Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Can you stand another binding tip?

The other day Carrie posted about her method for binding and Mary asked about our favorite tips, so I thought I’d combine the two.

I start with 2.5” strips and lay them in a single layer, right side up. However many layers you feel comfortable cutting is good; I have four strips here.

Since this is a plain pink fabric, I marked the right side with chalk so I wouldn’t get them flip-flopped while sewing.

Next I take my Easy Angle and position the flat-tipped end near the selvage and lop off the fabric through all the layers.

After the first ends are cut, grab all (four) layers at the other end of the strips (selvages again) and line them up… single layers, right sides up… and make the exact same cut. That bulge? I only line up as much fabric as is needed to fit under the Easy Angle; I don’t worry about the rest of the length. Repeat with the rest of your strips.

This is how two strips line up for sewing (but of course you turn it 45deg). Those flat-tipped edges make a nice little ¼” margin and it doesn’t take much time to feed through all the strips by chain-piecing.

I love my Easy Angle!! I will admit it took me a couple of years to figure out how to use it correctly, but once I did it’s been my tool of choice for everything from HSTs to those nasty little corner connectors to binding. All the cutting is done beforehand, so there are no rabbit ears to worry about or guessing about where ¼” is when lining up opposing angles.

Here I'm ready to clip the threads & press in half. I don’t bother with pressing open the seams until I get to each one.

One other tip. You know that ugly mess of slithering binding when you’re done pressing? I roll up the pressed binding around my outstretched hand and toss it on a flashlight (or something sturdy that won’t tip as it’s unraveled), set it beside my sewing machine and take off with applying it. I took this picture before it was fixed, but I feel the binding doesn’t get tangled as much when applying to the quilt if the raw edges are facing upward. Make the center hole big enough that the binding will just unroll from the flashlight as you apply it. Otherwise you spend all your time picking up the flashlight.

This picture shows the beginning and end of the binding; they’ve been measured, trimmed and I’m ready to sew these two ends together before the final stitches to the quilt. Since this final seam is so awkward, I use pins to keep it lined up.

I hope you enjoy these little tips. I’ve been doing my bindings this way for years and, to me, it saves so much time. After the binding strips are cut, it probably takes less than ½ hour to trim, sew, and press the strips and apply the binding.

Back tomorrow with more of the sweet stuff that's been filling my days.

Take care,


1 comment:

Allison said...

That's a great idea! I never roll my binding and its a total mess. Thanks for stopping by! -Allison