You can add a special detail to a quilt even after the quilting is done and that detail has a name: flanged (or faux piped) binding. Unlike the regular binding made from one fabric, the flanged binding uses two fabrics: a main fabric and an accent fabric.
See below my quilt to better understand how to choose the fabrics for this type of binding.
The accent (flange) fabric must contrast with the background fabric of the quilt and the main fabric of the binding must contrast with the flange fabric.
You have to cut strips 1 1/2” wide for the main binding and 1 3/4” for the flange. Cut as many strips as needed for the entire quilt + about 10” extra.
Join the flange strips into one long strip and do the same with the strips of the main binding. Join the strips together with diagonal seams – it is a must!
Then sew the main binding strip to the flange strip; sew with 1/4” seam allowance. Press to set the seam. Now: toward which side do you press the seam allowances? I checked some tutorials on internet and I saw them pressed in all the possible ways. The look of the final binding changes depending on the way you press the seam allowances – see below all the possibilities.
1. Press toward the flange: in this case, the seam allowances will make the flange bulky and that mimics the look of a real piping. But I found out that pressing the binding in half lengthwise is difficult. So I pressed the seam open.
2. Press the seam open; it is an easy option, but the final binding has a “flat” overall look.
3. Press toward the main binding; this seems to be the most common way and it makes the main binding bulkier than the flange.
Here is how to press the binding in half lengthwise.
With one hand keep the raw edges aligned and press with the other hand. This step is very important – you want to keep a consistent width of the flange on the entire length of the binding.
See below my flanged binding, ready to be attached to the quilt.
Unlike the regular binding, you have to sew the flanged binding to the back of the quilt, with the flange fabric facing up. Sew at 1/4” from the edge of the quilt. Miter the corners and join the ends of the binding as usual.
At this stage, press the binding out toward the edge of the quilt all the way around.
Turn the quilt to the right side and wrap the binding around. Secure the binding by stitching in the ditch between the flange and main fabric. Because I pressed the seam open, I stitched right on the seam (this is another downside of pressing the seam open). Use thread in a color that matches the fabric you stitch on.
On the back of the quilt the last seam that secures the binding to the top of the quilt is visible – see below; I don’t see this as a disadvantage.
Width of the finished flanged biding
The finished flanged binding is wider than the regular binding and if you don’t love this look, sew the binding on the back of the quilt with a seam allowance a little bigger than 1/4”. Make a test first: sew a few inches on the back, fold the binding over to the front and check its final width; if you are happy with the look, continue using that seam allowance.
You could also cut the main fabric strips a little narrower, instead of 1 1/2” wide cut the strips 1 3/8” wide; this will make a narrower final binding but with a wider flange.
Or you could cut both strips (from the main fabric and flange fabric) 1/8” narrower. Again – test the seam allowance you use when you stitch the binding to the back of the quilt; you may need to use a seam allowance narrower than 1/4”.
Is a flanged binding great for ANY quilt?
No! Do not waste your time if you can’t make your flanged binding stand out! It’s all about the shapes, colors and patterns of the fabrics near the edges of the quilt. If everything is just too busy, too complicated, “too much”, the effect given by a flanged binding will be almost invisible.
I hope you will find these instructions easy to follow. The technique is really easy, pressing the binding in half lengthwise is the only step that requires some patience.
Interested in other heart quilt patterns? Check out the patterns below: