1 easy way to add a quilt binding, 2 WonderFil threads to make it shine!

This week I’m stitching up some small inspirational wallhanging quilts. They will be gifted at Christmas. I’m hoping these quilts will encourage the recipients in 2018.

So far this week, I’ve pieced my quilt tops using WonderFil’s DecoBob thread. DecoBob is an 80wt ‘cottonized’ (non-stretchy or melt-y!) thread. It’s very fine and perfect for all my quilt piecing.

I then layered the quilts and quilted the centers of the quilts with WonderFil’s InvisaFil thread. InvisaFil is 100wt. Finer than DecoBob, InvisaFil is my thread of choice when I want to use small quilting motifs and just have the texture from the quilting be the highlight.

I quilted the borders with a selection of heavier threads in contrast to the body of the quilt, I wanted this quilting to stand out. I used Accent, Fruitti, Tutti and Splendor.

The binding is completely machine stitched on the quilts.

Most of my quilts will have the binding completely sewn on by machine. I sew the binding to the back of the quilt and bring the binding to the front and machine stitch in place.

I’ll show you how I accomplish this and get a great finish to my quilt. I’ll also show you how I add a hanging sleeve for easy display of these little quilts.

I want to make sure that I trim my quilt layers even all around the quilt. I lay the ruler against the border seam rather than the outside edge of the border and measure a consistent amount all the way around.

Add the hanging sleeve

Cut a piece of fabric for the hanging sleeve.

I sew a hanging sleeve to the back of the quilt when I sew the bindings in place. By sewing the raw edges in with the binding, I don’t have any extra work and much less hand sewing.

I cut a strip of fabric 4″ – 6″ wide and as long at the quilt is wide.

Pin the hanging sleeve to the back of the quilt.

I fold in a double hem at each end of the hanging sleeve. I’m not fussy about how deep my hems are, just as long as they are narrower than the quilt itself. I don’t even bother to sew the hems in place. Just press really well.

I fold the hanging sleeve in half with the wrong sides facing and the raw edges matching.

I then pin the raw edges of the hanging sleeve to the top edge of the quilt.

Cut binding strips

Sew binding strips with a diagonal seam and trim seam allowances.

I sew my bindings on with a ⅜” seam allowance. That’s generally the width of my regular sewing foot or my walking foot. Personally, I like the thicker binding.

I cut sufficient strips 2½” for a double fold binding. I join them together with a diagonal seam and trim to a ¼” seam allowance.

Trim seam allowance to ¼” and press the seams open.

Press the seam allowances open and then fold the binding lengthwise with wrong sides of fabric facing and press.

Stitch binding to the back of the quilt

Sew binding to the back of the quilt using the width of a regular sewing foot.

I’m not sure where I learned this, but I always begin and end my binding along the bottom edge of the quilt.

Leave 8″ – 10″ of binding and begin sewing the binding to the BACK of the quilt. Remember to sew with the raw edges of the binding to the raw edge of the quilt! I like to start close to the bottom corner so that I have space to join the ends.

I use DecoBob for this seam. The very thin thread keeps a fine seam and flatter binding.

It’s a little tricky to fold and sew the corners, but I’ve got lots of step by step pictures I hope you can follow.

Sew binding to the edge of the quilt and stitch out to the corner.

Stop sewing ⅜” away from the corner. Remember, I’m using a ⅜” seam allowance. If you chose to use something different as your seam allowance, stop that distance from the corner. Some will back stitch at this point. I like to pivot and sew off the corner.

If I need to re-sew the corner, I don’t have to un-pick any back stitches!

Fold binding strip up and away from the quilt.

Remove the quilt from the sewing machine. Fold the binding straight up along the edge of the quilt. You should have a straight line from the binding down along the edge you’ll be sewing the binding to next.

Fold binding down even with the edge of the quilt.

Now fold the binding down so that the raw edges match the raw edge of the quilt.

You should have a nice square corner. I like to just be able to see the top edge of the quilt at the top fold of the binding.

You should also be able to see 2 folded edges on the inside of the corner.

Continue stitching down the next side of the quilt and repeat these steps at each corner.

Join the ends of the binding for a perfect finish

Leave tails of the beginning and end of the binding

Stop stitching the binding to the quilt when you’re about  6″ – 8″ from the beginning. Personally, I like to leave myself lots of room to work with, but smaller projects won’t allow so much room. Work with what you have.

Note: I’ve switched my images to printed fabrics. As I was writing and posting these pictures, I was having trouble seeing the images clearly and realized that the right side and wrong side of the fabric wasn’t very easy to see. Please don’t be confused by my fabric mix ups!

Lay the ending strip on top of the beginning strip of binding.

My Mum showed me this next step and I’m forever grateful to her for this tip.

Lay the beginning of the binding along the edge of the quilt. I like to take a moment and trim this edge straight.

Lay the ending of the binding on top of the beginning along the edge of the quilt.

Measure from the beginning of the binding, the width of the binding and cut the end. Confused? Me too! Look at the next image and see if that makes more sense!

Trim extra binding

I trim off a bit of the extra binding and use it to measure the length of the binding where they overlap. In this case I trim the binding leaving a 2½” tail.

Arrange the ends of the binding by rotation one strip 90°. Draw a diagonal line across the corner.

Open the binding strips and match the cut edges with right sides of the fabric together.

Carefully rotate one of the binding strips 90°.

Draw a diagonal line across the corner.

Stitch on the drawn line and trim seam allowances.

Stitch along the drawn line and trim the seam allowances.

Press the seam allowances open.

Open seam allowances and press binding closed.

The the binding with wrong sides facing and raw edges matching the edge of the quilt.

Sew the binding to the quilt.

Machine stitch binding to the front of the quilt

Bring binding to front side of quilt and pin.

Fold the binding to the right side of the quilt. Pin the binding in place making sure the corners are nice and sharp.

Stitch close to the edge of the binding for a quick and neat finish!

Binding stitched with WonderFil’s Splendor

My orange quilt was bound with WonderFil’s Splendor, 40wt rayon thread (2108). The border quilting was done with this thread as well. The thread shows nicely against the pink fabric.

Binding stitched with WonderFil’s InvisaFil.

The burgundy quilt was bound with WonderFil’s InvisaFil, 100wt polyester thread (231). The thread blends well and hardly shows.

The only hand stitching I need to do is to hand stitch the fold of the hanging sleeve to the back of the quilt.

My 3 inspirational quilts are pieced, quilted and bound. All that’s left is to applique the letter of the inspirational words and phrases. Check back tomorrow for the finished wall hangings and see which of WonderFil’s wonderful threads I used.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: Using combinations of 100wt, 80wt, 50wt, 12wt threads in one quilt

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Use Silco thread to add more punch to your applique edges

When your quilting calls for threads to be invisible, use InvisaFil

1 comment

Jenna May 5, 2019 - 3:43 pm
I often machine sew my bindings on, but I sew the biding to the front as usual, then turn binding to the back and use wonder clips to hold the binding in place. I then turn it back to the front and stitch in the ditch along the front of the binding. This easily catches enough of the binding on the back of the quilt to look nice and hold it in place. I like way this much better since I personally do not care to see my stitching on the front of the quilt as you would with the method shown in the tutorial. But... that is just personal preference. Others may feel differently. I'm just offering up an alternative if, like me, you would rather not see those stitches on the front of your quilt.
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