So you’ve finished your quilt top and now you’re ready for the quilt binding.
I’ll admit it; this is my least favorite stage of the quilting process. I love to hand stitch so I feel like I should like quilt binding; I want to enjoy it, but I don’t.
Since I’m not head over heels for binding a quilt yet, I’ve been exploring a few alternative techniques. So far, my favorite is a quilt binding tutorial from Sue Bleiweiss’ book Colorful Fabric Collage. She uses Mistyfuse™ to attach binding to her art quilts giving each one a crisp and clean finish.
Here is how she does it:
My Four-Strip Binding Technique
by Sue Bleiweiss
Each quilter has a favorite way to add a binding to a quilt, my unconventional technique, the Four-Strip Binding Technique, is very easy. Unlike traditional methods to bind a quilt, my preferred way uses a separate binding strip for each side of the quilt. Each strip is stitched to the front of the quilt, then fused to the back, no tedious hand stitching required. I used this method to bind each art quilt project in Colorful Fabric Collage.
1. Measure the length of your quilt. Cut two 2″ wide binding strips to that measurement. With the quilt top facing right side up, pin binding strip to each side of the quilt, with the right sides together. Align the raw edges, and then stitch the binding strip in place using a ¼” seam allowance.
2. Press the two binding strips flat. Turn the quilt over so that the backing faces up. Fold each of the binding strips in half lengthwise and press them to set the crease. Cut two strips of fusible web 1″ wide and as long as the binding strip. Fuse them in place lengthwise, aligning the fusible web strip with the raw edge of the binding strip. Let the fabric cool.
3. Fold the binding strip to the back of the quilt, so the creased edge of the binding strip fits snugly up next to the edge of the quilt. Use a hot iron to fuse it in place. Make sure the binding is fused securely so that it does not pull away from the back of the quilt.
4. Measure the top and bottom edges of your quilt and add 2″ to each measurement; cut two binding strips 2″ wide. Fold the two strips in half lengthwise and press to set the crease. With the quilt top facing up, pin the strips in place to the top and bottom edges, right sides together, in the same manner as you applied the binding to the side edges of your quilt. Leave a 1″ long tail extending past the edges of the quilt at each end. Stitch them in place using a ¼” seam allowance.
5. Press the binding strips flat. Turn the quilt over so that the quilt back faces up, fold the tail ends over the edge and toward the back of the quilt. Press them again.
6. Repeat the same steps for folding, pressing, applying strips of fusible web, and fusing the binding strips in place as you did for the right and left-hand edges of the quilt.
7. If you plan to use your quilt as a throw or on your bed, you should make the bound edges more durable. Hand stitch the binding to secure it to the back of the quilt. Choose a thread color to match the binding and hand sew it in place using slip stitches. Keep your stitches as close to the edge of the binding as possible.
There are even more alternative quick and easy bindings you can explore. This free guide covers five of our other favorite quilt binding and finishing methods, be sure to check them out. If you want to learn more from Sue, check out the Fun with Fabric Collage and Mistyfuse Collection which includes her book Colorful Fabric Collage, her DVD Coloring Book Fabric Collage and 10 yards of Mistyfuse ultraviolet.
P.S. If you learn better by watching, sign up for the online course Quilt Binding Basics with Patrick Lose. He will cover everything from choosing binding fabric to binding irregular edges.