85F3CE96-2B73-4819-B350-FD64F4FBC6D4 .Quiltscapes.: Fancy Finishes! Faux-Piped Binding

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.

The kickoff tutorial is one I've had a lot of fun with as I begin my fourth year of monthly "Sewing/Quilting Basics" tutorials sponsored by Riley Blake Designs.

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.

You are going to love this quick machine-binding for a fancy finish! 

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.

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 - what you'll see as the OUTER binding.
       ACCENT Print:  1-1/2" x wof strips for FLANGE or 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 each = baby quilt
6-8 strips each = lap quilt
8-10 strips each = twin/queen
10 to 12 strips each = king size quilt

Instructions ~
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

Instructions:  Click to see original TUTORIAL
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.

Make four sets.  REPEAT for all the 1-1/2" accent print strips.
With right sides together, pair up 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. 
Binding should now measure 2-1/4" wide.

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

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

 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.

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 of the binding
facing the back side of the quilt.  Accent piece will be facing UP.

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.
Fold binding to the corner at a 90-degree angle.
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. 

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. 

CUT off the (right) ending tail, exactly at the notch.

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.

 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.  Left side = wrong side." 

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. 

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

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.

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

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. 
Step 4)  Big Finish! 
Bring binding around to the front of the quilt
and PIN the corners to form identical miters.

 STITCH in the DITCH.  Pivot at the corners. 
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.
Sometimes I'll use latex gloves just to grip it.

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

Overlap beginning stitches, and you're finished!
Here's the back - it's reversible!!

I 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. See Binding Lesson.

Sure hope you can use this tutorial to help finish your projects! 


  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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