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Bi-colored quilt binding: 1 color for front another color for back

by Paul Leger

Welcome to day three of binding techniques!

On Monday, I covered the basic steps for calculating the yardage needed to put together a long binding strip to attach to a quilt’s edges. I also demonstrated a machine sewing technique for attaching the binding strip to the quilt edge.

Tuesday was all about sewing a binding to a quilt edge using either a hand or machine binding technique.

Today, the binding will consist of two colors! I’ll demonstrate how to create a binding with one color showing on the front or top side of the quilt and another color on the back.

The front and back of a quilt featuring a two-color binding

Two-color binding

To create a two-color binding, choose two different fabric colors as follows:

  • If the hand binding method is used, the fabric that will be visible on the front or top of the quilt must be cut in strips ⅞” wide. The strips for the fabric which will be visible on the back of the quilt must be cut in strips 2⅛” wide; or
  • If the machine binding method is used, the fabric that will be visible on the front or top of the quilt must be cut in strips ⅞” wide. Cut the strips for the fabric that will be visible on the back of the quilt 2″ wide.

Here’s the calculation I use to figure out how many strips I need to bind a quilt.

The finished size of today’s quilt to be bound measures 91″ x 93″ and the binding calculation is as follows:

  1. 91″ + 93″ + 91″ + 93″ = 368″
  2. 368″ ÷ 40” = 9.2 strips

I rounded up and cut 10 strips of each color.

TIP If there’s not enough fabric for either the front or the back of the quilt, another color could be added. It would add even greater visual interest to the quilt!

Strips measuring ⅞" and 2⅛" in width are cut and sewn end to end

Cut strips ⅞” and 2⅛” wide and sew them end to end.

Sew the strips of the same color to each other short end to short end using the 45o diagonal line technique shown on Monday to make two long strips. As shown in picture below try not to let the diagonal seams intersect as that would create additional bulk.

 The strips are sewn together lengthwise

Sew each set of strips together lengthwise.

Now, sew both strips together long edge to long edge as shown above. Press the seam allowance towards the darker fabric.

Fold the sewn strip in half lengthwise and press as shown in the picture below.

The strip is pressed while folded in half lengthwise

Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press.

Attach the binding strip to the front of the quilt with the narrower of the two strips facing the quilt as shown below.

 The binding strip is sewn with the narrower strip facing the quilt top

Sew with the narrower strip facing the quilt top.

Using Clever Clips, fold the binding towards the back of the quilt, ensuring the seam is on top of the edge of the quilt.

The binding is folded towards the back of the quilt and held in place with Clever Clips until it is ready to be sewn

Clever Clips help keep the folded binding in place before sewing.

The next and last step is to sew the binding to the quilt edge either by hand or by machine. Machine binding is possible but be sure the binding is well-folded back and that the binding and quilt edges are kept parallel.

Showing the quilt’s binding both back and front with two different fabrics used in the back

Adding a 2nd colored strip on the back of the quilt will add interest

Adding a two-color binding can add visual interest and fun to any quilt.

Tomorrow I’ll demonstrate another two-fabric binding by adding a flange, or faux piping to the quilt.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Perfect quilt binding by hand, perfect quilt binding by machine

Go to part 4: Add a flange binding to your quilt for an element of interest

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