Thursday, January 10, 2019

In a Bind

This is one of the projects I've been mentioning over the last couple weeks. It's a table runner based loosely on the Journey to Paducah pattern on the AQS blog. I didn't want to make the whole quilt, and I unearthed a fat quarter bundle from my stash that really isn't my cup of tea, but the combination of fabrics and project would be a perfect gift for some friends - it suits them beautifully! 

I started well enough in advance (I thought) to have this little project done by Christmas.
I am fairly certain, there might be one or two other quilters who may have had a similar circumstance this holiday season. Not *you* of course, but, perhaps someone you know. . .

We are two or three weeks after Christmas, and my table runner is 'done.' Quilted, too! So it's time to bind it. 

There are about a million different variations to bind a quilt. This is my step-by-step process that has served me well for many years and many quilts.

First, I start by trimming the quilted sandwich. I trim the backing and batting even with the quilt top (above).

In this case, I'm using wool batting for this project, so those long bits of batting scraps are perfect for pin cushion or biscornu stuffing. Save those!

I cut my binding strips 2-1/4" wide from selvage to selvage.

Technically, double fold binding is supposed to be cut 2" wide. Once folded to 1" wide and sewn with a 1/4" seam, 1/2" inch will live on the front of the quilt and 1/2" will live on the back of the quilt. But that doesn't leave much for the quilt thickness. That's why I cut 2-1/4. Conversely, many folks cut strips 2-1/2" for binding. It's a preference.

I don't typically do bias binding, although, technically, bias bindings are said to wear better.

Next, I do a rough measurement of the quilt (or runner) perimeter. My runner is a rectangle about 15 by 50". So roughly, 2 times 50 is 100, plus 2 times 15 is 30. Or a perimeter of 130". My binding strips will be about 40" long so I'll need 4 strips--3 strips times 40" is only 120" so that won't make it around the perimeter, but 4 strips times 40" will be 160" - plenty!

I loved math back in high school, and I'm so glad that I use it - both the simple stuff and the more complex stuff - nearly every day!

Connecting the strips with a diagonal seam is just about the only time I use the lines on a cutting mat. Line up two strip ends right sides together, one horizontally and one vertically with the cutting mat lines, draw a diagonal line connecting the intersecting edge points, pin on both sides of the line, sew on the line and cut 1/4" (give or take) away from the seam. Connect all four strips into one long one.


Press seams open (to reduce bulk).

Then press the entire binding strip, wrong sides together.

Now, I have approximately 160" of binding that is ready to add to the runner or quilt.

Since I ran out of time, this will be continued next week!

By the time you read next week's newsletter, this project should be bound, labeled, and ready to gift.

Unless it's not.

Hey, anything can happen!

Happy Stitching!

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