Binding Hints #2

Today’s post is another binding tip.  From my experiences with show quilts, I always wanted the finished, bound edge of the quilt to have a full binding.  Quilt judges pay attention to that as a sign of a finely finished quilt.  Many quilters don’t think much about that until they enter quilt contests, and find that the judges scored them lower because the binding was not up to their standards.  I don’t generally live by the standards of the quilt police, but once I started studying my binding results, I also appreciated that a full binding looks better, and wears better too.  And it’s not that hard to achieve!

To begin, don’t trim the edge of the quilt before attaching the binding.  I cut my binding strips at 2 1/4″, and sew the binding on by machine with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  When trimming the seam allowance, I make it a little wider than 1/4″ to make the binding fuller.  Generally I trim about 5/16″, but that will vary depending on the thickness of batting and fabrics.

Binding 4Then, when I turn the binding to the back side and hand-stitch in place, the binding is smooth and full.

But what about the corners?  Since there are extra layers of binding fabric in the corners, it doesn’t need any extra seam allowance width to fill the binding.  I trim the corners to 1/4″, and gradually make the seam allowance wider as it gets away from the corner.

Binding 5

As alternative to this method, I could cut my binding to 2″ and get similar results.  However, I prefer the wider binding for its appearance on the finished quilt, and I think the wider strips are easier to work with in general.  This method also allows for handling the corners differently than the rest of the edges.  I hope you try this method, and let me know if you like it!

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