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How to bind a quilt with challenging corners

How to bind a quilt with challenging corners

by Paul Leger

This week has been all about bindings, from the first steps of basic binding to adding a flange to the binding.

None of the techniques used this week were difficult, and today’s demonstration will be just as easy as the others.

Today, I’ll add a binding to a quilt that has odd-angled corners. It’s not complicated, and there are only two additional small steps to consider.

Three quilts showing binding with odd-angled corners.

Adding a binding to a quilt with odd-angled corners is easy.

I’ll be the first to admit in the past, I’ve had issues with the corners on my hexagon quilts. I’ve asked questions and researched to figure out why I was having problems getting the corners just right. The answer was simple; I wasn’t ending my seam in the correct location. The solution? I only had to draw a line!

The difference between the corners is where to stop the seam. When binding a quilt with a 90° corner, the sewing stops ¼” away from the edge as shown below. I explain binding a quilt with a 90° corner in my Monday post; click the link to learn more about it if you missed it.

The seam ends ¼" from the quilt’s edge on a quilt with 90° corners.

On a quilt with regular 90° angled corners, the seam ends ¼” away from the quilt’s edge.

Compared to a quilt with square corners, the seam on a quilt with odd-angled corners, such as 120°, must end sooner or further, depending on the corner’s angle.

The first step is to draw a guiding line on the binding. Using a ruler placed along the seam leading up to a corner of the hexagon-shaped quilt, draw a short diagonal line as shown in the photo below.

Note: I’m using a red pen in order to better show the line in the photo.

A ruler is lined-up along a seam leading to a quilt’s corner edge to determine where to draw the short diagonal line.

Draw a diagonal line using a ruler.

When attaching the binding, sew the seam as usual to the drawn line, then pivot and finish the seam by following the drawn diagonal line to the edge of the quilt as shown below.

A seam is sewn as usual to the drawn diagonal line, and then turned to continue sewing towards the edge of the quilt.

Sew to the diagonal line, then pivot and sew to along the line to the quilt edge.

After sewing the seam, fold the binding strip away from the quilt, keeping the binding’s edge lined up in a continuous line with the next unbound edge of the quilt.

The sewn binding strip is folded away from the quilt so that its raw edge continues the line of the quilt’s raw edge.

Fold the binding strip away from the quilt following the line of the quilt’s raw edge.

Next, fold the strip down along the next unbound quilt edge. Making sure to line the raw edge of the binding up with the quilt’s edge and sew a seam ¼” from the edge as shown below.

The binding strip is folded down and sewn along the quilt’s next unbound edge.

Fold the binding strip down and continue sewing ¼” along the quilt’s next unbound edge.

By following the steps described above on all the quilt’s sides, the resulting corners will be beautiful. The only step left is to sew the binding down by hand or machine.

 The binding on the hexagon quilt is complete after sewing down by hand or machine.

The binding is finished, and it’s beautiful!

As quilters, normally we play it safe with bindings. A binding is added to a quilt not only to protect the edges and to frame a quilt, but binding also adds an extra visual element to the quilt. So, rather than thinking of binding as just a practical final step in quilt construction, have fun with it! I encourage you to add a fun and funky fabric to surprise and delight the eye.

For example, consider using a striped fabric for the binding, as I did on the quilt pictured below.

A striped fabric when used for the binding on a hexagon quilt adds visual interest.

Adding a striped fabric binding adds extra visual interest to the quilt.

Before I close, I’d like to thank Nancy Terry from Sew Inspired shop in Arnprior, Ontario, Canada again for the use of her PFAFF Quilt Expression 720 machine for this week’s posts.

It was fun writing these posts for you this week, and I would be interested in hearing your ideas for bindings. Please share by leaving a comment.

Until next time, happy quilting!

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

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


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