Quick Tip Tuesday – Binding Auditions

Sometimes a print fabric is just the right choice for a binding. The problem is envisioning what that fabric is going to look like as a binding. Prints have lots of possibilities especially if it has a distinct pattern or repeat. Here is how I look at my options!

I took a scrap piece of chipboard – any sturdy, heavyweight paper will do, or just  a piece of paper in a pinch! I like the chipboard because I can use it over and over and it’s not apt to end up in the recycling bin by mistake! I cut a piece about 6″ x 15″. Then I cut out a slot a little less than 3/8″ the length of the board leaving about 1″ on each end. I chose this width because my binding ends up a little over 1/4″ on the front and you can always see the rolled edge. The best tool I have found for cutting chipboard: a rotary cutter with a blade that is reserved for paper – or a blade that you are ready to throw out.


I lay out the fabric that I am auditioning and move my window around varying the angles to see what I can find.

This Kaffe Fassett print would add plenty of color to a binding and would hide the seams well.


binding kaffe

There aren’t a whole lot of variations with this fabric. However, it would add some interest to a binding without adding much color.


binding rings


Of course, stripes are versatile – horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. This stripe is unique because it has an ombre effect and would add a lot of character to the right quilt.binding stripes


These trees act a lot like a stripe – but you wouldn’t have to worry about matching it up!binding trees


This herringbone has a lot of possibilities – careful cutting is the key. Chevrons work in a similar fashion.

binding herringbone


These diamonds are a lot of fun!

binding diamonds


If you want a specific pattern – like in the diamond – you can use chalk to mark the edge that you want closest to the quilt. Then cut 1/4″ from the edge. Then cut it to the width that you prefer.


Quick Tip Tuesday

I’ve tried many different ways to join the ends of my binding over the many years that I’ve been quilting. I’ve pretty much settled on the method I’m going to share today. It’s fast, easy, accurate and requires no special tools – just a pair of scissors! This post is pretty long for a ‘Quick Tip’ – just because I wanted to include plenty of detail. It will take you longer to read the post than to use this method!

Leave about 12″ of space between the stitching of the start and end of your binding and leave plenty of extra binding for overlapping – at least 8″ on each end. On to joining the ends.

Step 1: Lay the ends of the binding over each other.


Step 2: Lift up the top piece and cut the bottom piece, making sure that the top piece overlaps the bottom piece by 3″ or more (this depends on the width of your binding).


Step 3: Lay the top piece back down.


Step 4: Take the scrap that you cut off in step 2, open it up, place it on the top piece so that it is lying perpendicular to the binding. Match the edge of the scrap to the cut end of the bottom binding (you can’t see it very well in this picture because they are exactly matched so you can’t see the edge of the bottom binding – but essentially you want to mark an overlap that is the same size as the width of the binding.). Cut the top binding at the opposite edge of the scrap.


Step 5: Put the binding right sides facing at a 90° angle. Stitch at a 45° angle – just as you would join binding pieces.


Step 6: Stitch. Open and check it just to make sure everything looks good!


Step 7: Trim the seam allowance. Finger press the seam open. Refold the binding and stitch the binding down! Voila!




Summerwind Studio

This is the last of the three quilts that I sent out for quilting. This was quilted by Stephanie Dodson of Summerwind Studios. I love the background leaves that she did. 20130717_082109

And the simple quilting that she did on the owls. It gave them some texture without overwhelming them. 20130717_082141

I also really like how she used the print in the fabric to inspire her quilting.


Thank You, Stephanie! The quilt is beautiful! Now I just have to get it blocked and bound!