I grew up in a wonderful home with an amazing mother. My 2 grandmothers lived close by and we were spoiled by them. One was named Anna and the other Rhea Anna. And so my handle if you will is Granny Ann. Together those 3 women taught me everything and taught me how to love living life by hand. I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I have.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Binding a Quilt

My grandfather was a Math Teacher. When he taught Geometry he would have his students draw beautiful designs using triangulation. I love math myself and think binding corners are so easy. But sometimes people I am teaching just can't see it like I do. They probably just need to see Grandpa's pictures. But we don't have those so here are my pictures.
 After the quilt is quilted remove the excess batting and fabric.
 Measure the outside edge of the quilt. Add at least 8 inches to this measurement.
Take binding material and fold in half or in quarters, depending on the size of the cutting board. A good rule to remember is to always measure twice and cut once.
 Cut the binding fabrics in 2 1/4 inch strips, cutting enough strips to equal the outside measurement +8 inches. I use the measurements on the board as well as the first strip I cute to make sure I am cutting it right.
Sew the strips together end to end to make one long strip of fabric. Grandma never wanted to waste any thread so she taught me to just slide my next seam to be sewn onto the sewing plate after backstitching so that I wouldn't have any threads hanging.
 Then you simply cut carefully between the pieces and don't have to worry about any trailing threads.
 Iron the seams open and flat. I left the selvages on so it was easier to see. Trim those off.
Fold binding in half lengthwise and iron flat.

 Sew binding onto quilt going through all 5 layers. Start in the middle of the bottom edge of the quilt. Start 5 or six inches onto the binding. This will leave enough binding to attach to the end of the binding. Do not let the binding stretch. Gently help the binding go under the foot do not stretch the quilt to accomplish this. I use the edge of my presser foot as my sewing guide. This makes my binding a little larger than 1/4 inch.
 Corners are a fun challenge. Stop sewing 1/4 inch from the edge of the quilt. With the needle down, lift the presser foot and turn the quilt. Sew at a 45º angle off the edge of the quilt. Be sure to backstitch.

 Turn quilt to begin sewing the next edge. Fold the binding back against the 45º stitching as pictured below.
 Bring the binding material down over the edge of the quilt. The fold in the binding should be even with the edge of the quilt. 
 Begin sewing on the edge and across the length of the quilt and continue around the quilt until the last corner has been sewn. Stop sewing  a minimum of 6 inches away from where you began sewing on the binding.

 IN this step you sew the two ends of the binding together. Find the middle of the unsewn edge. Bring each side of the binding to the middle and fold the extra back. Finger press this fold to mark it and then put a pin in each side. Lifting the binding up make sure the pin is only through the bottom of the fabric, or the side of the binding that lies on the quilt.

 Line up the 2 pins from each end of the binding, right sides together. This will be the sewing line.
 Remove marking pins and pin the 2 pieces together allowing the seam to be sewn. Stitch along the fold line. Sometimes I stitch just a 1/16 inch inside the fold line to make sure the binding won't be too long.
 Before trimming off the extra material lay the binding down on the quilt to make sure it is the right length.
 If you are happy with the length, trim excess binding to 1/4 inch. Open seam and finger press flat.
 Finish sewing the binding onto the quilt.

 Bring the binding over the edge of the quilt to the back. Hand stitch the binding slightly over the seam. I like to put my needle through the middle of the fabric layers on the back then . . 

 . . .put my needle in the middle of the binding exactly above the place where my needle came out of the fabric.
 Repeat this process of going in and out of the quilt and the binding exactly above and below until you are close to the corner. The stitching is almost invisible.

 A few inches from the corner of the quilt fold binding over the next edge of the quilt. Secure with a pin. Finger press the upper binding on a 45º angle. Fold binding over edge of quilt.
 This will give you a nice mitered corner. Be sure to stitch through both bindings in the pinpoint of the corner.

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