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Quilt Tips From Quilters Around The World


After I sew on my binding, I fold it to the back and fasten it with quilt clips. They look like hair clips and hold it in place while I'm handsewing the binding. - Hanna in Indiana

Binding is one of those areas I struggle with. I am still experimenting with the width I cut the strips of fabric. I think I will cut my next batch 2.75 inches wide and see how I like that. To join the strips end-to-end I thought up a new trick (to me at least). Instead of putting one strip on top right side down and the second strip on the bottom at a right-angle right side up and drawing a line from the upper left corner of the top strip where the two pieces meet to the lower right corner where the two pieces meet I use a square-up ruler that has a 45 degree line that runs from corner to corner of the square. I put my first strip on a piece of fine sanding paper (makes it easier to draw lines and helps prevent distorting the fabric) right side down. I line up the 45 degree line with the bottom edge (lengthwise) and the right corner of the square-up with the lower right corner of my strip and draw a line (I use a mechanical pencil because I do not have to worry about sharpening them). I draw this line at the end of every strip of fabric I am going to join. Next I pin my first two strips right sides together at a right angle (like an upside down L). I line up the top and the right hand sides of the two strips of fabric. I pin a short distance away from the beginning and end of my drawn line so the fabric does not shift on me. [If I am joining several strips, I pin all of them so I can speed piece.] I sew directly on the line [if I am speed piecing at this point I lift the presser foot and pull the first section about a half an inch out of the way then I put the next joint under the presser foot and sew that, etc.] Clip the threads, press the seam to set it, flip the top piece of fabric back and press. Next flip the top fabric back again and line up the 1/4" line on your ruler with the sewing line and trim off the excess fabric. The result is two strips of fabric joined together which line up very nicely.

The next step is to iron the fabric in half lengthwise. To achieve this, insert two very long needles into the ironing board cover. Insert the point of the first needle and come back up thru the cover then back down thru the cover far enough away to be just a little over the width of the folded strip. Insert the second needle in the same manner the width of the iron away from the first needle. Now fold the strip in half and insert it under the two needles. Pull enough of the fabric out of from under the right hand needle so there is something to grab on to and press that section of fabric. Next lay the iron down on top of the fabric between the two needles. Align the raw edges of your strip to the left, grab the edge of the strip on the right while you are holding your aligned and folded fabric in the left hand and pull the strip through the needles under the iron. Be sure you pick up the iron every other time you do this so the ironing surface can cool a few seconds or you will wind up with a really scorched surface!

Step-by-step photos of how I join my strips and press the binding are in my Quilts-Binding folder at  - Sandy in New York

To hold my binding in place while hand stitching I use some of my daughter's small butterfly hair clips. They hold wonderfully and look nice, too! - Trisha in Wisconsin

I have started using hand quilting thread for turning my bindings. It is made for the repeated trips through the fabric and doesn't seem to fray, knot or break the way other threads do. - Mary in Texas

I use paper towel tubes for storing my left over pieces of bindings. It keeps then nice and flat. no need to re-iron. - Bessie in Michigan

Ever have a hard time setting up for binding?  Why not use your Serger on the edges?  I find that, by serging the edges first, it allows my binding to go on evenly, thus preventing the fabric from "clumping" up on me... makes a nice cleaner appearance. - Melanie in New Hampshire

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