Do you love preparing and sewing binding to your quilts? For me, this is not a favorite task. I want to finish it as soon as possible! Usually, I cut straight strips from one of the fabrics used in the quilt and this is my binding. Many times I am lazy and I join the strips with straight seams (not a crime, of course, but here quilt police is right: the bias seams are better).
But sometimes I need something special so I have to be more creative and this is one of those times. I made a quilt with a rainbow background and an off-white accent so I thought to make the binding below.
I made a similar version a few years ago (it took me some time!) and now I wanted to make it easier. I took lots of pictures to share with you – if you are stuck on a project and don’t know what type of binding to use, this might be an option. It is WONDERFUL for wholecloth quilts, but it works on any other quilt you want to!
If you want to make a binding like this one, here is what you need:
- Half yard of solid quilt weight fabric (18’’ x 42’’)
- Colored thread (use as many colors as you want); I used Aurifil 12wt thread (a very thick thread); this weight makes the stitching pretty visible. You can use thinner thread too, 28/30wt, 40wt or even 50wt.
- Fine permanent marker
- Topstitch needle, especially if you use a heavyweight thread; this needle is a must, actually, if you use such thick thread and you have to thread the needle yourself!
How to embellish the fabric with colored stitches
Press your fabric.
Using a Clover Hera marker (or an air or heat erasable marker), mark a line parallel with the selvage.
Using that line as reference, continue marking parallel lines toward the other selvage; keep the lines evenly spaced at 1’’.
Thread your machine with one of your colors.
If you know the total number of lines you have to sew and how many colors of thread you have, you can calculate how many lines you have to stitch with the same color. In this way, you stitch everything that’s needed with this color at once, so you don’t have to thread the machine again with the same color.
Then change the color of the thread and sew a few lines with the new color.
Continue changing the color of the thread and sewing until you have finished all the marked lines.
Then sew in between two sewn lines (bring the needle in the center position and sew in between two lines)- no marking needed to do it.
Now your stitching lines are evenly spaced at ½’’.
Press the fabric. Now you are ready to create the binding.
Now it was the time to step out of my comfort zone and LEARN and UNDERSTAND a technique I messed it up once or twice. This technique is so useful, so helpful, I think any quilter should learn it. Because someday, you will need it for sure!
It’s a technique that produces long, continuous bias binding from one piece of fabric, using only two seams!
Next week, I will share this technique and how to calculate the size of the fabric needed for a specific binding length.