Today will be the last post on the Pretty In Pink quilt along.
My quilt is finished and there are just one or two things left that I can talk about. I am just going to go over a couple of things about the binding.
First of all, the seam allowance when it comes to binding. There are a few people out there that do a 1/4″ seam allowance for everything related to quilting. When it comes to binding, this is one of the times when you get to break that rule. Your seam allowance actually depends on a few things – what width you cut the binding and things like the thickness of your batting.
I cut my binding for this quilt 2 1/4″. Your seam allowance for attaching the binding to the quilt will be roughly 1/6th of the cut size (because the binding is folded in half, then it’s folded three times). One sixth of 2 1/4″ = 3/8th of an inch, so that is my starting point for the width of my seam allowance. This does not account for the thickness of the batting, etc. so it’s best to sew a little bit and then test it.
To test it, I fold the binding to the back side and make sure that the folded edge just meets the sewing line on the back side. If it folds way past, then I make the seam allowance a bit wider. If it doesn’t quite meet the seam line, then I make the seam allowance a little narrower. My pet peeve is an empty binding – which is what happens when you take too small of a seam allowance. I like full bindings – in fact, I sometimes call them voluptuous binding to really get my point across.
I will also show how to miter the corners, though I’m sure many of you know how to do that. The first trick is knowing where to stop by the corner – and you guessed it – It may not be 1/4″. It’s actually the width of your seam allowance. So If you seam allowance was 3/8″, then you need to stop 3/8 of an inch from the corner and back stitch.
Take the quilt away from the machine and turn it so that the next side to be bound is ready to go.
Fold the binding tail straight up. Pull it all the way up until your back stitching stops you.
Now fold it down, so that the fold is even with the top edge of the quilt, and continue sewing. Repeat on the remaining 3 corners.
Lastly, let’s talk about what to do when you get all the way around the quilt and what to do with those tails.
There are lots of methods for what to do – but I like a no math, no cutting angles, no lump method.
First of all, leave an 8-10″ tail when you start and at the end. Cut off a scrap piece of binding and lay it next to the beginning binding tail like this –
Now overlap the other tail and cut it, using your scrap of binding as a “pattern” as shown below. So – the overlap is always equal to the width of your binding (in this case, 2 1/4″). I just use a scrap of the binding so I don’t have to go get a ruler and measure it. It’s that easy – no measuring, no math, cutting at angles, or adding seam allowances. Just cut the overlap of the tails to the width you cut the binding.
Now lay the two tails right sides together as shown (just like how you sew your binding strips together at an angle – I should have taken a picture of this, but I assume that you all know that you sew the binding strips together on the diagonal to reduce bulk). The pin shows where I will be sewing them together.
Now sew the seam
And cut off the corner, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance (again – the same as how you sewing binding strips together and trim them)
Now, just tuck the binding back in half and it should fit the quilt perfectly!
Finish sewing the seam. You will now have a continuous binding and you won’t be able to tell where the last seam was.
For help with the hand stitching, I have a tutorial already posted here. If you don’t already use the method and tools that I recommend, it should save you a lot of time!
I will do a few more quilt alongs throughout the year – Do you have any requests of things that you want to learn more about? Or can you tell me which tip you found the most helpful? Your feedback will help me know what to focus on! Thanks for the feedback and thanks to those of you who joined along.