I realized not too long ago that not everyone binds their own quilts. Actually I knew that quite some time ago but it just occurred to me why? Some don't know how to piece the binding strips together and some don't know how to attach it. Hopefully I can help you with that. Of course, some just don't like doing it period! And that's okay... that's why I offer binding services. :)
So let's get started on today's Tuesday Tips, Tricks, and Tuts - Binding Prep. You will need to determine the number of strips needed to go all the way around the quilt. It's no magic formula, just simple math. Add the length to the width and double that. Now divide that by 40 (the length of a width of fabric strip) and round up to the next whole number.
For example, my quilt is 48" x 60.
48 + 60 = 108 * 2 = 216 / 40 = 5.4 (rounded up) = 6 strips of binding.
I rarely sew binding down by hand; 99% of the time it's by machine. That being said, I cut my binding strips 2 1/2" x WOF (width of fabric). A majority cut theirs 2 1/4" but I have found that that extra 1/4" gives me room to turn it and catch it on the bottom without difficulty by machine.
Now that binding strips are cut. Let's sew them together. Start by laying 2 strips at right angles to each other. I leave that little extra overlap so I can see where I'm sewing and where they intersect.
I don't mark mine, but you can if it helps you with a sewing line. Draw a diagonal line (either imaginary or with a marker) from top inside corner to bottom outside corner. Double check yourself at first to make sure you're drawing it the right direction. Just flip it back as if it were sewn to see if it's going to right way. Trust me, you can do it backwards and you will know immediately when you flip it if it's wrong.
Now sew on that line ... As you can see from the photo below, when I drew my line I drew it the wrong way... which is another reason I don't draw my line. I know how it should lay under the needle of my sewing machine and drew it wrong for the demo! Notice how it does lay under the needle of the sewing machine though. This is how each section should look.
Now grab the tail of the top strip, lay it down right sides up, place another strip on top of it right sides together and sew diagonally again. Repeat, chain stitching until all strips are sewn together.
Cut them apart and trim off the excess to 1/4". I trim with scissors but a rotary cutter will work too.
You are ready to press the binding strip. Press it in half, this time wrong sides together down the length of the binding strip.
When you get to a seam, press them OPEN.
Now roll it up and you're ready to bind when you quilt top is quilted.
Next week on Tips, Tricks, and Tuts Tuesday, I'll show you how to attach the binding to the quilt.