Archive | Binding Tutorials

How to Start and End a Knot

When I started quilting, I had no idea how to do this. My knots would look so ghetto, lol. This may be a no-brainer to a lot of you seasoned sewers out there, but for all of you that’d like a quick lesson, here’s a 3-step tutorial. I know I would have appreciated this 6 years ago! (Sorry the picture quality isn’t the best – I was taking these photos with my left hand).

You basically just a) and b) With your needle and thread, make a loop. Hold the thread’s tail so it doesn’t slip out. Then c) put the needle through the loop to create a knot. You can repeat a couple times.

This is great for when you’re hand stitching your binding. I also have a short video I made a while back on my Binding & Blind Stitching tutorial (scroll down for the video). There’s another technique on how to tie off a blind stitch. Either way works.

That’s it for now – just a quick tip!

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Machine Binding Tutorial

Let’s face it, binding can be very time consuming especially when you blind stitch the back. Although blind stitching may look better, machine binding is more practical especially for those baby quilts that will be thrown in the wash time and time again. Here’s a tutorial on how to do it. 🙂

First, you need to prepare your binding strips and then sew them onto the back of your quilt using a 1/4″ seam allowance. You can learn to do this by referring to Part I of my Binding tutorial, except as aforementioned, be sure to sew the binding strips onto the back of the quilt instead of the front.  I suggest using an even feed walking foot when attaching binding. After you’re finished with Part I, return to this post to learn how to machine bind instead of blind stitching.

After you’ve finished Part I, fold your binding over onto the top of
your quilt. When you fold it over, make sure you pull it over the 1/4″
seam allowance as shown below. Iron the binding so that it lays flat and then pin to keep in place.

When you get to the corners, simply fold the bottom edge of the binding straight up, press flat with an iron and then pin the corners down to keep everything in place.

Be sure to place a pin on the corner (as shown with the green pin below) to lock down the corner folds.

Lastly, sew a top stitch near the edge of your binding strip. To achieve this, (#1) align the edge of the binding with the middle of your walking foot and then (#2) adjust the needle width so that it’s 1-2 millimeters from the edge of your binding (refer to the image below). Once you’ve adjusted the needle width, all you have to do is concentrate on guiding the edge of the binding strip along the middle of the walking foot.

To stitch around the corners, slow down and remove the corner pin (the green pin) and replace it with the sewing machine’s needle to lock it down with a stitch. With the needle down in that corner, lift the walking foot and pivot your quilt 90 degrees, put the walking foot down, and then continue sewing your binding.

Click image to enlarge.

After you’re done machine binding, here’s how the front and back of your quilt binding will look.The top stitch will be on the front of your quilt, and on your quilt backing there will be a stitch that runs along the binding as shown below.

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Binding & Blind Stitching Tutorial

You all asked for it, so here it is! A binding/blind stitching tutorial just for you. 🙂 Thanks for your patience…though binding is something I do regularly, this tutorial took a lot of thought. I try to stay away from posting lengthy and wordy tutorials, so I tried my best while still trying to depict everything clearly. Part I of this tutorial is how to attach the binding to your quilt top, and Part II is how to blind stitch. I made videos of me blind stitching in hopes it would be easier to learn.

Also, I wanted to say that I’m a self taught quilter, therefore my way of binding and blind stitching might not be as traditional. But it’s how I roll, and it works! There are many ways to bind a quilt, and this is just one of them.

One last thing (so much for not wanting to post wordy tutorials :-p), this tutorial is just one way to bind. Check out my Quick Quilt Binding Tutorial for an alternative method.

Update: If you prefer not to blind stitch the back of your binding and would rather machine stitch it, check out my Machine Binding Tutorial.

Part I – Binding (Steps 1-7)
Note: This tutorial assumes a 1/4″ seam allowance. Start and end all stitches with a back-stitch.

Step 1 – Start by cutting 2.5″ strips from the length of your fabric. If your binding fabric is less than or equal to 1 yard, then typically the length of your fabric will be about 40-44″. You can divide the total perimeter of your quilt top by 40″ to calculate how many 2.5″ strips you will need to cut (example: if the total perimeter of the quilt top is 120″, then you will need 120″/40″=3 binding strips).

As shown below, sew the strips together to create the length of binding you will need to bind the perimeter of your quilt. To do this, align two strip so that they are perpendicular to one another with the right sides facing each other. Sew a diagonal line from the bottom left corner to the top right corner as shown below.

Trim the corner off making sure it’s 1/4 inch away from the diagonal line you stitched:
Then press flat with an iron:

Step 2 – With an iron, press the binding in half lengthwise so that the width measures 1.25″.

Step 3 – On one end of your binding, create a 45 degree angle seam: a) Open up the binding on one end. Create a 1/4″ seam by folding the fabric over 1/4″ at the top, then press. b) Fold the top left corner down to form a 45 degree angle, press. c) Press in half lengthwise.

(Click to enlarge)

Step 4 – Start binding along the side of your quilt top and away from all corners. As shown below, attach the binding to your quilt top by opening the binding, and then sewing through the first layer. Make sure you start with the end that has the 45 degree angle seam (from the previous step). From the top of the binding, sew 4-5″ down.

Step 5 – Close the binding so that you can no longer see the 4-5″ that you previously sewed. From the top of the binding, measure about 3″ down and start sewing (as depicted with the black arrow below). You will overlap with the previous stitch by at least 1″. This will leave you with an open ‘pocket’ at the start of your binding that’s about 3″ long.

Step 6 – Continue sewing the binding to your quilt top. Use pins to help keep the binding in place. When you get to the corners, do the following four steps (a, b, c &d):

a) Stop sewing 1/4″ from the bottom of the corner. End your stitch with a back-stitch.

b) As shown below, fold the binding over so that it’s in line with the edge of your quilt top.

c) Then fold the binding over again but in the other direction; still make sure the binding is in line with the edges of the quilt.

d) Pin the corner folds and binding to keep in place…

…and then start sewing again from the top of the fold to stitch it down. Continue sewing and repeat Step 6 for all corners.

Step 7 -When you get to the end, you will come upon the open ‘pocket’ from Step 5.

Tuck the unfinished end under the flap as shown below.

And then continue sewing to stitch it closed.

Part II – Blind Stitching
Update: If you’d rather machine bind, please see my machine binding tutorial.

Now that you’ve finished attaching the binding to your quilt top, the last part is to blind stitch the binding to the backing of your quilt. Start by folding the binding over to the back, and pin it to the backing of your quilt.

When you get to the corners, simply fold the bottom edge of the binding straight up and then pin the corners down to keep everything in place.
I made three videos showing how to blind stitch…it was just too hard trying to show it via photo.
When blind stitching, use a strong thread that won’t break. The last thing you want is your thread to snap halfway through blind stitching your entire quilt! For the purpose of the tutorial, I used a thick and bright pink flossy thread so you can easily see me blind stitching.

Video #1: This first video shows how you start the blind stitch. I typically start with at least three feet of thread and tie a knot at one end. Start by hiding the knot underneath the binding as shown in the video. And remember, when blind stitching the thread should never show on the quilt top (it should stay in between the backing fabric and batting). Once the knot is secure, your needle should come up from the quilt backing and nick the edge of the binding, and then come straight back down from where you came up. Then, come back up again but roughly 1/4-1/2″ away from where you originally started. Repeat.

Video #2: This second video shows how to blind stitch the corners of your binding. It’s the same process as the first video; the main thing I wanted to show you is when you come up to nick the binding, make sure you nick the corner flap of the binding to ensure it gets stitched down. If you stitch the corner flap down as shown in the video, the entire corner is good to go. 🙂

Video #3: This video shows how to tie a knot when blind stitching. Since you start with only about 3 feet of thread, you will have to do this a handful of times depending on how big your quilt is. This might make you go a little cross-eyed, but once you’ve done it a few times it sticks with you. 🙂

Update: Here’s a 3-step picture tutorial on how to  start and end a knot.

I hope this helps. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions! And remember, this is just one way to bind a quilt. Check out my Quick Quilt Binding Tutorial for an alternative method (that doesn’t involve any blind stitching!)

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Quick Quilt Binding

Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the RainBinding your quilt is the LAST step in creating a quilt! There are several ways to bind a quilt, and this is one of the FASTEST ways because there is no blind stitching (by hand) involved. Also, in this method you don’t need to cut and prepare binding strips. Instead, extra fabric from the back of your quilt will be folded around to the front of your quilt top and fastened by sewing a straight stitch with your sewing machine. You will need about 1.5 inches of extra backing fabric around the perimeter of your quilt top.

Below is a quick and simple 5-step binding tutorial:

Step 1
As shown below, cut any excess batting material from your quilt sandwich (FYI for any newbie’s, a quilt sandwich consists of the quilt top, batting, and backing fabric in that order – batting is the fluffy stuff sandwiched between the quilt top and backing fabric).
Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

Step 2
Using a ruler and marker, mark 1.25 inches on the backing fabric around the perimeter of your quilt top (shown below).

Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

Step 3
As shown below, use fabric scissors to cut along the line you marked from Step 2. This will result in 1.25 inches of backing fabric around the perimeter of your quilt top.
Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

Step 4
Fold the backing fabric in half lengthwise (shown in 1st picture below). Next, fold that over onto your quilt top and pin to keep in place (shown in 2nd picture below). Do this around your entire quilt. I placed pins every couple of inches.

Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

When you get to the corners, follow steps 1 and 2 (below) for folding and pinning all corners:

  1. Fold the corner over so the edge of the binding is aligned with the quilt top.
    Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain
  2. With the corner folded over, fold the backing fabric in half lengthwise. Then, fold that over onto your quilt top and pin in place.
    Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

Step 5
As shown below, sew a straight stitch along the edge of the folded binding. Remove the pins as you sew. You can also sew a zig-zag stitch instead of the straight stitch.

Quick Quilt Binding - Quilting Tutorials and Fabric Creations - Quilting in the Rain

And that’s all there is to it! Quick and simple : ) Let me know if you have any questions.

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