Monday, March 25, 2019

Invisible Binding Tutorial

Every once in a while, there comes a need for a quilt NOT to show a binding around the edge.  For example, with these Dream Big digitally printed panels that are so popular these days, the design continues off the edge, so to speak, and a binding may interrupt that design.




But the quilt edge still needs to be finished, just not visible from the front of the quilt.  I recently finished quilting this quilt for my daughter, and used this invisible or "faced" binding technique.  Here's how:

First, determine how wide to cut your strips.  I like my facing (I call them binding strips) to fit nice and tight, not loosey-goosey, so I cut my strips about* 1-1/2" wide x width of fabric.

*NOTE:  If the quilt is thin, I may cut the binding strips 1-1/4" to 1-3/8" wide.  If it's a thicker quilt such as those with a minky back, thick batting, or if I am applying edge embellishments such as prairie points, scallops or ric-rac after the quilt is quilted, I cut the strips at about 1-5/8" to 1-3/4" wide.

Measure each side length of the quilt, and add a couple of inches.  If a measurement is longer than your width of fabric, you'll need to join the strips together with a 45-degree diagonal seam, as you would regular binding. Trim seam allowance to a scant 1/4" and press seams open to reduce bulk.  TIP: use a shorter stitch length on these joining seams so the stitches don't pop.

Cut 4 binding strips a couple of inches longer than the side measurements, then press strips lengthwise in half.  Now you are ready to apply them to the quilt.

1) STITCH.  Working on one side of the quilt at a time, align raw edges together and stitch binding strip to the quilt using a generous 1/4" seam allowance.


2) PRESS binding strip away from the quilt.


3) FOLD binding and quilt over at the seam line to the back of the quilt and PRESS again.  The seam line should be aligned at the outside edge of the quilt with no binding visible from the front.

On the back, the folded edge of the binding strip should just cover all the raw edges.  If necessary, readjust the seam allowance.


4) HAND-STITCH the binding to the back of the quilt with matching thread, covering the raw edges.

5) TRIM binding strips even with the edges of the quilt.  One side is complete.


REPEAT Steps 1-5 to apply binding strip to the opposite side.

Next, REPEAT Steps 1-3 to apply the binding strips to the remaining top and bottom sides of the quilt, leaving a tail at the beginning and ending of each side, about 3/4'' to 1'' longer than the quilt edge.

Before stitching the binding down, FOLD the extra binding on the ends back even with the quilt edge and tuck under the facing to cover any remaining raw edges.  Then, HAND-STITCH the binding to the quilt, then whip-stitch at the corner edges to finish.  Tie a knot and bury your thread.


TIP:  Sometimes on those corners, it may be necessary to "quilt by hammer"....  I sometimes use my little girly hammer to get those corners compressed enough for the binding strip to easily fold over.

The end result is a smooth-looking finish.  Beautiful!


For more "Bindings & Alternate Endings", visit my Tutorial Page.  Or come attend one of my classes in the near future; including some coming up this week at Sew Simply Stitched quilt retreat!  More classes/lectures coming - see my full schedule HERE.


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