Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Chunky Finish

Last evening, I finished sewing the binding on a new quilt sample. This is a lap quilt, made from the Chunky Halves pattern and using a brand new line of fabrics from Dear Stella. The line is called Lola, and I just love it! What do you think?

This pattern is reserved just for shops, but starting this fall, you can get your very own 'Chunky Lola' kit at your favorite local quilt shop. Better call the shop and request
a kit of your very own! If they don't know what you are asking for, send them my way, and we'll get them fixed up!

You'll notice that the quilt has a super-sized binding--a chunky binding. There are a few ways to do this, but I like to cut extra wide binding strips, which makes the extra-wide binding nice and full. Scroll down for some extra-tips for an extra-chunky binding for your next extra-special quilt! 

Make the quilt. Sandwich and quilt it, then trim the edges. It's ready to bind.

I'm adding a 'chunky' binding. Instead of cutting the usual 2-1/4" strips, I cut my strips 6-1/2" wide. There are a couple ways to do this, some that don't use as much fabric, but I like keeping all the fabric layers in tact for a really nice fullness in the binding. I'm sewing my strips together with a diagonal seam, then trimming the seam . . .

 . . . press the seam open . . .

. . . then press the strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.

It makes for a strange-looking pile of binding. Is Paul Bunyon in town?

Get out the walking foot, and attach the guide to the right of the foot, about 1" away from the center of the walking foot (where the needle will be)

I like the pin the binding to the edge of the quilt . . .

 . . .then draw a line on the binding, at the corner of the trimmed quilt, with a 45˚ angle. You don't have to draw the line along the entire binding, just at the corner so you know when to make a turn.

Align the guide with the trimmed edge of the quilt, and attach the binding with a 1" seam. Be sure to start with a nice long tail (at least 12-18") to start.

When you get to that 45˚ line, make sure the needle is in needle-down, if your machine has that option, pivot and sew on the angled line. This will keep the corners from balling up over time. It's nice to do this on every binding, but I think it's particularly important on an extra-wide binding.

To miter the binding at the corner, place the quilt with the unbound edge toward you and fold the binding at a 45˚ angle to the right. The binding strip should bump right up against that angled stitching you just did. . . .

. . . then fold the binding strip toward the left, creating a 90˚ angle in the binding. The binding will now have a fold that is aligned with the right edge of the quilt.

Rotate the quilt, start sewing the next 1" seam at the folded edge of the binding (the edge of the quilt). Keep going, mitering at the remaining three corners, and leave about 24" unsewn at the binding end. Be sure you have an unsewn binding tail at least 12-18" long at each end.

If you make the continuous binding closure the same way I do in ScrapTherapy, Cut the Scraps! or ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One!, you'll want to calculate half the width of the binding strip (6-1/2" divided by 2 or 3-1/4") then use that distance to measure and mark the binding closure seam from the 'kiss' fold. If you want a review of this method, check out this blog post.

Once the binding is secured to the front of the quilt, turn the folded edge of the binding to the back, and secure the fold about 1" away from the quilt edge, covering the binding seam. The extra large Wonder Clips from Clover are really handy for this step!

At the corners, take particular care to offset the bulk on the top and the bottom of the quilt . . .

 . . . and take a few extra stitches through all the layers.


I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a nap!

Happy Stitching!

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