Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fancy Finishes! Faux-Piped Binding

This month begins a tutorial series featuring edge-finishes and "Alternate Endings" to use on quilts or other quilted projects, other than a standard binding*. 

Binding ~ Faux Piping! 
You are going to love this quick machine-binding for a fancy finish! 

Faux-Piped Binding
Pre-quilted RBD chevrons/dots with solid red and lime pieced binding  

Here's a way to pretend you went to all the work of adding piping to your binding without all the effort.  "If there's an easier way...", that's my motto.  This is also an easy finish for a quick gift.  Today's tutorial is loaded with extra TIPS and thorough steps for binding any quilt.

Faux-Piped Binding

Supplies ~A quilt or other project that needs binding 
Pieced binding strips are cut from selvage to selvage on the cross-grain
("width of fabric" = "wof").

       MAIN Print:  1-1/4" x wof strips - this is what you'll see as the outer binding.
       ACCENT Print:  1-1/2" x wof strips for flange/piping
       (NOTE:  1/4" difference creates 1/8" flange)

1 strip main print, 1 strip accent print = mug rug, hot pad or mouse pad
2 strips each = placemat or pillow
5-6 strips = baby quilt
6-8 strips = lap quilt
8-10 strips = twin/queen
10 to 12 strips = king size quilt
Instructions ~
This machine-binding technique is one of my favorite quick fancy finishes - great for pillows, mug-rugs, placemats, kids' quilts, and I especially like it on my laminate 
UFO-to-Go portable design wall.  It adds just the right touch of elegance, even on a fancy quilt. 

Today's placemat project used 2/3 yard pre-quilted fabric to yield 4 placemats.  
       Cut 4 ~ 12" x 18" rectangles for placemats
       1/3 yard MAIN print (red) Cut 8 ~ 1-1/4" x wof strips 
       3/8 yard ACCENT print (green) Cut  8 ~ 1-1/2" x wof strips

Step 1)  Prepare Binding:
STITCH to join two 1-1/4" main binding strips together end to end; 
use a diagonal seam and press seams open to distribute bulk.
TIP:  Center a strip of painter's tape with your needle.
Layer binding strips right sides together at right angles
and stitch from "V" to "V" as pictured.  Keep your eye on the bottom V
for a nice straight line.  Chain piece to save time and thread. :)
Trim excess bulk leaving 1/4" seam allowance and press seams open. 

Faux-Piped Binding

Make four sets.  REPEAT for all the 1-1/2" accent print strips.
 Faux-Piped Binding

With right sides together, pair up a main print with an accent strip
and STITCH using a 1/4" seam allowance.  
TIP:  Offset so the original joining seams are not together.  
PRESS seams toward the main print, unless you want to fill your
"piping", then press toward the accent color.  
In that case, you may want to trim seam to 1/8".
Binding should now measure 2-1/4" wide.
Faux-Piped Binding

 PRESS pieced binding in half, lengthwise; align raw edges.  
See how the accent color peeks over at the folded edge?  That's the "piping"!
Faux-Piped Binding

  TIP:  Use this neat little trick to roll and store binding. 
 Here's a quick video:

 Tuck the end in the back, and it will stay in place until needed.
Pull binding out of the center and it's ready to apply to the quilt.
 Faux-Piped Binding
If it's rolled like this, the binding doesn't twist or roll away
as you attach it to your quilt or project.

Step 2)  Apply Binding
STITCH binding to quilt BACK using a 1/4" seam allowance. 
 Place binding with the right side of the main print 
facing the back side of the quilt.  Accent piece will be facing UP.
Faux-Piped Binding
TIP:  Before you begin, take a minute to lay out your binding around 
the perimeter of your project to make sure no seams land on the corners!!

MITER the corners as usual when applying binding.
 Stop stitching at 1/4" from the corner, then backstitch a couple of stitches. 
Remove from the sewing machine and clip threads.  Remove pin.
Faux-Piped Binding

Fold binding to the corner at a 90-degree angle.
Faux-Piped Binding
TIP:  Check for correct angle: raw edges follow a straight line.
Fold binding back down, keeping the folded edge evenly aligned 
with the previous corner, and realign raw edges together.  PIN to secure. 
Faux-Piped Binding
Begin stitching right at the folded edge and continue 
to the next corner.  Repeat steps for each corner.
Leave about an 8-inch open space to work the final splice.

 Step 3) Join Final Seam
Work this final mystical seam with the quilt away from you
and the binding toward you.  Overlap binding tails.
About 1/3 of the way into the unstitched area,

grab both binding tails together and clip a 1/8" notch 
through all four layers.  Do not clip the quilt. 
Faux-Piped Binding

CUT off the (right) ending tail, exactly at the notch.
Faux-Piped Binding

Use the discarded binding as your measuring tool.
Align the strip over the left binding tail with the clipped notch at the left.
CUT off any excess binding to the right.
 Faux-Piped Binding 
TIP:  Check to make sure that your binding now 
overlaps exactly the width of the binding.

Open out the right binding tail right side up.
Open the left binding tail so it's wrong side up.
Here's how I remember:  "Right side - right side up.  Left side - open up." 
  Faux-Piped Binding\

FOLD the left tail corner "Up" into a triangle, aligning the point 
with the clipped notches,  Crease to establish stitching line.
Mark the line if you'd like. 
 Faux-Piped Binding

Place the left tail right sides together, perpendicular
to the right tail, and forming a "V" (for "Victory!)
Faux-Piped Binding

STITCH on the line. 
TIP:  Take time to test the seam to make sure nothing has twisted
before you commit to stitching!   
Another TIP:  FOLD the quilt to give enough ease so you're not
to stitch the final seam.
Yet another TIP:  The stitching line is ALWAYS parallel with the quilt edge.
 Faux-Piped Binding 

 TRIM off excess bulk, leaving 1/4" seam allowance.
Finger-press the seam open. 
Realign binding with quilt edge and STITCH that final gap. Perfect!
Faux-Piped Binding 

TIP:  Take a minute to lightly PRESS the binding away from the quilt,
before folding the binding around to the front,
getting a nice crisp fold at the seam. 
  Faux-Ppiped Binding
Step 4)  Big Finish! 
Bring binding around to the front of the quilt
and PIN the corners to form identical miters.
Faux-Piped Binding

 STITCH in the DITCH.  Pivot at the corners. 
Faux-Piped Binding

TIP:  Use a large pin, stiletto or seam ripper to hold the binding in place.
Pin the long stretches between corners, or try Clover Binding Clips
those seem to work well too.
Sometimes I'll use latex gloves just to grip it.

OR - skip the pins and the clamps and just get out a glue stick!  
That works as well as anything!

Overlap beginning stitches, and you're finished!
Here's the back - it's reversible!!
Faux-Piped BindingI don't mind the finished stitches showing on the back; they're pretty even!

PLEASE NOTE:  I use the mitered corners (Step 2) and final spliced seam technique
(Step 3) to bind all my quilts, whether machine or hand finished.  In the case of a hand-stitched finish, I initially stitch the binding to the FRONT of the quilt. 

Sure hope you can use this tutorial to help finish your projects!   Join me next month for more sewing basics. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or send an email to  And you're always welcome to stop by Quiltscapes for a visit!

*P.S. This kickoff tutorial is one I've had a lot of fun with as I begin my fourth year of writing monthly "Sewing/Quilting Basics" tutorials sponsored by Riley Blake Designs.  See them all HERE.

Comments from RBD
  1. I love this very clever idea and can't wait to try it. Thanks!
    by Marti
    January 05th, 2015 at 1:50 p.m.
  2. Thanks, Deonn. I've seen this technique before but your tuts are always so clear and accurate. I'm going to use this binding when I finally finish the quilt I'm working on.
    by LJ
    January 07th, 2015 at 8:23 p.m.
  3. This looks so beautiful and your tutorial is excellent! Thank you.
    by Kate
    January 08th, 2015 at 7:58 a.m.
  4. Deonn, this is a wonderful tutorial. Thank you! I'm excited to try this binding finish on my next project!
    by SherylW
    January 08th, 2015 at 10:51 a.m.
  5. Thanks Deonn! I've tried this not quite so successfully in the past, and this is a good explanation of what I've done wrong! LOL!
    by Ruthiequilts


  1. Ahh I have some Fig Tree fabric calling my name for a zig zag quilt

  2. Awesome Deonn!!! I'm going to use it on my next project!

  3. I just love how easy it is to sit down and sew some placemats!

    Gretta Hewson
    Veritable Movers in San Antonio website


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