture)
Step 3. Now turn the quilt, so that the next side to be sewn is running parallel to your sewing foot as shown.
Step 4. Now fold the binding straight up, so it makes a straight line with the raw edge of the quilt as shown. Make sure pull the binding all the way up, as far as your stitching will let you.
The red dot in this photo shows where my stitching line ends and you can see that the binding is pulled all the way up. Now I insert a pin at a 90-degree angle from the outer point of the quilt.
Step 5. Fold the binding down toward you as shown. Again, pull the binding down toward you as far as the pin will let you.
Here’s a close-up of that again. It’s really important that your 90-degree corner is perfectly even with that outermost point of the quilt and with the point where the quilt angles up to the left. Notice the red lines that I have added to this photo to demonstrate this.
Then start sewing until you hit the next corner. Repeat all steps.
Have you noticed that this is the same steps that you go through when binding a regular 90-degree corner? It’s really that easy. It just takes a little practice.
After hand-stitching the binding, the corner should look like this:
There are a few things to watch out for, and they usually involved getting too much fabric or not quite enough fabric into the tuck/miter at the corner.
This photo shows not getting quite enough fabric into that corner miter. This is most likely to happen if you don’t get the pin in the right spot in Step 5.
After doing the hand-sewing, that corner will look something like this. See how there isn’t quite enough fabric to make a nice mitered corner? The tuck is much to small.
If you get too much fabric into the corner, it will look like this. See how the extra fabric makes a little corner that hangs over the edge of the binding at the top? This is not how you want this to look and this also happens by getting your pin in Step 5 in the wrong spot. (in this case you put your pin too high up)
After hand-sewing that corner, it will look like this. See that bulge on the outer corner? That’s what happens when getting too much fabric in the corners.
See the difference?
I will put a link to this post under my tutorials tab, so you can easily look up this post for future reference.
The following photos show a few examples of quilts or runner that have the type of corner that I just showed how bind.
In my opinion, the best way to learn a new technique is to actually try it.
If you would like to try it, I will give away a set of these patterns and books to one lucky reader! Just leave me a comment to enter to win. I’ll announce the winner in my next post, so be sure to check back then.
I hope this helps you with your binding – and gives you an excuse to start a new project to practice the technique!