Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Simply Basics 101 - a binding tutorial...

Over the last year or more I have received a hundred or more questions on how I do basic things like backstitch, decorative stitches, binding, quilting, storing threads and fabrics, what threads I prefer to use, how to design a pattern etc.
It was always my intention that once I had the first few issues of the magazine under my belt that I would do some simple tutorials through my blog that would answer those questions. 
Remember, though, there are tutorials all over the internet and a google search will surely find them, so I encourage you to do just that. My way is indeed *my* way, but it's not the only way. What works for me may not work for you. However, we won't know until I show you the methods I personally favour. So today, let us start with the first lesson in ~

"Binding a Quilt"
Regardless of the size of your quilt - whether a mini-quilt, a wall hanging, a runner or something much larger, my method is the same.
First of all you need to make the binding strips. Your pattern will tell you how many fabric strips you will need, and what width they need to be. Some will be 2.5" wide and others will advise 3" strips for making binding. I usually use 2.25 inch strips as I like my binding to be snug, but over time you will find the best for you so experiment a bit.

First off, cut the number of strips given in your pattern.
Lay one end face down on the end of a second strip at a 90 degree angle. 
Place a small quilting ruler onto these fabrics with the 45 degree angle along the straight edge of the top fabric strip, 1/4 inch in from the end of the ruler.
Hold the ruler firmly in place and using your rotary cutter, remove the excess piece along the diagonal edge of the ruler.
Pin the two pieces together.
Sew them together with a 1/4 inch seam along the raw diagonal edge.
Continue this with all the lengths of advised binding strips until you have one long continuous strip of fabric.
Press the seams open.
Fold the binding strip in half lengthways and press. 
About half way down one side of your quilt, pin one end of the binding - raw edge to raw edge. Leave 4 inches of binding free at the end.
Stitch the binding down with a 1/4 inch seam, and stop 1/4 inch before you reach the corner.
 Fold the strip up to a 90 degree angle...
 ...and fold down again to a nice square edge. 
Sew a 1/4 inch seam down this side, but stop 1/4 inch from the end and repeat with the next corner.
Repeat until you have completed all four corners, but stop once you are 4 inches from where you began on side one. 
Fold the end of the right hand strip under by about 3/4 inch and press.
Leaving a 2 inch length on the end, cut the excess length from the left side strip. Slip the left hand end of the binding inside the right hand side piece. 
Stitch across to complete the attachment of the binding to the quilt.
Trim the excess backing and wadding from the quilt top, making them level with the quilt top raw edge. 
You can use any excess binding strip to make a hanging sleeve if you like. Just fold under each raw edge at the ends, press, and sew in place along the middle top back of the quilt with an 1/8th inch seam.
Fold your binding back and press gently.
Turn the binding over to the back of the quilt. Mitre your corners like this.
Do as neat a slip stitch as you can with a thread that matches your binding fabric. It helps if you catch the slip stitch in the machine sewn 1/4 inch seam line along the back.
Slip stitch the bottom of the hanging sleeve, if you added one, and you're all done!
I hope this tutorial is clear enough for you. If you have any more questions please leave a comment and ask them. Hopefully I can answer them. :-)
Is there a tutorial you would really like me to do for you? 
Let me know in the comments and I'll see which is the most requested for my next Simply Basics 101. 
In the meantime you will find my backstitch tutorial here. Some suggest using a hoop, but as I said - we're all different. I won't use a hoop at all, as I have a gentler way I prefer to hand stitch. It suits me perfectly, and yet it may not suit you. Perhaps I'll share that one day. :-)
I also do not knot my thread before I start stitching. 
Hand stitching is a very personal thing, so I advise that you try all methods to find the one that suits *you*. Perhaps you will end up doing something different again! 
Anyhow, if you'd like to see how I do things just leave a comment and ask. :-)
To access all the tutorials offered through "Simply Basics 101" over the coming 'however long', just click HERE.
To save to your computer alternate click on the photo below. 
It's Charters Towers Show Day so a public holiday is being enjoyed here today. Mr E and I have already been for a walk to time how long it will take to visit our eldest daughter and her family when they move into their home next week. I can't believe that we'll finally have her and her hubby and sons living in our little town...and only 14 minutes walk from our door to theirs. Bliss.


Fee said...

Thanks so much for doing these tutorials Jen - I have decided I am definitely a visual learner - so seeing pictures and having such clear instructions is fantastic for me.

You are a treasure!

Fee :-)

Melody said...

Great tutorial with clear concise instructions. Thank you, it is much appreciated.

♥GiuGiu♥ said...

thanks for this nice tutorial, I will certainly be useful

retdairyqueen said...

Great tutorial Well done with the picture

Pootle said...

Brilliant tutorial. Ive got loads of quilting books but none of them explain it like this (hence Ive never done a quilt yet!) Thanks for this. x

Marilia Baunilha e Patch said...

Thank you so much, Jenny. I learned a lot.


Joyus said...

My quilting teacher taught us to bind each side separately and consequently my corners always look fudged.

Yours is the first tuturial for binding that I've actaully been able to follow and realise I can do mitred corners so thank you!

addictivestitches said...

Jen you have done a fantastic job with this. Be proud of yourself, you are an inspirational friend.
Yor second edition was a great read too..

Unknown said...

That is agreat tutorial,very easy to understand & the pictures are great too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this great tutorial. It was very useful for me as a beginner.


T√ľnde from Hungary (Europe)

Barb said...

I enjoyed your tutorial and the fabrics,,,,,

Mommarock said...

This is fantastic! You are right, there are several tutorials out there, but the thing that is always missing is having them in a format that is downloadable, so that you could print it out easily and make yourself an educational binder to keep next to your sewing area so that when you get stuck you could RE-find it easily.

Graciela said...

Hi Yenny!!!!! thanks for this tutorial, is great!!!
thanks again
kisses for you♥

Annie Bee said...

Thank you for a great tutorial and it was very timely. I am doing a binding on a Christmas Card holder and it calls for mitred corners which I am not too good at. Thanks again.

petra said...

Thanks for this tutorial.
I've made my last binding that way but didn't know I had to cut the wadding back. It don't looks very attractive - now I know why.
Next time I'll remember your wonderful tutorial.

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

That's exactly how I do it. I just love binding a quilt. So relaxing.
xx, shell

Vicki said...

Hi Jenny, Thank you for the tutorial. Your way of binding is very similar to mine. I have often thought that I was doing it all wrong because none of my friends do it the same as me. I am of the opinion that whatever works for you is right for you. I started teaching quilting last year and was a bit concerned about teaching the right method. I did point out to my class that mine is not the only way and the best way is then one that they are comfortable with but it is reassuring to know that you do it like that too. Vicki

Anonymous said...

I too am a visual learner of some things, so I thank you so much for this post.
Have a beautiful day.