When two ends meet

When you've pinned your binding all the way around your quilt, what do you do when the two ends come together?

For years, I just folded the layer that was going to show at a 45* angle and stacked them on top of one another and sewed it down with all the corresponding unnecessary bulk and tight stitches.

Then, I started cutting the 45* angle and folding it under. That got rid of some of the bulk, but the underlayer was not cut and still added bulk.

Many years ago, I saw Alex Anderson join those two ends, and scoffed. Who needs that. It's not that much bulk. Too much extra work.

Now, I'm more refined and hoity-toity about my quilting (ha!!!!) and I can see the advantage of not being able to find that end when I run my fingers around a quilt. Without going back and hunting that down in my dvd's of past Simply Quilts episodes, I've given it a try. This is this year's new skill, so if you do this already, and have feedback on it that will make it easier, please share.

So, the first thing is to mark my quilt. I measure from the inner edge of the last border so I get a straight line from that seam, not necessarily along the outer edge of the quilted border. That outer edge is unreliable as a straight line. I need to measure my final outer edge from some other line in the quilt, especially on one this tightly quilted. That outer edge is all over the place, but I want my binding to look straight against the other lines of the quilt. This quilt will have a 3" border, so I drew a line at 3 1/4" all the way around the outside.

I make my binding and pin it all the way around, laying the unfinished edge of the binding along the line I drew before. And, I get back were I began. I open the binding and fold back the edges to where they overlap, and finger press.

That's not a perfect line, but it's a good starting spot. To get a perfect line, I lay the binding ends at a perfect 90* angle and use a ruler to get the 45 degree angles perfect and mark the line and I pin on that line. You can barely see the black 45* line marked below. I don't want it to be too dark or it might bleed through to the front and what if I marked the wrong place? I don't want that line to bleed through and show.

And, I sew it down the line. DO NOT CUT THE BINDING AT THIS POINT.

If you made a mistake, at this point, the full extent of the correction would be a short seam pick and a line drawn on the wrong side of your binding that might shade through to the right side. If you cut it, you're committed. So, I folded it back in half and spread the quilt edge out.

Perfect (enough)! It was like a quarter inch too big, but I pulled some pins and stretched and repinned it down and that quarter inch was gone. Whoo-hoo!

If it wasn't right, pick out that short 45* angled seam and start over again.

But, since I hit it on the nose, I can cut the tails off and finish pinning the binding down and the only reason I'd ever be able to find it again is because of these pictures. Other than this record, there is no documentation of where that final join is located.

This post will self destruct in 6 minutes. And then, there will be no record at all.

This is the new trick that this old dog has learned this year. Proves it can be done.

Everybody have a great Thursday. Tonight is our tournament game. The team that only lost one game is playing the team that only won one game (us). I'm not sure what that's going to prove. Seems like pouring salt in our team's record. But, for some reason, the school district sports department did it this way and Sydney wants to play, so I'm doing my dead level best to keep my mouth shut. From the coach being disorganized and the practices being inconvenient and the fact that this seems like a bad idea, I'm keeping my basketball booster big boy athletic supporter on and practicing my "Yeah, team!!!"



Paul said...

I just committed to doing a demonstration on this very subject at our February Quilt Guild Meeting, and as a result, just started a tutorial on the subject. I took a bunch of photos last night to document my process.

I do mine similarly, but I use the binding itself to determine exactly where to cut the two binding pieces, and it works every time perfectly.

A trick taught to me by an old quilter, and her method will live on because, for me, it is the only method I have found that is always accurate the first time, every time.

Take Care,

Patricia said...

You are such a great quilter---I am lazy with a capital L---I now use the binding tool by creative grids. You bind the quilt one side at a time (4 separate pieces) and then when you miter the two sides together, you use the tool to make the miter. It is a closed miter though. So much easier for me, and no measuring really---just straight pieces for each side.

Hope tonights game is a good one. You never know---the other team might come into the game a bit over-confident and get a big surprise. Fingers crossed!

Elizabeth said...

I absolutely LOVE this tutorial: Joining the ends of double-fold binding. I've always used it and it works like a charm. It is a little bit less involved than your method. My only recommendation is that you cut your overlap ⅛" shorter than the instructions say (I use 2½" binding, so I cut the overlap at 2⅜". If you do 2¼" binding, then cut it at 2⅛". This will make more sense when you see the instructions). Because bias binding has a bit of give, cutting it ⅛" shorter helps to avoid any extra length.

I loved seeing the little peeks of your Christmas quilt—can't wait to see the whole thing!

xo -E

mtquilter said...

Years ago I picked up a Perfect Binding Card from Fons and Porter with directions for finishing your binding. It works just like you showed except you have to leave a 1/4" between the 2 halves of binding as you found out. Also here is a You Tube link to a new product "The Binding Tool" by TQM Products that might help if you like gadgets. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex2PajesRvU&feature=youtu.be
I hate to say it usually takes me as long to finish the last binding connection as it does to put the rest of the binding on...even with the directions!

Shevvy said...

I think one of your other commentators already mentioned this tutorial http://pir8.freeservers.com/quilting/ending-double-fold-binding/index.htm which is the one I used to sort out the binding. It works a treat.

JustPam said...

I do it like Elizabeth's tute she posted. Works perfectly. Missouri quilt company has a little tool that I bought to simplify the process. It doesn't work for me, but they swear by it and may also have a tute about it.

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Whatever the width of my binding is, that is what the overlap is, then sew the 45 angle, and trim off the triangles and waa laa. Perfect everytime.

Kath said...

a great tutorial and also helpful comments from visitors.
I just came over from John Gray's, as your blog title caught my eye.
Very best wishes Kath in England