Monday, September 2, 2019

Joining Binding the Easy Way!

Welcome to my classroom for the Back to School Blog Hop, hosted by Sam, of Hunter's Design Studio



Do you struggle to join quilt binding ends? Can't figure out how much binding length to leave, or which direction to sew the diagonal seam? 
Then struggle no more! Today's class is for you, and I'm going to change your quilting life forever with a tutorial for joining binding ends the easy way.



My original tutorial on this subject, Joining Binding in 3 Easy Steps, is my #1 viewed tutorial, which tells me the binding struggle is real. And what I'm showing you today is such an awesome technique, it bears repeating. So say goodbye to complicated measuring, confusing angles, and binding that doesn't fit. Just try this method for joining quilt binding once, and I guarantee you won't look back!

Before we get started, let's talk about binding width. I cut all of my bindings to a 2 1/2" strip width, which gives me enough to turn to the back and catch when finishing with a machine stitched binding. Some quilters like less, and if that's you, just be sure to fold back the same amount as your strip width in the first step.


Step 1: Fold back the binding end


Fold back 2 1/2" (or your strip width) at the binding beginning and pin. Start stitching approximately 6" away from the fold. 

joining quilt binding-start with a fold

Continue all around the quilt, stopping the stitching within 6" of the folded binding.

stop the stitching within 6" of the folded binding

I like to leave as short a gap as necessary, 

short gap between stitched binding ends

as I've found that a larger gap can cause the binding to ripple toward the end of the final stitch down. 


Step 2: Trim the binding where it meets the folded piece.


Lay the quilt flat, then adjust the binding flat against the quilt. Trim the free end where it meets the fold. I usually trim that end piece a wee bit less - no more than 1/8" - which helps to make a snugger fit along the quilt edge. 

joining quilt binding-trim at the fold

Step 3: Join the binding ends


Unpin, unfold, and open up both pieces. Don't twist them - just let them open naturally. Overlap the pieces, right sides together, at right angles, with the piece that had the 2 1/2" folded end on top of the piece that was cut. Line up the two outer edges, placing a pin to hold them together. 

binding ends right sides together at right angles to each other

If necessary, mark a diagonal line to follow when stitching, from strip tip to strip tip. Notice the direction of the line creates excess to trim off. Any other direction is incorrect as there is no excess created.

diagonal line for stitching and cutting excess binding

Stitch along the diagonal line, then check the length against the quilt for snugness. Now is the time to make adjustments before trimming. When the length is good, then trim the excess and finger press the diagonal seam open. 

joining quilt binding-trimming and pressing

Step 4: Finish attaching the binding to the quilt top 


Pin the binding in place,

pinned binding join

and finish stitching it on. Fold it to the back of the quilt and either machine stitch, or hand stitch it in place.

finished binding join

Wasn't that easy? I know this technique has changed my quilting life - it's so simple that I don't fret over bindings all!
And if you would like to improve your binding corners, check out my Reduce Bulky Corners tutorial - it too will change how you finish a quilt. 

For a list of other tutorials this week, check out Back to School - Week 1.

Feel free to share your new-found quilting knowledge with all your friends - Happy Quilting!
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10 comments:

  1. Thank you so much. I always struggled with this but your explanation has made it so simple.

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  2. I do a similar method and it works so well. Great tutorial to share, Susan!

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  3. Thank you! I'll use this technique on my next binding!

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  4. Thank you for an excellent review.

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  5. The joining at the end of binding is always the worst bit. Thanks for a refresher on your simple method.

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  6. Hi Susan! What a fun blog hop, and a fabulous tip. I'm going to try this exact procedure on my next binding. Your steps are crystal clear. Thanks for sharing! ~smile~ Roseanne

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  7. Tyty for sharing this idea. .. happyness04431@yahoo.com

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  8. I love this explanation! Very well explained Thank you for simplifying he directions.

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  9. I do everything you just showed us but I just learned to start by folding it back 2 1/2 inches!

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  10. Thank you for a fun tutorial. I used it earlier this month in a baby quilt that I finished.

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Thank you so much for commenting...you just made my day!