Saturday, April 18, 2015

Piped Binding Tutorial

Machine stitched piped binding is my newest favorite binding, but only when a) it works with the quilt design, and b) I need the quilt finished in a hurry. I've applied it on several quilts, so it's time for a tutorial on stitching piped binding.

Piped Quilt Binding

There are a lot of pictures to explain the process -let's get started!

Binding Preparation:

Start by choosing the main color for the binding, and the accent color. Cut enough main color strips at 1 1/2" wide, and the same amount of the accent color at 1 3/4" wide.

Piped Quilt Binding main and accent strips

Join all of the main color strips together as usual, and do the same for the accent color.

Piped Quilt Binding joining main and accent strips

Stitch the two strips together, using a 1/4" seam.

Piped Quilt Binding stitching strips together

Press the seam toward the main color.

Piped Quilt Binding press towards the main color

Fold the edges together, revealing 1/8" of accent color, and press.

Piped Quilt Binding press to reveal the accent color

Applying the Binding:

Starting midway down the edge, apply the binding to the back of the quilt, with the main color face down. This allows the binding to be folded to the front to show the accent color.

Piped Quilt Binding applied with main color against back

Stitch to the corner, stopping within a seams width of the edge.

Piped Quilt Binding stitched to the corner

Turn the quilt, backstitch to the edge, and remove the quilt from under the foot.

Piped Quilt Binding stitched straight back at the corner

Fold the binding back, forming an angle from the corner.

Piped Quilt Binding folded back at the corner

Bring the binding forward, lining up the the fold and the binding edge with the edge of the quilt.

Piped Quilt Binding folded at the corner

Continue stitching the binding until within at least 12" of the starting point, leaving enough for joining.

Joining the binding:

Snugly lay each strip along the edge of the quilt, folding each at an angle at the join. Mark this fold on each piece. I used a chalk marker on this darker fabric.

Piped Quilt Binding folded at joint

Straighten out the top binding piece, right side up. Lay the bottom binding piece on top, perpendicular to the other. Match the angled markings.

Piped Quilt Binding aligning markings

The line in the picture denotes where the marking is underneath.

Carefully lift an edge to line up the seams of the binding. The arrow shows the match.

Piped Quilt Binding matching seam and markings

Holding everything in place, carefully replace the piece, and put a pin at the joint.

Piped Quilt Binding pinning match point

At the sewing machine, take a few longer stitches at this point to check for alignment.

Piped Quilt Binding match point test stitches

This looks pretty good - maybe off a smidge, but it's okay for this quilt. If this quilt was for show, I would definitely redo it until it was spot on.

Piped Quilt Binding match check

Now to just sew the whole joining seam - almost done!

Piped Quilt Binding stitching the joining seam

Check for correct orientation and length against the quilt.

Piped Quilt Binding checking final length

Trim off the excess, press open the seam, and continue applying the binding.

Finishing the binding:

Before turning the binding to the front, remove some of the bulk in the corners by trimming out the little triangles there. Removing some of that fabric makes for a nicer corner, as sometimes they can get quite fat!

Piped Quilt Binding extra corner fabric

Get a scissor in there, and clip the fold at the quilt edge.

Piped Quilt Binding clip fold at corner

Fold back the binding seam allowance to expose the fabric triangle. Clip even with the stitching.

Piped Quilt Binding trim out triangle in the corner

Once done with the corners, press the binding on the backside to create a nice crease, then fold the binding to the front. I use school glue to hold the binding down on the front (the quilt police should be arriving any time!). Pressing with a hot iron helps to set the glue. Since I wash my quilts, I'm not worried about glue residue - it's a starch product and washes out.

Piped Quilt Binding using glue to hold the front

Now to stitch it all down! After choosing a thread that matches the binding accent color, the stitching takes place in the ditch between the accent and the main color. 

Piped Quilt Binding stitch in the ditch of the accent color

And ta-da! A beautiful piped binding, adding that extra special something to a quilt!

Piped Quilt Binding finished

Happy Quilting!

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  1. I'll have to try your method of joining the binding. That's been a troublesome part of attaching binding for me. That piping looks great.

  2. Thank you! A wonderful tutorial and something that I want to try. It really adds that "special touch" of added detail.

  3. Thanks for the great tutorial - I will definitely try this. And your photos are wonderful - they catch every detail perfectly!

  4. Great tutorial, great photos!! I think I could do this.

  5. Such a well written tutorial and with great pictures, Susan. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. I love the look of piped bindings. I'll have to try it some time.

  7. Nice tutorial. I like the suggestion to tack the binding down with glue and ironing. I struggle with machine binding but think that would help. Like the piping too.

  8. Thank you for this lovely tutorial. I can hardly wait to try it! I found your blog on Linky Tuesday at Free Motion by the River. So glad to know you!

  9. Looking really good! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Thank you for a great tutorial! I do have a question-why do you clip the fold and trim that triangle? I've never seen this before. Thanks!

  11. Great tutorila! Thanks so much, I will be trying this out soon!


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